Categorized | Fremantle

Freo beach bar reaches final hurdle

CHRIS THOMSON

After gaining state government planning approval in December, developers of a $5.25 million beach bar under construction at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach has now asked the government for a liquor licence.

If approved by the state liquor licensing director, the pictured Bathers’ Beach House, currently being built at the Co-op Building across Mews Road from the mass market Char Char Bull restaurant, will offer panoramic views of Carnac Island and Stragglers Rocks from its top floor, as pictured, below, left.

The upstairs area would be occupied by a big old beach bar and dining hall with 320 seats, while the ground floor would house a 330-seat beachside dining area billed by the developers as “an upmarket Cicerello’s”.

bathers beach houseThe ground floor was last occupied by a McDonald’s eatery that pulled out a few years back, leaving the space vacant and central Fremantle Maccas-less.

In an initiative that would get the nod of Mayor McCheese, the developers plan to erect a “kids corner” in the ground-floor eatery.

The brains behind the Bathers’ Beach House are the operators of Char Char Bull, and the adjacent Cicerello’s seafood emporium.

To run the show at Bathers’ Beach House will be Henry Liascos who has managed Cicerello’s for more than two decades, Nicholas Unmack who has had a management roll at Cicerello’s for 10 years, managing director of Char Char Bull Brenden Jones, and Char Char Bull employee Anthony Unmack who is slated to become general manager of the new venue.

In recent years the Co-op Building has been a franchisees’ graveyard with both the McDonald’s and a Dome Cafe there shutting down. The Sweetlips fish and chippery is the only chain operation to have stood the test of time in the building.

The heritage-listed building is currently painted dark blue but the developers plan to repaint the structure white.

bathers beach houseThey’re also spending $4.5 million on overhauling the building, and $750,000 to fit out the venue’s kitchen.

Either flush with funds, or with access to a friendly financier, the developers also plan to give Char Char Bull and a surrounding courtyard area a $2 million facelift in 2015.

In cobbling together their licence application, the developers sought comments from visitors to the area.

Stephen Goodhue of City Beach opined that: “Another well-appointed, tastefully executed venue in Freo with ocean views will only make Freo a more desirable place to go.”

Richard Smetana of nearby South Fremantle agreed: “Beach views, looks well developed for a family affair.”

Deborah Patino of Willeton was also singing from the same hymn-book: “I love the idea of casual beachside dining with a glass of wine or cocktail.”

bathers beach houseKatie Bailey of Fremantle chimed in with: “Such an amazing location for a beverage + sunset”.

The developers claim 60 people will be employed at Bathers’ Beach House.

If approved, the venue will open 6am to midnight six days a week, and 10am to 10pm on Sundays, with a beachside breakfast part of the offering until 11am. Breakfast on Sundays would be available from 6.30am but no alcohol would be served until 10am.

Last orders for food at the venue would be taken at 10pm six nights a week, and 9pm on Sundays.

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