North Fremantle’s Propeller reopened its newly renovated restaurant last weekend after a short hiatus, unveiling a larger covered dining room to protect against the elements.
Owners, and husband and wife team, Siobhan Blumann and Hamish Fleming, felt the refit was required.
“We wanted to give our customers and staff the building they deserved,” says Blumann.
The old dining room, a converted bus garage, provided ample outdoor space that was sought after in the summer, but come winter, the rain, hail and Fremantle Doctor provided more of a challenge.
Blumann and Fleming worked with Michael Patroni and Tobias Busch from Spaceagency – the architecture practice behind the award-winning work at Alex Hotel and Petition in the State Buildings.
“We’ve built a whole new structure over what used to be the lower terrace,” says Blumann. “This structure forms a second dining room, which flows into the original room, doubling the interior space. The brief for the new room was to preserve the feeling of being outdoors, which the architects have done brilliantly with a soaring ceiling that lets in light, and wrap around louvred windows. We’re thrilled with their design.”
The couple also used Texo Australia, a Freo-based building company, which pre-fabricated much of the structure before construction began. This enabled the project’s two-month turnaround and a new look suited to Fremantle.
“We think the new structure looks fantastic against the backdrop of the old North Fremantle Town Hall,” says Blumann. “It’s very interesting architecturally and it has definitely increased our street presence. We love how you can still view the original mural on the wall of the town hall from the dining room and watch the kids play in the park whilst having dinner.”
Despite the main restaurant being closed during the transition period, the on-site shipping container continued to serve guests as the “Propeller Garage” pop-up. The trial was an opportunity to experiment with smaller street-food-style Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Lebanese share plates.
“That got a great response so we’re incorporating that into the menu,” says Blumann. “It was great to still be able to be there for our customers, albeit in a reduced space. The chefs really enjoyed going back to the foundations of their culinary influences and you’ll see a lot of that reflected in the new menu.”
222 Queen Victoria Street, North Fremantle
(08) 9335 9366