Freo's View


Posted in alcohol, bars, city of fremantle, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on February 14, 2018


The City of Fremantle is well advised to consider the opinion of publican Jon Sainken about pop-up bars.

Sainken, who is a director of Club Bayview in Claremont and of the Mindarie Marina and Leederville hotels has warned that public safety is at risk in pop-up bars because of low safety standards, not having the required number of exits and fire equipment. I add toilets to that as well.

At present we have a pop-up bar at the Number One unit at J Shed on Bathers Beach, with live music on weekends in the space leased from the City of Fremantle by Sunset Events, that greatly inconveniences neighbouring artists.

The operator has told patrons that he has the space for two years, but no additional toilets have been installed and the public toilets at Arthur Head close at 7pm.

Are there sufficient fire extinguishers in the small bar?

I also noticed people illegally drinking on the A Class reserve and parking there as well and that needs to be more strictly monitored by Fremantle City officers, as the area is frequented by tourists.

Another pop-up is returning for a month with The Dock re-opening in B Shed at Victoria Quay.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle network, hospitality, Uncategorized, women by freoview on January 27, 2018


The Fremantle Network presents a forum on respect and safety for women in our community and at events at 6pm on Monday 29 January, upstairs at the National Hotel, Fremantle.

Safer Venues WA is a newly established advocacy group that aims to improve standards of inclusivity and safety in Perth’s music and entertainment spaces.

They are doing this by:
• identifying harmful behaviours such as harassment, discrimination and assault as barriers to safety and inclusion,
• working with venues, audience, artists and industry to initiate a collective responsibility for change,
• using communication and research as tools to develop resources and frameworks for tangible change.

Research by Safer Venues WA found that over 67% of punters have experienced harassment (primarily experienced by women).

Perpetuation of discrimination against women based on their choice of dress, their state of intoxication or other forms of victim blaming continues in our community.

The Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services is a state-wide peak organisation committed to improving the status of women and children in society. Their work includes the transformative school-based “Promoting Respect Project”.

Kate Davis has worked in the community legal sector for over 15 years, including 5 years as Managing Solicitor of the Women’s Law Centre. Her career reflects her personal commitment to women’s rights and supporting disadvantaged women facing violence or homelessness.

Rebecca Sneddon and Will MacDonald, Safer Venues WA
Angela Hartwig, Women’s Council of WA
Kate Davis, community sector lawyer and local feminist

Whether you’re a man or a woman, a party goer, a venue operator or a by stander, you can make a difference in promoting respect and safety.




Posted in alcohol, city of fremantle, hospitality, Uncategorized by freoview on November 19, 2017


Recent development applications for the City of Fremantle CBD all include alcohol outlets, so Fremantle Council should be very aware of that and not permit too many watering holes in the inner city, as it is contrary to the alcohol policy they implemented three years ago.

There is a tavern proposed in the plans for the Woolstores shopping centre site, a micro-brewery and tavern for the Mannings Building development, a tavern planned for the former Henderson Street Courthouse and a pub for the former Energy Museum development.

The CBD already has the Australia Hotel, Clancy’s, the National, Orient, Newport, Sail&Anchor, Norfolk, the Federal, Little Creatures, Bathers Beach House, the Monk, plus the bars of the Esplanade Hotel.

Top that off with nightclubs and the small bars that have popped up and Freo has more than enough to offer as far as the service of alcohol is concerned. And don’t forget that Sunset Events will be opening a tavern at J Shed and the Drillhall as well.

Pubs in Fremantle survive because of good weekend trade, but are not doing all that well during weekdays, so a significant increase in competition and new taverns opening might jeopardise their future.

No need to be a wowser about this, but we need to be very careful that Fremantle will not become a copy of Northbridge, that struggled for a very long time to get rid of its reputation for drunkenness, violence and anti-social behaviour. We have quite a bit of that already in our port city.

New laws coming before State Parliament will also allow the service of alcohol, without having to order a meal, in restaurants which serve fewer than 120 customers, so that will include many Freo hospitality outlets

Fremantle Council needs to put a ceiling on how many pubs it will allow in the inner city, to make sure there is a diversity on offer and not just a glut of large licensed premises.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, hospitality, tourism by freoview on February 3, 2016

There are those in our community who only see and predict doom and gloom for Fremantle but going out for a meal with my mate Bob last night I was delighted to see Freo is no longer just a weekend destination.

The South Beach Hotel bars, restaurant and alfresco were full, tables reserved and people clearly enjoying the $ 15 steak night, and the steaks were thick and big and not like the leather-like meat some other hotels offer on their specials night. It was also good to see it is becoming more of a family pub with kids still in school uniform joining parents for a meal.

Next door Missy Moos burger bar was also doing well and down the road the Run Amuk sausage bar was jam packed full with mainly young people.

The Local Hotel-former Seaview- was also doing very well but Bob and I wanted pizza so for us it was Ruocco’s. I have been dining at Ruocco’s for more than 25 years but last night’s pizzas were some of the best I have ever eaten there. Great chewy base, delicious seafood on one and the meaty Ruocco’s special is one of my favourites.

Traders tell me the Christmas New Year period has been very good with some hospitality venues having a 50% increase in turnover and being flat-out on week days like weekend trading. I know that we had higher visitors numbers at the Roundhouse with surprisingly many more people from the eastern states.

Fremantle is in a very important transition period and it is essential for Council to remain level-headed and not rush into things and refrain from approving inappropriate development. The protection of our city’s heritage areas is vital for our growing tourism industry and city’s unique character and should not be compromised.

Freo in ten years from now won’t be the Fremantle we know, but if Council, developers and the community collaborate and get it right we will have the beautiful old historic town and a thriving modern new cbd to the east of Kings Square that will attract more visitors and residents and will make our city prosper again like in the old gold boom times.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, tourism by freoview on October 28, 2015



LONELY PLANET has elected Fremantle as one of its ten best tourism destinations in the world, writing that in 2016 Freo is a thriving urban culture with a string of awesome arts events that celebrate the city’s essence.

According to Lonely Planet Fremantle is “a raffish harbour town with a sea-salty soul to burn.” and that “Fremantle thrums with live music rooms, hipster bars, boutique hotels, left-field bookshops, craft beer breweries, Indian Ocean seafood shacks, buskers, beaches and students on the run from books.

It is a nice compliment for Fremantle that hopefully will encourage the City to do more for tourism by making way finding easier with more signs and information available.

While one never should put all of one’s eggs in one basket I strongly believe the City of Fremantle should more passionately embrace tourism, nurture the heritage aspects of our city, improve our beaches with better toilets, shade structures, etc. and have multi-lingual touch screens around town so that language barriers can be removed.

Roel Loopers


Posted in alcohol, fremantle, violence by freoview on July 1, 2015

If my memory serves me right Fremantle once had an “Accord” between the hospitality industry, the City and  the Police that was about the responsible service of alcohol. I thought that also included not having “Happy Hour” but by the look of it that no longer applies.

The Police Commissioner warned in the West Australian this week that “the alcohol industry has contributed to WA’s biggest substance abuse problem” that affects thousands of children and families and that has resulted in a huge increase in domestic violence, and that should be a serious concern for us all.

Whilst there is a move away from big booze barns to small bars, there also seems to be an increase in happy hours and cheap meal incentives to come to pubs more often and drink more. I noticed $ 6 pints at one CBD pub between 5-6 pm while one hotel on the main stretch has even introduced a lunch time happy hour. It does not say a lot about responsible service of alcohol when pub operators are trying to entice people to drink more at lunchtime, while at the same time they push for longer night hours.

Drink more, drink cheaper, drink longer and we’ll sell you a fifteen dollar steak is not great support for those in the community who want to reduce the intake of alcohol because it is a huge problem in society. How many more coward punches do we need to hear about? How many more young people have to die or become disabled because of alcohol related violence and drink-driving accidents before the hospitality industry wakes up and accept they have a corporate responsibility?

So what happened to the Fremantle Accord I wonder? When did it lapse, or did no one bother to keep it going? Can it be reinstated?

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle by freoview on September 9, 2014

While the concept of the revitalisation of Fremantle’s Kings Square was good and the initial plans exciting, the follow-up is flawed. In the beginning we heard the promising news of Queensgate maybe being developed into a hotel, or at least the Spicers site would become tourist accommodation, but as the plans evolved the excitement ebbed away, as all the City of Fremantle and developers could come up with was ground level retail and above that office space. That might be nine to five revitalisation, but does nothing to make the heart of the city more vibrant in the evenings, since there is no residential or tourism development planned for Kings Square at all. The City probably will have to install some defibrillators to give the city square a heartbeat at night.

It is clear that Sirona Capital has problems leasing out the planned office space, and that is delaying the very important project considerably. One has to wonder why there is not more flexibility to change the plans and instead of just commercial space they also build residential and/or short-term accommodation apartments. Real mixed-use should be residential, commercial and retail, not just two out of those three.

Residential and tourist accommodation at Kings Square would see real 24/7 activity in the CBD and it would bring essential passive and active security to the area. What it would also create is the need for small bars, delis, etc, that would also attract people from outside the CBD to Kings Square.

It has been suggested that Newman Court could become a small entertainment area, but now there is talk of making it two-way traffic and short-term parking, so it won’t be very appealing to sit outside looking at cars and the dark back of the planned new library and civic centre at night.

Residential development in the very heart of the city, not just the periphery of it, is in my opinion the one essential element missing in the Kings Square development.

There is no guarantee that the Queens Street and Adelaide Street buildings facing the square will be developed over time in anything else but more offices and shops, while the triangle owned by St John’s church could also be developed for the church’s offices and Sunday School. If that happened Fremantle’s civic square would really only be the High Street road reserve that splits the City triangle from the St John’s triangle, resulting in a lifeless city centre after office hours. That would be a very bad and boring outcome for our city.

Roel Loopers






Posted in alcohol, fremantle by freoview on July 2, 2014

Print ad for new alcohol awareness campaign


The W.A. Government is launching another anti-drinking campaign “Alcohol: It’s what you can’t see that cause the most damage” warning about brain and liver damage caused by excessive and binge drinking. Western Australians drink quite a bit more than the average Australian, consuming the equivalent of 12 litres of pure alcohol or 43 bottles of vodka a year, compared to 10 litres nationally.

It’s DRY JULY, so let’s hope many will stay away from alcohol for a month, or at least reduce alcohol intake. I am in my 6th week of not drinking a single drop of booze and it is quite liberating.

I am wondering though about the hypocrisy of State Government doing anti alcohol campaigns, when the Liquor Licensing Board overrules local councils and allows the opening of huge mega bottleshops against the wishes of the local community, while new small bars find it hard to get a liquor license approved, although they are supported by councils. The refusal to give Fremantle’s Clancy’s a temporary license, to trade at Victoria Hall during renovations, is such a case and has cost 20 people their jobs for three months.

Good to hear though that the controversial Zelda nighclub in Rockingham has lost its liquor license. It’s been a nightmare for the locals there.

Anyway, life is about moderation, so look after yourselves and your friends!

Roel Loopers




Posted in fremantle by freoview on June 27, 2014

Hotel 1 Hotel 2

It’s Friday, Fremantle, so let me inspire you and recommend you beat the winter chill and have a mulled wine this eve in one of Fremantle’s pubs. Don’t overdo it though and don’t drive if you have a few too many, because life is precious.

Have a great weekend!



Posted in fremantle by freoview on March 26, 2014

The quite alarming figures in the latest Galaxy Report about alcohol consumption, shows that our civic leaders need to do more to combat alcohol related problems in our society and Fremantle Council should take notice.

It is not good enough for the City of Fremantle to implement an Alcohol Management Policy one week, to ignore that same policy some weeks later and allow for a large micro brewery and outdoor music venue at J Shed, when they oppose that in the AMP, where it states Council does not support new outlets where the main aim is the sale of alcohol.

The Galaxy Report states that the problems in Western Australia are worse than they are nationwide, with 47 percent of people in WA saying they had experienced alcohol related violence, compared to 37 percent nationally. Three-quarter of those surveyed believed Australia has a problem with excessive drinking.

State Government needs to stop pussy footing around and not overrule local governments that don’t want more mega bottle shops. The State should also stop permitting new liquor licenses for large venues and instead support small bars that encourage responsible drinking. The responsible service of alcohol laws also need to be enforced, as we far too often witness legless drunks falling out of licensed premises in Fremantle.

While I am all for Freo becoming more vibrant and activated, and while I believe we need more things to do for tourists who visit our city, I don’t believe that more booze barns will become major attractors for overseas and interstate visitors, they might just attract the kind of anti-social people we try to discourage from coming here.

Roel Loopers


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