An Iconic Freo Cafe Returns to Life.

The funky old Breaks cafe in High Street has reopened after an eight month renovation. With it comes an opportunity for local artists to display their work. 

That will take many Freo artists’ minds back to the days when Old Papa’s supported Fremantle’s young and talented artists at the beginning of their careers. The result was that the entire life style of the city changed. Breaks is offering the same opportunities.

Jane Woolley, Breaks owner and manager, is worth chatting with about hanging work. In fact hooks are already in place. Jane says: “We’re happy to be back after the extended break. We missed our beautiful customers, and the West End life, but they’re finding us again which is great. The walls are a bit bare but we’re ready to hang artwork. We want to encourage local talent, established or not, to show their art and keep that ‘Freo feeling’ going”.

Jane says any artists who wish to have work for display should drop in, check the location and discuss ideas.

The High Street premises, opposite the police station, have a long history but those of us who were around in the mid to late ‘70s will remember it as a licensed spirit bar into which many local traders would slip for a bevy or two at the end of a busy day.

Breaks, in it’s new plumage, has retained the character of the past. The famous ‘staircase to nowhere’ has a new sense of direction and leads to a cosy new mezzanine, a great spot to chat. The original floor has been polished and the pressed tin ceiling retained and beautifully repainted.

The old Spirit Bar haunts the new cafe as the menu has a selection of wines, boutique beers and a few cocktails, including Bloody Mary’s, all at reasonable prices.

Breaks always had a reputation for the best breakfasts in town, not to mention light lunches and brunches. Zeljka is the kitchen hero, she’s Breaks engine room and is back with a vengeance! Dare I recommend a Bloody Mary to help digest a breakfast of mushrooms in black truffle oil, poached egg and crispy bacon (the way it should be)? This could be a habit forming, daily, kick starter. If not daily make it a Sunday morning.

Breaks coffee is among the best in town and none of the prices on the varied menu have increased by more than a few cents in past four or five years.

This cafe and art space is destined to be one of the best locations in the city’s West End for new and established Freo creatives who enjoy a welcoming nesting place. The new sound system doesn’t suffer from distortion and is kept at a level which makes it possible to hold conversations without shouting. That will suit the brigade of students and others who enjoy the new high speed internet connection while working, studying, chatting and maybe romancing a bit in the mezzanine’s private atmosphere while generally helping to give the West End a buzz.

BREAK’S is at  85 High Street, Fremantle.


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