A PROPOSED tavern in a mostly residential pocket of Fremantle’s West End has locals up in arms.
Dingo Brewing Co wants to build a two-storey tavern for 500 patrons in the old Fremantle Bait Supply building at 47 Pakenham Street, currently home to hole-in-the-wall cafe Ghetto Blaster.
The ground floor would house a bar, dining facilities and kitchen, while the first floor would have a separate bar, toilets and office spaces. Large on-site tanks would hold beer, though Dingo has no plans to do any brewing on site.
A heritage report prepared for Dingo notes the area around the site is “predominantly residential with a few commercial buildings”, which has residents such as Paula O’Dea and Hayley Lewis calling for the company to look elsewhere in the port city.
They were part of a group of around 60 residents who met with city ward councillor Adin Lang on Tuesday evening to outline their concerns and urge him to vote against the proposal.
“We are desperately trying to convince the council that although the development is a fabulous idea, it is definitely in the wrong place,” Ms O’Dea says.
“We are not anti-development and love living in the thriving social environment we have created in our town, but to put a licensed premises for 500 people, that can operate from 7am in the morning till midnight seven days a week is just not congruent with the small historical residential area.
“The myriad of problems that would come from this development, from anti-social behaviour, to noise, to parking problem, delivery problems – the list just goes on – is a travesty to the residential community living there.” Ms O’Dea says some of the group were opposed to any more bars, believing Fremantle risked becoming the new Northbridge, but others such as her would have welcomed something on a smaller scale such as Strange Company or another restaurant such as nearby Bread in Common.
Ms Lewis says the ceilings of the proposed tavern’s two storeys were so tall, it was essentially a three-storey building, and the upstairs bar would look out across to residents’ bedrooms. She was also worried about the noise from taxis and friends coming to pick up patrons at the end of the night.
Hospitality Total Services director Mario Sequeira, whose company is handling the application for owner operator Matt Walker, said they were aware of residents’ concerns and would do everything possible to be a good neighbour.
He said initial information suggesting 2am closing times was a mistake, and the tavern would predominantly open until midnight on Friday and Saturdays, and 10pm on other days: “The venue will be an authentic WA themed ‘farming’ offer, from the iconic Dingo logo to locally produced wagyu beef and beer,” Mr Sequeira said.
“The development construction will be respectful of the neighbouring residents and businesses; accordingly significant acoustic treatments will be incorporated in the building design.
“Additionally all entertainment will be through the in-house system which will have a sound limiter to ensure compliance with Environment Protection Authority guidelines are met with the closest noise sensitive premises.”
Mr Sequeira said all the windows would be closed by 9pm to limit any noise escape – an hour earlier than required by regulations.
“There are several residents and businesses who have expressed their support for the proposal,” he said.
“Dedicated staff will be assigned specific duties at closing time to ensure patrons disperse in an orderly manner, respecting neighbouring residents. There will be self-imposed conditions like food and seating to be available, CCTV throughout and covering the front of the premises.”
Public consultation on the proposal is open until June 9 at the council’s mysay.fremantle. wa.gov.au website.
by STEVE GRANT