Surviving for seven years in the hospo game is no mean feat – especially during these ~ Unprecedented Times ~. We’ve seen countless spots come and go for all manner of reasons, but in spite of how bleak it may feel: it’s not all doom and gloom. Some spots have emerged stronger than ever, and with enough years under their belts to even be considered institutions.
Mosman Park favourite Good Things is firmly in this camp, racking up plenty of love from GT locals (that’s Golden Triangle… or is it Good Things?), as well as plenty of visitors from further afield. With a new café open this week, they’re bringing their signature brunches to Freo – we dropped by for a chat to owner Sam Harkin about what the new spot will have on offer.
In their expansion south, they’re taking over an iconic, Brian Klopper-designed space on Bannister Street. Formerly housing the Attic, its exposed red bricks, mezzanine level and steel-framed windows not only reflect the converted warehouses seen around Freo, but are a classic example of the beloved late architect’s work. When we arrive, co-owners Jake and Mia are giving the place a fresh lick of paint.
“We’re just cleaning it up a little bit, going to make it a little bit brighter,” Sam tells us. “We’ll soften it up a little bit more with some greenery. If we came here and really tried to convert it into like, a clean white box… It would just look so stupid. We have to honour the space we’re in.”
“We’ve all patronised the café, everyone has a connection to it – it’s not unique to us, lots of people do truly love this venue. It’s got all these sort of, plugins, that really root it into being the venue that it is in Freo. We’re pretty lucky that we get to come and operate a business out of it, because it means that we get to be a part of that connection.”
Community and connection is at the forefront of their expansion – in fact, the purchase came purely through chance, chatting to another local business owner (and mutual friend of the previous propieters), while doing some Christmas shopping. “In a strange quirk, my partner and I would always come here, just as patrons. And then, this is the first cafe that Jake ever came to in Perth, when he first moved to Freo.”
With two other businesses in the area (Mi-Life on Cantonment Street, plus Service Denim on High Street), it’s all about making the locals feel welcome. He’s experienced first hand when newcomers have overlooked the locals, and considers it a guide of what not to do. “We’re doing a soft opening for locals, who we’re just telling through word of mouth […] Like, our customers that live in the area, that live in the West End are going to pay our rent. They’re the ones that are gonna keep us going through winter.”
Having said that, we’re sure there’ll be plenty of patrons willing to travel – especially when they find out that many of Good Things’ cult favourites will be available here, too. “We’ll start with the top four or five sellers,” Mia tells us, paintbrush in hand. “And then figure out how to build that out. The kitchen here is a quarter of the size of the other kitchen… But it’ll be like, the Good Things classic menu.” Fervent fans can breathe a sigh of relief – your hot cakes and chilli scramble are safe, at least for now. The smaller menu also allows for potential test kitchen experimentation, with special dishes rotating in and out. The approach in the kitchen mirrors the approach elsewhere – characterised by treading carefully but confidently.
Once the main café is up and running, you’ll also be able to grab your coffee and snacks to go from the teeny-tiny takeaway space next door – alongside loaves by Everyday Bread, milk, eggs and coffee beans from Double Double, the local roaster also helmed by Jake. A tried and tested menu, local produce and easy-breezy approach? Turns out “Good Things” really is an accurate moniker.
Good Things Fremantle is open now, and will be open 7 days a week, 7:00AM to 3:30PM.