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The Manuka Woodfire Kitchen team’s new small bar is exactly what Fremantle ordered

Vaseline 2 months ago

For nine years, Chef Kenny McHardy and his team have been serving wood-fired local produce and charming hospitality to Fremantle locals at Manuka Woodfire Kitchen. Earlier this year the team welcomed new bar Shirley’s to its ranks.

Manuka is an eatery where drinks play second fiddle, but Shirley’s Zeros feature on a rotating cocktail list and nostalgic small plates. “Shirley’s food is all about fresh bread, pastries and cakes, as well as cooking with premium ingredients and recipes from my past,” says McHardy. Flyer. “There’s a focus on food that I remember growing up. I’m not trying to be too clever with the menu, our drinks list is the star.”

McHardy and bar manager and lifelong Freo local Ellery Hill (also formerly at Manuka) have put together a classic cocktail list that leans heavily on local and small spirits and ingredients. The Myrtle is a delicate blend of Old Youngs 1829 gin from the Swan Valley, Lillet Blanc and a house-made marmalade. There is a short list of spirits, aperitifs and craft beer that also makes the most of Western Australian producers. The wine list is extensive with bottles from all over Australia and Europe.

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The space is clean, retro and uncluttered. It’s less glamor and more comfort, just as McHardy intended. There is a long granite bar and high seating, and the décor is accented with accents of cherry and gold. “Shirley’s was named after (my wife) Jody’s grandmother and it wasn’t meant too seriously,” McHardy says. “It’s a warm and inviting place to come and relax after work, for a date night or to catch up with friends.”

It just might be the one-size-fits-all bar style that every neighborhood needs. Whether it’s a quick drink, or if you want to waste an evening on small plates and a thorough examination of the drinks menu, the team at Shirley’s are well versed in hospitality. And it chose its moment perfectly.

“We had been talking about opening a bar for a while, so when space became available we jumped at it,” McHardy says. “I have seen Fremantle change so much in the last ten years. There used to be only a handful of decent locations and now we have so many options. It’s a great city for eating and drinking and we’ve created another space to enjoy cocktails and small plates.

Shop 6, 124 High Street, Fremantle
08 6185 1149

Opening hours:
Wed to Saturday 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Closed Sun to Tue