Published on theMusic.com.au, Sept 2015
There’s a welcoming vibe surrounding every aspect of The Local Hotel, and it might be because its name is a true reflection of what it offers South Fremantle.
If you had step foot in the venue six weeks prior to doors opening, it would definitely still feel like a Freo venue (the piercing purple Dockers paint job would make sure of that), but renovations leave little remnants of the bar once named The Seaview Hotel.
The design of the main bar and hangout area is simple and affective – it’s bright and not too cluttered, with artwork from local artists scattered throughout the room, and a big metal anchor hanging on the wall – a nice nod to the local team without screaming it.
One of the first things you might notice is how homely it feels, which is exactly what owner-operator Phil Thompson was aiming for when reconstructing and designing the local hangout with Ross McPherson.
“We’ve opened it up, we’ve lightened it up,” Thompson said.
“Just connecting it to the street because this strip, South Terrace, is I guess the life of the community. It didn’t have a very good connection to that. It had a minimal sort of Alfresco thing that wasn’t very well used.”
It’s the subtle elements that make punters feel at home, such as replacing the bar, non-intrusive music, and the fact it’s largely targeted at a local audience.
“I just wanted to make it a neighbourhood pub that was actually used by the neighbourhood.”
As well as catering for a local crowd, The Local Hotel also aims to shine a spotlight on the flourishing South Fremantle scene, which is evident in its restaurant menu and the soon-to-be implemented weekend food truck showcase.
Within the next month, the former drive-through bottle shop will be done up to host a range of food trucks from time to time, welcoming walk-by traffic.
While music isn’t the venues primary focus, local singer-songwriters will be on display from time to time to set the mood via acoustic performances, with big-names guests dropping by from time to time.
The accommodation upstairs is also undergoing a massive overhaul (the rooms and common area are looking quite nice already) and the new function/restaurant area is taking shape.
The Local Hotel opens from 11am weekdays and midday on weekends. Make it your local.