Monday, October 13, 2014

COMING SOON - Littlefoot bar, Footscray

Westies - buckle up your boots.  A bar in downtown Footscray is COMING SOON!

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Il Paesano, the rather down-at-heel pizza shop, is currently being transformed into Littlefoot.  This new bar will feature acoustic live music, "high-end bar food and share plates", "boutique and craft beers", wines and cocktails!

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The brains behind the 'foot are Stuart and Liana.  They are residents of the inner west, own The Idea Collective in Nicholson St (a creative co-working space) and previously ran Bebida Bar & Cafe in Smith Street (2003 to 2013, and shown above).

Stu and Liana are really passionate about the area and all the riches on offer.  Stu was one of my amazing Rickshaw Run volunteers this year, coming down three times over the weekend (including once at the last minute) and eventually running one of the rickshaw-pulling teams.

They say:  "We have a love and respect for the many cultures in the past and present of Footscray and our menu will be influenced by and pay homage to them...  We believe a hospitality venue should enrich the area it is in.  It is fed by the community but also strengthens, supports and nourishes it."

The name is inspired both by the above - "little Footscray" - but also reflects Stu and Liana's commitment to sustainability and minimising their environmental footprint - "little footprint".

But when, when, WHEN you say?  The permits are slowly chugging their way through Council but the goal is late November.

I cannot wait to see these guys put the foot in Footscray!  Bring it on!


14 comments:

  1. I knew this day would come. Footscray is turning into Fitzroy, or worse, Northcote. Time to move to Sunshine.

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    1. I don't think a bar is that terrifying! I don't think Footscray will ever turn into Brunswick St, Fitzroy - ie, a bland street that is a shadow of its former alternative self, attractive only to out-of-towners. A bar opened on Victoria Street when I lived near there 10+ years ago and Vic St didn't go down the gurgler. I have been a huge champion of Footscray "as is" - read posts back to 2009 if not convinced - but I've always thought that a measured dose of bars, cafes, a bookshop or two, an independent clothing store etc would bring so much to the suburb yet take nothing away. Except maybe a hairdresser or a chemist.

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    2. Wow, one bar and the whole place has gone to seed! Better tell that to the thousands of people who shop at Little Saigon each week. They may have to go to Sunshine too.

      I know Liana and Stu and they are lovely folks. I rapt for them and for us that they are pioneering bar-dim in the Scray. Yay :)

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    3. I know Juz - bit OTT, right?! Love that you know Stu and Liana - the west is not six degrees of separation - I'd say it's about three!

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  2. Scuse the bad auto-correct (ahem) spelling in the last post! Three degrees of separation is right, even less for avid social media users :)

    I met Liana through work a decade or so ago. Really looking forward to seeing what they come up with at Littlefoot. Bebida was a lovely place and I'm sure they'll do well in the Scray :)

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  3. Zomg hurry up, council!! This place sounds fantastic!

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  4. Ha! Granted, Victoria St is a good comparison. I'm still dealing over the loss of the Royal Hotel, where as a hip bar doesn't seem to fill the void. None the less, I'm sure ill be there at some stage hypocritically enjoying a craft beer from some eco micro brewery!

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    1. Good on you for being a good sport, spleep?. (Still trying to work that one out - sleepy sheep people = spleep? ;-) I do understand where you are coming from and I know I will know an example of what you are railing against when I see it. Littlefoot is not going to be one of those bland hipster places that could be anywhere in Melbourne - I truly believe it will be actively enmeshed in the community, through menu inspiration, ingredient sourcing, local musicians and so on.

      A couple of other examples as to why hip is not always shit: although Guerilla Espresso looks trendoid, I don't think there's anyone in the 'scray who accuses it of being a hipster flagbearer of the suburb's doom. From its outset it chose to explicitly engage with the suburb as is, by choosing a site that very few other cafes would go for, right next to all the forklifts and smelly gutters of Footscray Market. They buy all their F&V from the market and get the crispy pork for their famous pork rolls from a local Canto BBQ joint. Also 8Bit - one of the owners, Long, is part of the family who own D&K live fish and grocery and is a long-term resident of and passionate champion of Footscray. His whole family have been very supportive of the Rickshaw Run and other pro-Footscray endeavours.

      So while I get what you are saying, I do advise caution - not just to you, but everyone - to not have a knee-jerk, doomsaying reaction to anything that is vaguely cool. There's often a lot more under the surface than you realise. I'll see you at the bar for an organic microbrewed artisan ale. ;-)

      PS: I also agree that losing the Royal was a huge shame. There are a few pubs around that if they could just have hung on, could have been fantastic little local gathering places once again (I'm thinking the Albert in Essex St and the Buckingham in Buckingham St).

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