What lies behind

Ed

Pop quiz question: Where can you get a black pearl, a nose ring, a Nepalese tunic, a kebab, some collectable vinyl, some artwork from a pop-up gallery, painted nails and a Thai massage, all within paces of an easy park?

Hard-core fossickers will tell you that rewards like this abound in the warren-like malls and arcades of Fremantle. No chain store ennui here. Some fiercely individual businesses – many of them operating for more than a decade – have made their homes in the eclectic patch around Paddy Troy Mall and Fremantle Malls (the alley off William Street near Kings Square).

Emporium-style
Joynt Venture has moved premises a few times (from the Freo markets to a bolt hole in the piazza to the roomy premises it now occupies) keeping loyal customers on their toes. But they’re happily tucked away off Paddy Troy Mall and, after 40 years of trade, they’re the go-to place for everything from heavy metal and punk tees to hair colour, sunglasses, body jewellery, posters and coloured contact lenses.

Street smart
During the week there’s easy parking around Paddy Troy mall, and the vibe is relaxed; fine conditions for investigating the offerings at Wear 2, the business whose urban gear has been bridging the vintage, surf and skate cultures for seven years. Think tees, footwear, and hats, with clearance items sourced from the US and elsewhere.

Bike bits
Captain Walkers Cycles is a tucked away cyclists Mecca; a destination store with a loyal following, this one for lovers of hip bikes (plus parts and personable service) without the intimidating attitude.

Hard-core fossickers will tell you that rewards like this abound in the warren-like malls and arcades of Fremantle. No chain store ennui here. 

Bling
Around the corner on William Street, Fremantle Opals’ slick display and service shows why it’s won the Fremantle Chamber’s Retail Excellence Award for two years running. They’ve got jewel-coloured opals from around Australia and pearls from the north, set in all imaginable ways – rings, earrings, cufflinks and pendants. Not belly bars or ear lobe rings, though. That’s more the domain of The Piercing Places across the mall. And what you can’t find in body bling here is probably not worth having.

Funky threads
Harking back to the Kathmandu style first made fashionable in the 1970s? Nomad Gnome in Fremantle Malls has the solution in full technicolour. Drop-crutch pants, jackets, dresses and skirts in cheerful colours and prints are made to order in Nepal, for folks who like to dress in a way that’s not dictated by this season’s trends.

Spun tunes
Further down the mall, Junction Records offers great fossicking potential, with its shop full of new and second hand vinyl, CDs and DVDs. Having been around for 20 years, they’ve witnessed the ever-evolving music scene and have lived to see the rise (again) of vinyl, and the changes in music buying habits. Specialists in classic rock and psychedelic music, they’ve got plenty for the dedicated flicker-through.

Refreshment
When it’s time to get off the feet, Parlapa will be cooking up an authentic Italian lunch, and The Federal Hotel will be standing by to quench your thirst. And all without leaving this one compact patch of off-strip Freo.

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