LOCATION: 22 Challis Ave, Potts Point NSW 2011
The inspirations for me were summer roadtrips to Montauk when I was living in New York, the roadside clam shacks that flip up their shutters and awnings for the summer months, with umbrellas and benches scattered around on the pebbled ground. I interpreted this to fit the space on Challis Ave, bringing the beach to Potts Point. After visiting Whitstable in Kent, I was left with a love of the sand on the floor and chalkboards, a casual approach to dining but with really good quality food. At The Fish Shop everything you eat is organic and locally sourced, put together by chef Jeremy Strode.
All the high tables are covered in chalkboard oilcloth that can be easily wiped down and the table legs are based on a table I saw in Amsterdam with a beautiful picnic feel to them. The metal shades over the counter were customised with red stripes and the longitude and latitude of 22 Challis Ave.
Out the back I created an amateur fishing club. I lined the walls in the underside of old floorboards to give the feel of the interior of an old boathouse – I got this idea from a favourite old book printed in the 80s, Seaside Houses. Our blacksmith covered the tables in zinc and put all the patches in them, there are lots of marble tops and some are even made out of plastic chopping boards. I recycled beautiful old English tiles that have a crackle. I wanted to have a few materials that weren’t toss-away.
In the space there are lots of vintage lights collected from all over the place, including Japanese glass buoys covered in knotted rope that our glasscutter hesitantly put a small circle into so we could turn it into a functioning light. I scoured Australia for old fishing nets, cork floats, cane covered bottles, an amateur shell collection from the 1950s, old canvas sails, hand fishing nets and cork fishing line (just like my grandfather had when I was growing up), glass bottles, shell lights and a huge collection of fishing flies and lures all make up the look & feel of this great little fish shack.