Iconic cappuccino strip noshery Gino’s Cafe is getting a half-million-dollar facelift and is hoping for a new 15-year lease.
The famous hangout for musos, artists, hipsters, mums with bubs and portsiders with pooches is getting a bigger kitchen, new floors, new refrigeration and a few odds and ends done to the 100-year-old building.
“The kitchen is very small and hasn’t been touched in 30 years,” owner Laura Saccone—daughter of late founder Gino—told the Herald. “It’s an expensive exercise but it has to be done.”
The cafe, which opened 30 years ago, will be closed for a month from July 28.
But Ms Saccone says locals won’t have to go cold turkey on their coffee as a cart will operate out the front during the reno.
Long-time tailor Gino Saccone transformed the place in 1983 following the success of nearby Papa Luigi’s.
It was the year that Australia won the America’s Cup off Rhode Island and four years later Fremantle would host the Defence. Gino’s added weight to Nunzio Gumina’s Papa Luigi’s – later known as Old Papa’s – almost next door on the corner of Collie Street which is credited with kicking off the internationally famous South Street Cappuccino Strip in 1977. It’s hard to imagine now but back then dining at tables on the pavement was a foreign concept in WA, viewed with horror by health authorities who reckoned flies, car fumes and food just didn’t mix.
“A 15-year new lease is also before council and we’ll be seeing some major changes after they reopen after being closed for month from Sunday week,” mayor Brad Pettitt says of the renos. “At the same time the City of Fremantle, which owns the building, will be fixing the roof and gutters, etc on the building.
“Stage two further down the track will be investigating how we open Gino’s onto the Market Street piazza behind and really improve the back of all those buildings, now the road has been fixed up in that area.”
by BRENDAN FOSTER