Burgered off

THE Carriage Cafe’s days are numbered on Fremantle’s Esplanade reserve and it’s set to be replaced by a snappy new burger joint.

Eight years after buckling to a 13,000-strong petition demanding the cafe be left alone, the council is on the verge of approving a 15-year lease for the proposed high-end Park Burger bar. It’s being spearheaded by local restaurateur George Kailis.

If approved, the council would spend $700,000 on a new building for the burgery, tucked alongside the railway line in an area identified in its Esplanade masterplan as a commercial and community hub.

Carriage lessee Zeynep Erturk, 24, and her family have been told their lease expires in April 2019 and the cafe and 1912 carriage must be moved from the park.

• Carriage Cafe owner Zeynep Erturk has been told time’s up in 2019. Photo by Stephen Pollock

• Carriage Cafe owner Zeynep Erturk has been told time’s up in 2019. Photo by Stephen Pollock

Ms Erturk took over the lease just five months ago and says because of the uncertainty she’s holding off on a planned upgrade.

“I’m really disappointed that this will be the end for the Carriage Cafe at the Esplanade,” she says.

“People have a real affection for this place and only yesterday we had customers who had been to the cafe 15 years ago on a cruise and came back for something to eat.

“I think there’s room for two cafes down here as we would have different hours and appeal to different people, so we are looking to see if we can get a two-year extension on our lease.


“I mean they have at least four fish and chip places at Fishing Boat Harbour, so why not have some variety and competition here?”

Ms Erturk had submitted a proposal to move to the new hub, but lost out to Mr Kailis’s venture.

He says Park Burger will be sympathetic to the park and “iconic”.

“We transformed The Shorehouse at Swanbourne into something special and this will be done with the same level of detail,” Mr Kailis said.

“We have a great team in place with a vast range of experience, will source local produce, and are planning to grow organic produce on the roof.”

The council also sought applications for an entertainment proposal at the site, but only received one from the existing ferris wheel owners, Australian Tourist Attractions. The issue comes before full council later this month.



One response to “Burgered off

  1. Very disappointing to see a young woman who’s having a go – a new face in Freo – lose out to a rich and well-connected establishment dynasty. The people of Freo want the Carriage to stay but it looks like the powerbrokers on the council have finally got their way. Not a good day for the port city.

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