Freo beachfront a poissoned chalice?

01NEWS Poisson dor SUBby DAVID BELL

SWANKY French beachfront restaurant Le Poisson D’or has shut, failing to tell customers who’d booked and turned up dressed to the nines only to be confronted with locked doors.

At least two customers say they’d pre-paid, with one Urban Spoon user saying “my friend paid her wedding deposit just before they shut”.

Owned by beauty queen Victoria Winter, the two-storey fish palace opened to fanfare in April with a burlesque show to welcome Norman chef Didier Crevecoeur.

The Herald strolled by Wednesday to see the interior gutted, unread magazines stacked outside, pot plants dying and a stern notice fixed to the door.

The December 3 notice to the restaurant says: “You are hereby given notice that the lease. . .granted to you by Mr Ahmad Mostafa El Hafez. . .is hereby terminated and you are required to deliver possession of the premises to the lessor or its agents”.

It gave the operators seven days to move out.

Ms Winter said her understanding was that all the bookings had been contacted and any deposits were refunded, but she’s double checking to ensure none slipped through the cracks.

The sixth IPEd National Editors Conference was due to have its gala dinner at the D’or on April 11, but organisers only discovered this week the place had shut.

Conference organiser Marisa Wikramanayake posted on Facebook she was “grumpy beyond belief”.

Trip Advisor user “lennold1” had an important date ruined by the unannounced closure and called the restaurant “a joke”.

“My wife and I booked this restaurant several months ago for a special occasion,” he wrote.

“We (and others) arrived on Sunday 25/11/12 at 7pm to find the restaurant closed.

“A function had been held there the night before.

“Upon arrival workmen appeared to be making preparations for refurbishment or similar.

“They apologised seeing our situation and said others had also arrived for booked meals as well.

“The restaurant made no contact with us at all to advise of their situation.

“This was a pre-paid meal and drink package.

“Telephone calls since to the establishment have failed to make contact with anyone.

“My wife and I then had to walk the streets of Fremantle to find somewhere else to eat.

“If this is the way restaurants treat their customers it is no wonder Fremantle is not what it used to be.

“Have a fancy restaurant, give it a fancy name, but lift your game.

“You absolutely ruined what was to be a special occasion.

“I could have worked that evening/night but choose not [to], instead I went along to your restaurant. Shame, shame, shame.”

Reviews of the place had been mixed: One called it “simply great” while another reckoned it had “disappointing menu choices”.

The only number listed for the restaurant has been disconnected. We attempted to contact Ms Winter through her other outfit the Gold Bar in Subiaco but had no luck.

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