Details of New Restaurant in Old Coogee Hotel Revealed by New Executive Chef Scott Brannigan

If there’s one thing Coogee is crying out for, it’s a local place to eat and drink. So when details emerged of an exciting new bar and restaurant planned at the Old Coogee Hotel, I had to learn more. I caught up with the project’s new Executive Chef and General Manager, Scott Brannigan.

If you’re big on the restaurant scene, you may know Brannigan as the Head Chef at Freo’s own Bread in Common. The immensely popular bakery and restaurant is one in a long line of projects spearheaded by Nic Trimboli and Adrian Fini, who are also the masterminds behind Little Creatures brewery. Old Coogee Hotel takes the same blueprint as Bread in Common; restoring a heritage listed building and creating a wonderfully rustic and natural space within.

And if the success of previous ventures is anything to go by, you can set your expectations high for their latest project.

Heritage focused

But before we dive into the juicy details, here’s a quick bit of history. The Old Coogee Hotel began life as a popular bar and holiday destination way back at the end of the nineteenth century. The hotel built itself a reputation as an institution, renowned for its pleasant gardens, a relaxed atmosphere and easy access to the beach.

Since its conception, the heritage listed building has been used as a clubhouse, the site of an unregistered racecourse, an orphanage – during Perth’s housing shortage post World War II – and finally a post office in more recent years.

So, with over 120 years of history residing within those walls, it’s refreshing to hear Scott’s plans for the hotel are very much built on celebrating the original heritage of the place.

‘We’re leaving the post office and the main pub…it’s going to be kept honest and pay homage to what was there before’, Scott explains during our catch up. ‘We’re planning a little cooking school at the back in the old kitchen, we would host dinners there and also do a cooking school where we might go to the garden and pick things to make…just in a small group…basically just have a good time.’

Homegrown ingredients

The menu itself will take inspiration from the gastropubs of the UK, which opens up all kinds of possibilities as the options with this approach are so diverse. The finer details of the menu are yet to be confirmed. In terms of ingredients though, Scott’s focus will be on homegrown.

‘Seasonal stuff, as much as we can out of the garden.’

And it seems the garden is shaping up to be one of the hotel’s key features.

‘We’ve rescued a whole lot of trees. The fig trees that are there at the moment are from a demolition site in Scarborough. The big olive trees are from Gingin – things that were going to be knocked out and replaced with other things – we’ve tried to rescue as much as we can. We even pulled out an old bay leaf tree from my place that we didn’t want and brought it down here.’

Bar and alfresco area

If you’re just after a cold beer or two in the afternoon sun, Old Coogee Hotel will be the spot, with a herb garden planned for out the front of the building and an alfresco area where you can sit and have a casual drink. There will also be a bigger bar in the centre of the building where the old fireplaces are. No more trips to Freo every time you fancy a beer!

It’s clear that the intention is to make use of as many of the building’s old features as possible. Even the old post office is being considered for use.

‘For now, [the post office] will be used as the gardener’s little shed, but we have got plans to develop it further down the track and maybe make it into something cool. But with the planning stages in place, we have to just take things one step at a time and work with the council, our neighbours and the people around as much as we can. Get the core of it established and keep adding to it from there.’

Local vibe

One of the most exciting aspects of Scott’s project is the value for Coogee locals, and he was quick to point out that this is a key focus.

‘It is going to be a destination spot but at the end of the day, after all the dust settles, it is for the locals and for the people to enjoy there… I’ll be bringing across my freshest approach to food that sits nicely next to some booze and a place for people to use on their back doorsteps.

There isn’t a massive amount of options down here so we need something for the locals.

I’ve actually just moved down from north of the river to be involved in this. It’s really exciting and I’m really looking forward to meeting the locals.’

Expect to hear more next year as the project develops further.

Are you a Coogee or Freo local?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Old Coogee Hotel Development and what you would like to see from the project. Feel free to leave a comment below.

 

Image Credit: Molly Schmidt / Fremantle Herald

43 Comments

  • Kim says:

    I would love to see a kids play area of some sort at the hotel, lots of local young families in the neaighbourgood normally go to little creatures because they can stay a little longer with the kids playing happily in the sand pit there. Any other ones can’t stay too long because the kids start running around the tables annoying people so if the kids are entertained somewhere it will be a win win for families, patrons and the hotel.

  • Diane Ainsworth says:

    As a Coogee local, I am so excited to see this come to fruition. It will be great to have something like this in the local area. Congrats to Scott and the team for having the insight to develop something quite unique for the area. It will definitely be a fantastic drawcard for the destination..

  • Tony Harben says:

    Congratulations on saving the historic building, we look forward to enjoying a meal and a glass of wine with you.
    We live in Marina Edge, Coromandel Approach, North Coogee.
    All the very best,
    Tony & Margaret Harben.

    • Leesa Matier says:

      I hope they will name Sections of the hotel after my Great Great Grandparents who built the hotel, Walter & Charlotte Powell.

  • Kath White says:

    Can’t wait to see this beautiful historic building restored. As a local I’m looking forward to relaxing in the alfresco with family and friends. Congratulations!

  • Matthew says:

    Hi Fleur,
    Do you mind crediting the Fremantle Herald and our photographer Molly Schmidt for the use of our photo.
    Thanks Fleur.

  • Lesley Blades says:

    My partner and I are looking at apartments at Coogee to buy,, so looking forward to the opening, we enjoy nice cold beer, and glass of wine with a meal. Good luck

  • Roo says:

    This sounds fantastic. We live just past Eliza Ponds and would most likely cycle down, so somewhere to chain up our bikes would be amazing if it’s possible? Super excited!

  • Ross Kirby says:

    Congrats Scott on this great initiative. The area is begging for something like this and I will be a big supporter of the venture.

  • Sand says:

    I would also love to see somewhere for kids to play, a sandpit etc as I know for us with 2 young girls we don’t get out much to local pubs/restaurants as there are no good kid areas!!

  • Daniela Mant says:

    At Last something great is happening to The Old Coogee Hotel. I am a long time resident of Coogee over 36 years. I remember attending Quiz Nights to raise funds for the upkeep of the Old Hotel. My husband was a member of the local Karate Club who trained and had their competitions there in the 1980s. I was also the treasurer of the ratepayers association back then, and we held all our meetings in the Hotel. It has been talked about for many years and now it has finally happened. Thank you to all involved. I look forward to once more enjoying the Old Coogee Hotel.

  • Colin Burdle says:

    We can’t wait to come and enjoy this new venture! we’ve often wondered what was happening with the Coogee Hotel as it’s a great place and we are in walking distance. If you’re looking for playground equipment, we can donate. Contact Colin on the email below:

  • Sue Lamont says:

    So good to have a local historical pub in Coogee! So many buildings being replaced with modern architecture – embracing local history will add charm. The idea of a Gastro Pub with home garden produce is perfect! Live over the hill so stumbling distance! Can’t wait!

  • Hayley says:

    Something to keep the kids entertained would be great, but maybe it could be something unique like a mini sensory garden with unique activities, e.g. mixing herbs for flavouring their chips and quizzes about the history of the hotel and local area.
    Love the idea that the hotel could offer both a casual beer as well as a decent quality wine too.

  • Asa Jarven says:

    Brilliant! Congratulations on your fabulous new project within walking distance from home!
    Hopefully with some “locals deals / members benefits’ to be able to access and encourage locals to support both in peak and down times. A nice combination of dishes with a mixed price range. Love Bread in Common.
    Good luck and can’t wait til it opens, hopefully soon this year!

  • Aaron Smith says:

    Well it’s been a long time in the making but well worth the wait. We will finally be able to stroll down the hill and have a beer or a wine or both and a nice meal without having to drive as a local pub should be. Coogee has been screaming out fir this fir years and now finally it’s about to open soon. I’m So excitedand proud of the heritage value and thought of the design which has gone into this project!!

  • Aaron Smith says:

    Do you know what date it’s opening Fleur? I’m a little excited that I can walk to our new local with the kids, on that hopefully they have a kids play area like little creatures.

  • Jim says:

    whats the likely timeline before it opens?

  • J Jones says:

    I would love to see an enclosed play area for the kids! It’s such a shame that so many restaurants lack kids entertainment areas.
    I would especially love to see true customer service – with a smile. Staff that are genuinely interested in providing good service and are proud of their job. Give me one place that treats me with respect and consideration and I would be more than willing to pay the money again and again. I want to be a regular somewhere! Unfortunately, there are few places that deliver this simple and obvious desire.

  • J Jones says:

    I would love to see an enclosed play area for the kids! It’s such a shame that so many restaurants lack kids entertainment areas.
    I would especially love to see true customer service – with a smile. Staff that are genuinely interested in providing good service and are proud of their job. Give me one place that treats me with respect and consideration and I would be more than willing to pay the money again and again. I want to be a regular somewhere! Unfortunately, there are few places that deliver this simple and obvious desire.

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  • Daniel says:

    I heard it’s going to open in October 2019, once the gardens are established.
    So looking forward to it opening

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Fleur Kane

Coogee Local

Welcome to Coogee Life

There is something special about Coogee, every day I feel extremely lucky to live & work here. Welcome to my world - I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
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