BEERPOURIUM is in pole position to move into the old KULCHA venue on the Cappuccino Strip, with no one else interested in taking over the Fremantle site.
The city received two applications to use the council-owned property, which has been empty for two years and is in a prime spot above DOME, but the other applicant withdrew.
The man behind Beerporium, Scott Jones, says it will be a small bar showcasing Australian craft beers, with rotating beer taps, “indoor lawn bowls”, live acoustic sets and pizza.
He says he’s not concerned by the sluggish WA economy, having worked in hospitality for the last 15 years and survived the GFC. “People still want to go out and socialise,” he says.
“The market itself is definitely tipping toward craft beer options and even the big beer producers themselves are buying out the smaller ones.”
Tom Griffiths, council economic development manager, said the low number of applicants was unsurprising.
“Upstairs hospitality and retailing is challenging in Western Australia, notwithstanding the special nature of this unique heritage property and the iconic balcony.
“Ideally we’d have received a diverse range of proposals to consider so we can make the strongest strategic decision. The small number of responses we received was not a surprise considering the current state of the market in WA.”
“The city advertised the property as being available on normal commercial terms and communicated its preference that proposals incorporate live music and add something special to Fremantle’s mix.”
The Beerporium application will come before council for the vote at the end of February.
by ALICE ANGELONI