One of Fremantle's most iconic beaches is about to be reborn with the new restaurant and bar Bathers Beach House.
And in a West Australian first, sun lounges will be provided free on the beach itself – and anyone (not just customers) can use them.
The $6.5million redevelopment is Perth's only absolute beachfront restaurant, bar and function space built on the site of the former Fremantle Fisherman's Co-op Building, which was previously home to McDonald's and Sail Restaurant.
Just steps away from the pristine white sand of Bathers Beach, the new restaurant is helping to rejuvenate the area after the City of Fremantle invested in the area during the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup.
Long Jetty Holdings, responsible for the ever-popular Cicerello's Fremantle and Mandurah and award-winning Char Char Bull Restaurant, is behind the project with McDonald Jones Architects responsible for the design.
Given the long history of the bulding, the design is sympathetic to the architecture already in place and the building's art deco nature.
Director of Long Jetty Holdings, Nick Unmack, says: "Fishing Boat Harbour has a history of producing iconic dining locations and Bathers Beach House is no exception. Revitalising the building is a consequence of doing what needs to be done, following the initial burst of enthusiasm in the area.
"It's a sophisticated fit out that makes use of the area and is very Fremantle in its approach. We want to make sure this is more than just a restaurant and bar – we are putting our heart and soul into this."
Using wood from the old boardwalk and jetty from Bathers Beach, recycled teak from Papua New Guinea and turn-of-the-20th-century hand-made brass light fittings, the two-level building also has alfresco area. Renowned local artist Amok Island has also created a beachcomber mural for the venue.
The theme and ambience is focused on casual beachside dining with a well-priced bistro-style menu. Nick says the sun lounges are in the spirit of what Bathers Beach House is trying to do.
A view of the ocean from the bar at Bathers Beach House
"It doesn't matter if it's the after-work crowd, barefoot swimmers from the beach, families with kids or ladies in high heels wanting cocktails – we're happy to cater for everyone," he said. "We just want to make sure we have a laidback Australian feel while offering premium produce."
Opening in December 2014, Bathers Beach House will be open seven days a week.