Tetsuo opens just weeks after fire

Directors of Tetsuo NC Anneika Britten and Leighton Smith have just opened a new club.
Directors of Tetsuo NC Anneika Britten and Leighton Smith have just opened a new club.

A FIRE and six fire trucks in the weeks before opening night was not a hiccup Anneika Britten and Leighton Smith anticipated before launching Tetsuo NC.

The new Japanese animation-inspired venue, which serves imported beers and features vending machines, on William Street was three weeks from being officially unveiled when the co-owners got a whiff of smoke.

Mr Smith said the flames, believed to be sparked by a discarded cigarette butt, spread fast.

“We were here speaking to each other from one side of the venue to the other when we started smelling smoke and saw the whole back area on fire,” he said.

“It was less than a minute that it moved from one section to the other.”

Ms Britten said their quick response was not enough to control the blaze.

“We hit it with three fire extinguishers and realised it wasn’t going to go out and at that point the fire department had been called; they had six fire trucks here,” she said.

“Anyone you talk to in the industry who starts a new bar tells you it is not an easy task; we had it too easy and we were just waiting for something to go wrong and then it did.

“We made the decision that we would continue with the opening date that we had and then it was just hell for leather.”

Mr Smith explained the origin of the venue’s theme.

“We were discussing different demographics in the area and I’m a big fan of animation – one of my favourite movies is Akira – and as we delved a little further into that movie we realised there was more we could pull from it and derived post-apocalyptic ideas,” he said.

Ms Britten said it also fit well with the grunge resurgence happening now and the latest obsession with the 1990s.

But the pair did not have to travel to Japan to source the furniture, with the Japanese vending machine and table crates sourced in Perth.

With the fire scare now a distant memory for the owners, the venue enjoyed a sold-out gig at an opening weekend earlier this month.