LEEDERVILLE’S seeing renewed signs of life after a summer of doldrums, with a bounty of new businesses popping up on the main strip.
Earlier this year there were at least a dozen empty shopfronts along Oxford Street. Long term icon Greens & Co went out of business early 2021 citing rent troubles, Tom’s Kitchen closed mid-2020 when they couldn’t agree on lease terms with the landlord, some closed during Covid and other empties predated the pandemic.
The strip’s now started to turn around with new openings and some “coming soon” signs hung in vacant windows.
One big boost has come from ABN Group’s office building opening up in June and bringing hundreds of employees in.
Vincent mayor Emma Cole said “while it’s difficult to see empty shop fronts, I’ve always remained optimistic that this would be short-lived and Leederville would soon be thriving.
“The injection of life from the ABN building and Electric Lane has helped drive more investment in the town centre, and businesses have seen the potential and growth in Leederville once again.”
On the main Oxford Strip Tagine Tapas and Grill moved into the old Caesar’s Pizzeria building this week. Bubble tea venture Presotea opened on Oxford in April and the owners like the area enough they’re already looking to open another type of business in Leederville based on what locals are keen for.
New businesses quickly moved into Electric Lane, the revamped alley between ABN and the recently renovated Leederville Hotel, including Abacus Espresso, hair salon Eesome, and Leedy offshoot restaurant The Servo servicing the lane.
New small bar Roberts on Oxford, which opened in December with a capacity of 50, is already looking to expand to 120 and the council’s due to decide at the next meeting.
There’s more on the way: Chef Will Meyrick opens his new restaurant Will Street on Carr Place this month and Vikka Pizza is coming to Oxford Street in October. The old Sweet Lips shop, empty since mid-2019, will soon host fish-ish restaurant Nuthin Fyshy, which uses vegan alternatives to alleviate the strain on the fish population.
Leederville Connect chair Anna Kelderman said the new openings would hopefully bring in new people who’ll fall in love with Leedy.
“Leederville has that great mix of people, jobs and entertainment that keep activity running all through the day,” she said. “I think that is why we see regeneration after down cycles, because there are multiple reasons to be here.”
With the suburb proving so popular, the council now plans to tackle parking concerns.
Options include asking for expressions of interest to build a multistorey carpark at the Frame Court or the Avenue carparks, to be considered at an upcoming meeting.
by DAVID BELL