Boutique bar bid refused by Town

Mr Bates-Smith, who owns The Wine Store in East Fremantle, and business partners John Poynton and Adrian Fini want to open an Argentina-inspired boutique wine bar at the west end of the town centre in a space currently zoned office.

However, councillors rejected the change of use at last Tuesday’s council meeting because of the loss of amenity for surrounding neighbours, despite officers recommending approval.

Several residents spoke against the proposal at the meeting saying the proposal would lead to noise and traffic problems but the business owners said they received significant support during two information sessions in September.

‘Fourteen people wanted to book a table at the first session,’ consultant Damien Newham said at the council meeting.

Mayor Jock Barker said he initially supported the application, but hearing residents’ objections at the meeting had swayed him to ‘reluctantly’ vote against it.

Cr Jill Goetze, who supported the change of use, said a small bar would help activate the west end of Claremont.

‘A restaurant was part of the original approval for the St Quentin building and I was greatly disappointed when it was rezoned to consulting rooms,’ Cr Goetze said. ‘I’ve been to The Wine Store in East Fremantle and seen a very well run small bar.’

Mr Bates-Smith, a former Christ Church Grammar School student, said he had initially looked at space in Leederville, Mt Lawley and the city but believed Claremont was the best fit.

He said they would now work with the council to reach an agreement.