Check out these amazing photos of Freo from its ’80s and ’90s heydey!

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Blessing of the Fleet, ca1990
By
Published
Home >Forgotten Perth >Check out these amazing photos of Freo from its ’80s and ’90s heydey!
Share

Ah, Freo – or as we’ve been known to call it: God’s Country. The air is sweeter (so long as there isn’t a sheep ship docked), the sun is somehow always shining… The port paradise!

And the ’80s were an unprecedented time in Freo’s history, filled with the booming excitement of hosting the America’s Cup – and the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in the city that came with it.

We’ve taken a deep dive into the wonderful, fantastic, very excellent State Library of Western Australia Facebook page and emerged with these stunning photos of Fremantle in its sun-drenched, ’80s and ’90s heydey.

Plenty of Freo icons remain immediately recognisable, from the markets (pre-Henderson Street becoming a mall) to the ever-present Gino’s, Capri and Mexican Kitchen.

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Markets 1985
Fremantle Markets, 1985
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Gino's, South Terrace, 1985
Gino’s Cafe & Trattoria, 1985
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Gemallaggio Fremantle Italian Festival Parade South Terrace 1990
Fremantle-Italian Gemellaggio Festival parade outside Gino’s, 1990
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Capri Restaurant Mexican Kitchen South Tce 1984
Capri Restaurant, Mexican Kitchen, 1984

And while a few businesses have changed… High Street looks as pretty today as it did back in 1986, glowing with golden afternoon light.

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle High Street Round House 1986
High Street, 1986
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle High Street Round House ca1990
The Round House, ca.1990
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle High St Round House 1984
The Round House, 1984

Papa Luigi’s has undergone what feels like countless reinventions – but of course, we immediately recognised it as the now-home of Mediterranean eatery Sailing for Oranges.

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Papa Luigi's South Terrace 1985
Papa Luigi’s, 1985
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Papa Luigi's South Terrace 1985
Papa Luigi’s, 1985

Within a few years, Papa Luigi’s would become Miss Maud, and Marshall’s Burger Bar would transform into Don Vincenzo Seafood Restaurant… Although we would know it (…fondly?) as the Freo Hungry Jack’s.

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Don Vincenzo Hungry Jacks Miss Mauds Papa Luigi's 1989
Don Vincenzo Seafood Restaurant, 1989

Across the road, revellers could spend the night boogying at Visions Nite Club – now Metropolis Fremantle – or enjoy a fine ale or stout at the still-going-strong Sail & Anchor or Norfolk Hotel.

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Visions Nite Club Sail & Anchor, South Terrace 1985
Visions Nite Club, 1985
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Sail & Anchor Freemasons Hotel 1985
Sail & Anchor, 1985
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Norfolk Hotel, 1986
The Norfolk Hotel, 1986
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Oddfellows Cobblers 1984
Oddfellows Hotel & Cobblers Restaurant, 1984

Contemporary revellers may also be familiar with the Beer’s Buildings: Western Australia’s first synagogue, it’s now home to the multi-venue, aptly-named Old Synagogue.

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Beers Buildings Old Synagogue South Terrace 1985
Barri’s Complete Rug Centre, 1985

We also recently featured the South Terrace Piazza, which has become a hub for Freo’s vintage fashion enthusiasts – but check it out in all of its palm tree glory back in 1987!

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle South Terrace Piazza 1987
South Terrace Piazza, 1987

Another familiar sight is the Freo train station – which, bar a few extra bus lanes, looks much the same.

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Railway Station 1984
Fremantle Railway Station, 1984

A few icons didn’t last, though – like Pinky’s Bar, located at 79 South Terrace, or Fremantle’s last inner-city butcher, J & A Marchesani, who would move to Hilton after 19 years at 10 South Terrace.

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Pinky's Bar Bistro South Terrace 1986
Pinky’s Bar and Bistro, 1986
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle South Terrace 1985
Lango’s Foods, Marina Coffee Lounge, Quo Vadis Travel Agency and J.& A. Marchesani Quality Meats, 4-12 South Terrace, 1985
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Marchesani Butchers South Terrace 1993
Jo Fabio, John Marchesani and Paul Moscio, J.& A. Marchesani Quality Meats, 1993
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Interfoods Glifada South Terrace 1985
Interfoods, 1985
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Coles restaurant year?
Coles Fossey cafeteria, ca. 1990s (via Fremantle As It Was, As We Were)

Freo isn’t just about iconic locations, though – it’s also home to some iconic events that have taken place for generations, like the Blessing of the Fleet. The vibrant procession is popular throughout many fishing villages and ports, welcoming the annual fishing season – the Fremantle iteration, the first of which took place in 1948, particularly owes its beginnings to Sicilian migrants from seaside towns Molfetta and Capo d’Orlando.

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Blessing of the Fleet, ca1990
Blessing of the Fleet, ca. 1990
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Blessing of the Fleet, ca1990
Blessing of the Fleet, ca. 1990
Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Blessing of the Fleet, ca1990
Blessing of the Fleet, ca. 1990

And while we know it doesn’t technically make it into the ’80s, this 1979 image of the former Princess Theatre at the corner of Market and Leake Streets is just too stunning not to share!

Forgotten Perth Vintage Fremantle Princess Theatre Market St Leake St Nov 1979
Corner of Market Street and Leake Street, 1979

Some photos are available to purchase via the State Library of WA. All photos, unless stated, via the State Library of WA.

Tags: