FREMANTLE council has unanimously approved a bar-restaurant complex at the old heritage-listed synagogue on South Terrace – but no tenants have signed up yet.
Situated opposite the Norfolk Hotel, the development will include a restaurant with mezzanine dining, basement, ground-level and rooftop bars, a beer garden, and a proposed alfresco area on Parry Street, which will be considered separately by council.
The development will have no on-site car parking.
The complex is split into four tenancies with a common kitchen, but city officers noted that “tenants had not yet been found for the development”.
The applicant will now have to apply for a liquor licence, which could take up to a year to be assessed.
The synagogue was the first to be built in WA in 1902, when Fremantle’s Jewish population was only about 60 people.
A few years later the Jewish community started relocating to Perth and services ceased at the Freo synagogue in 1910.
The building was sold to the defence department in 1916 and since then it has been a cafe, a carpet shop and a clothing outlet.
The most recent owner got planning approval to turn it into a hotel, but said the heritage regulations were onerous and auctioned if off in May last year.
The synagogue is listed on the state heritage register.