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Parlapa Caffé

The Parlapa Caffé and Trattoria, at 11 William Street, belongs to Giorgio Balzarro and Ada Guglielmino—who is from Torino, and is also a journalist, author, film buff, and broadcaster (Hashtag Italia, Thursday 5-6pm, Radio Fremantle 107.9 FM).

Ada and Giorgio

The Caffé is in what I'm calling the 'Nixon' building in honour of one of its first tenants, Chas Nixon, photographer, who was there 1893-1933, before the Wrightson family, hairdressers, took over 7 William Street.


In 1893-4, the earliest year for which PO directories are available, the only premises between Nixon's (7) and the Federal Hotel was Albert Thompson's restaurant.  In 1897 it had become James Dalton's restaurant.  By the following year, 1898, it had become his restaurant and boarding-house.  In 1899 it was the 'fancy goods depot' of Moses Luber. (Moses Luber is buried in the Jewish Orthodox section of the Fremantle Cemetery, at F14, having died in 1901 aged 48.)

In 1900, it was a couple of plumbers: Willett & Arthur.  In 1901, no tenant is shown for 11; Ying Kee's laundry was at 9.

From 1902 a bookseller called P.F. Ryan was between Nixon (at 7) and the Oddfellows Hall.  There's no number next to his(/her) name for a few years, but when it does appear in 1905, it is 11.

In 1907 the Singer Sewing Machine company takes up residence at 11 William.  They stay until 1913.

Then in 1914, A E Arblaster, the saddler, arrives.  He was in the premises for an impressive 31 years, 1913-1945 inclusive.  Swansea Cycle and Motor Co had been in 9 William Street, the middle of the three shops, for some years, and the Swansea Service Station, mtr garage, was on the other side of 11, from 13 on.  And in 1946 they took over the number 11, so that the entry reads 11-19 Swansea Service Station, mtr garage.  There's a bit of confusion over the next few years, as the Swansea Cycle and Motor Co reappears.  In 1949, the last year for which PO directories are available, there is no entry for 11 - but I think that's just a slip, as the Swansea Service Station changed its name to Sands Service Station and the editor of the directory wasn't sure whether 11 was Swansea or Sands.  I think, however, that it was still in either the cycle or the motorcar business.

Which brings us to 1949, the last of the PO directories.

References and Links

William Street page.

Parlapa website.

Post Office directories.

Heritage Council page (quoted above).

See also: 'Nixon' building, Charles Nixon.

Garry Gillard | New: 10 August, 2019 | Now: 22 June, 2020