Cicerellos: A History 100 years and still going
With its unmistakably large boatshed style building, Cicerello’s is a Fremantle icon, with a history (that some might be surprised to hear) dates back 100 years.
Despite its large presence on the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, its beginnings were humble. Enter: Salvatore Cicerello, Italian immigrant and pioneer of the crayfishing movement in the Abrolhos Islands. Salvatore found his fortune when asked to salvage a cargo of Sandlewood on a sunken ship in the Abrolhos reef. He was paid £12 for each ton he recovered, which was enough to visit his family in Sicily. There he met his wife Nina and returned with her to Fremantle, where they had their son Steve.
Growing up working on fishing boats with his father, Steve made a connection with the sea that later compelled him to come back to the business of seafood. Due to the tough nature of life on the sea, his father encouraged him to embark on what became a 20-year interlude working as a boot maker. However, in 1958 Steve said goodbye to the boot business to pursue his vision to open a fish market, with a small fish and chip shop on the side, he called it Cicerello’s.
In parallel to this, nearly 40 years later a young and hardworking Greek boy named Henry Liascos, had spent his early years working for his families fish and chip shop in Adelaide. With a desire to open a seafood business all of his own, he bought Cicerello’s from its original owners in 1996 with Tony Unmack. Together they renovated the humble sized shack and made it two stories high, staying true to its roots with the original concrete floor and laminex tables.
With a Greek owner, compromising on the quality of produce was never going to be an option, thus at Cicerello’s you can always find freshly caught and local seafood wrapped plus our traditional fish and chips in butchers paper like the old days.
After experiencing success in Fremantle, the team decided to open Cicerello’s on the Mandurah boardwalk, only three years after the flagship was renovated. Both venues have been well-loved additions to the community ever since and people’s favourite spot to grab fish and chips by the ocean.