A wine bar by any other name would smell as…

Who’s Your Mumma opened up last weekend.

The workers who finished it off need congratulating for the speed with which it was done. Really, even though the finish is minimalist (such as exposed concrete flooring), it was done pretty quickly for a fit out in Perth.

I haven’t had a chance to go there yet and am not entirely sure I want to.

I have championed a wine bar on this street (and for Fremantle) for a long time and argued against other locals who have opposed it.

This particular wine bar just isn’t what I was hoping for. I wasn’t exactly wishing for something with the class of a Must Wine Bar but, well, I’ve made my position clear in a previous post.

At the end of the day the aesthetic isn’t really me and frankly I don’t think it is really Wray Avenue either. Not that I claim to have specific authority over what is and isn’t “Wray” but I think I know the avenue pretty well. At the very least I have deliberately chosen to live here with a sense of what I was moving in to.

In my previous post, I wrote of the connotation the terribly named wine bar had with Ed Hardy clothing and couldn’t imagine how sooth I was being until I saw their sign and logo affixed to the building.

I wouldn’t be surprised is Ed Hardy sued for copyright infringement.


4 responses to “A wine bar by any other name would smell as…

  1. Hello.
    Guess what? Freo is constantly evolving. As is ýour’ avenue.
    I doubt anything built within the confines of the Fiveways building would have met your aesthetic ideals of what constitutes a Wray Avenue look, but what’s so offensive about the raw wood and unfinished concrete in the bar?
    As for your comments on the name, I’ll concede it ought to be spelled differently [Mama?!?], but dude, it’s only a NAME.
    Have you seen their huge wine list before deciding not to to attend?
    I doubt you would be missed, anyhow, judging by the hundreds who flocked in over the weekend.
    As for the logo, Ed Hardy’s company ripped off a long-established style of tattooing to splash all over their garish clothes for idiots, so I don’t they’ll be hearing from that almost-bankrupt brand either.

    • Sure, but I guess I don’t really see this as providing much of an evolution. There are some quality and diverse “looks” evolving around town – In the past year The Attic or Ootong and Lincoln have set up cool spaces without being particularly radical. But, realistically, most of the interesting Fremantle evolution is really coming from grassroots place-making and other collectives utilising existing (but currently under-utilised) spaces in innovative and creative ways. That’s why, when it comes to patronising traditional venues, I’ve found myself (very unfortunately) heading to Perth.

      Incidentally, I don’t really mind the raw wood and concrete aesthetic. I think minimalist-chic can maybe be done in more interesting ways, but the earthy-cum-industrial is kind of “Fremantle” at the moment and is probably well-suited to that space. But this is still out of sync with the name and the aesthetics connoted by it. I disagree that it is only a name.

      When I read the description of the target market in the venue’s application to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (I think I mentioned this is an earlier post), it pretty much described me and most of my friends and work colleagues exactly. Unfortunately, all of them have so far laughed at the name, groaned or asked if it is “serious”. The image they have is definitely not of a trendy, cool or funky venue. Their sense is that it will either be very low-brow and tacky or very try-hard. Apart from a couple of curious friends who live close by, I’ve generally been told, “No, I’m alright hey,” when I’ve suggested we check it out when it opens. This is generally surprising since pretentiousness is definitely not me and I certainly don’t suffer people who are. But hey, I’m only going by the reactions I’ve had when I’ve tried to talk up the wine bar on my street.

      So I disagree that it’s only a name. A name is a fairly significant factor in the branding of a venue, or anything for that matter. When it comes to creative naming, I think this is a lemon.

      Oh, and yes, I’ve seen the wine list (if it’s the same one as was submitted to with the Application for a Liquor License). I’m not a wine expert by any means, but I thought it had some interesting things on there. I did think the wine, and* the menu, seemed a bit expensive, particularly given that it’s “within the confine of the Fiveways building” and does not have a fine-dining aesthetic, but it’s Western Australia in 2011 so it’s probably pretty standard.

      Really, I don’t think that I’d really care at all if there were two or three similar venues nearby, but this is likely to be our only such place in the area for the foreseeable future. I had saw it as becoming my “local” where I would regularly frequent a couple of times a week with friends. I had put a lot of hope into it and, as I said, I’ve strongly defended the idea of a wine bar in that space against the resistance of many locals. I even briefly toyed with the idea of opening a similar venue in Fremantle myself a few years back (and, yes, I realise that I probably would have had jerks like me writing or saying just this sort of thing about my venture). So I’m really happy that something has happened here to contribute to this are and Fremantle generally. And I don’t mean to belittle the work the owners have put into setting it up – starting such a venue is a huge task.

      At the end of the day I’m only one potential customer who happens to have a (free and fairly inconsequential) blog, and my tastes are fairly specific. If this wine bar finds a market, more power to it; I genuinely wish it all the best.

      * Correction: I bumped into a friend last night who had just been to this venue and he said it was nice though he did remark, with a sneer (and independent of anything I said), that it was a “shame about the name and the tiny sign.” I asked about drink prices and he said they were reasonable and he paid less ($8.50 a glass) than I remember any being on the drinks menu submitted with the license application. So I must be rememerbing incorrectly or prices have changed. I’ve corrected that comment.

  2. Fair enough!
    It is a shame there aren’t more venues like this opening anywhere nearby, but maybe,as the public begins to see that small bars don’t spell the end of civilisation as we know it, then the licensing will ease and more will appear.
    Given that you sounded so excited about the opening, maybe you should give it a try and ignore the unfortunate name?

  3. In regards to the public seeing small bars as the “end of civilisation” (and I couldn’t sympathise with your view more), a friendly word of advice (since I’m guessing you’re the owner/proprietor/investor/manager etc. of the bar).

    I noticed tonight on my way out that there were several cars parked on the south side of Wray Ave approaching the roundabout in the “No Standing” zone. At least one of these was an employee – he was carrying stock in to the bar. Many of the locals I have heard voice opposition to the bar argued that it would cause parking problems etc. It’s a thorny issue on Wray. I personally couldn’t possibly care less about this but there are people around who, lame as it is, will dob you in to the council and get inspectors to ticket your customers/staff if they park in such spaces.

    When the Fiveways building was built, 3 parking bays were deleted and some people still chafe about it. At a precinct meeting, this was a major cause for concern when the application for this wine bar was submitted. Just be careful, hey.

    Also, congrats on your success. Your bar looks packed, and in a climate where it’s tough for small businesses that’s pretty cool to see 🙂

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