When the event ended, so did Kelp, but Kidogo Arthouse director Joanna Robertson is keen to bring it back, giving the City of Fremantle preliminary plans to include a small bar in the heritage building.
Ms Robertson said an online petition supporting the idea of bringing something similar to Kelp back to Kidogo was running strong, with 280 signatures collected to date.
‘Kelp was recognised as the most successful non-sailing event run during ISAF,’ she said.
‘A lot of money has been spent on trying to revitalise the area; however, it is pretty deserted for most of the time.
‘With the Kelp Bar at Kidogo Arthouse activating the area with a relaxed vibe, the area will draw more families and reduce the current anti-social park drinking that has increased due to the under utilisation of the area.’
At the strategic and general services committee meeting last week, councillors voted unanimously to give in-principle support for the bar, on the proviso that patron numbers do not exceed 120.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the success of Kelp@Kidogo during ISAF in 2011 had a ‘great Fremantle community vibe’ on the beach and locals had been calling for it to come back.
‘It is unique in WA to have a small bar right on the beach with no roads or anything in between and with a great working port backdrop as an added bonus,’ he said.
‘I believe it will be an iconic Fremantle venue and a real attracter for visitors and locals alike.
‘The challenge is making this fit into a 1850s’ heritage building without damaging it in any way, but I believe by keeping numbers low we can manage this challenge.’
Ms Robertson said the next step was getting support to add toilets to the Arthouse.
Visit www.ipetitions.com/petition/support-kelp-bar-to-re-open/signatures to sign the online petition.
Editorial on page 8