Patio Bar is a love letter to hospitality, not just the industry but also the act of welcoming.
Co-owners Max Kordyl, Kim Isaac and Rhela Belton are longtime Freo residents, “Big Names Around Town” (our words not theirs) and core figures on the social scene. Kordyl is an original owner of North Fremantle taco bar Piggy Food Co, while Isaac worked behind the bar at both Mrs Brown and Madalena’s Bar in South Freo.
According to Isaac, Patio is about “giving people a space for connecting … however they want”. The vision for Patio harks back to the venue’s former days as popular café X-Wray, which closed in 2016, and was considered by Freo locals as a home away from home. “Bars all contain the same ingredients, it’s how you jumble them all together,” he tells Broadsheet. Patio meets people where they’re at, and can change day-to-day depending on what people need.
The drinks list throws a spotlight on small and/or independent producers. “We want to shine a light on producers who are small, like us. The plan is that we all grow together,” says Isaac. His experience helming wine-focused small bars is evident, having expertly crafted a menu which features minimal-intervention wines from the Swan Valley’s Chouette Wine and Margaret River’s LS Merchants. Craft beer and cocktails are also available.
Food-wise, the focus is on small snacks. The team turned to pal Garrett Murphy, sous-chef at Madalena’s, to design a simple but satisfying menu including meatballs, braised lentils, focaccia with whipped ricotta, and cheese plates with pickles. “We’re so lucky to have a talent like Murphy as a friend. He’s got a knack for making uncomplicated food that’s really delicious,” Isaac says.
Patio’s commitment to hospitality and showing punters a good time means there are options for everyone. The team was adamant about catering to dietary requirements with vegan and gluten-free options on the menu and gluten-free beers and non-alc options stacking the drinks list. For Patio these considerations were always part of the plan, rather than an afterthought. “Whatever we can do to facilitate people having a good time, that’s what we want to do. We don’t see the sense in gatekeeping people’s idea of fun.”
Taking advantage of the off-the-Cappuccino-Strip location, Patio has an outdoor deck set-up with DJs on the weekends. Kitchen takeovers are also high on the agenda, featuring collaborations between local chefs and charity fundraisers.
“We want to build a community-driven, beating heart, social connection kind of place,” says Isaac, “but with good drinks.”