For a place with such a teeming creative community, Fremantle has always been a little lacking in nightlife. That’s what X-Wray owner Greg Leaver and sound engineer Clancy Travers discussed over a drink one night.
The result of their chat is Strange Company, a sleek bar in Freo’s west end. With its grown-up decor, novel-length drinks list and solid tapas, it’s reliable when the sun goes down.
The bar avoids the too-trendy trap with a timeless fit-out from architect Michael Patroni at Space Agency, who also did neighbouring venue Bread in Common. There’s wooden panelling, indoor bamboo plants and a long bar perfect for meeting strangers at.
Behind said bar there are several local beers on tap, including Feral Hop Hog, Last Drop Pilsner and Eagle Bay Pale Ale. They’re curated by Travers’ brother Darcy, part-owner and a brewer with a bar background. The wine list is even longer, with stacks of WA wines mixed in with imported ones.
Head chef Chris Mannon-Bakaj is behind a menu made with top-tier local produce. The octopus ceviche, soaked in white wine and vinegar for up to two weeks, is melt-in-your-mouth tender. But the stand-out is stuffed olives wrapped in veal escalope and deep-fried – a recipe from Ricky’s nonna.