Getting to Footscray and getting around with John & Paul (John & Kevin’s Fresh Fish)

This article is a part of Your Footscray – an initiative of the Footscray Business Reference Group supported by Regional Rail Link

It’s time for some fresh fish and sage advice from father and son John and Paul at one of the Footscray Market’s freshest fish shops. We sit down with John, Paul and family to discuss the best ways to get to Footscray.

Footscray is only 5kms from the city. What’s the best way to travel to Footscray from the city and why?
John: The best way to get to Footscray used to be the car but now, with so much traffic, it’s best to use public transport.

Paul: As far as the Market goes, the buses and trains are right out the front. Many people catch the train and the bus service is excellent, too. Parking is pretty cheap at the Market – just $6 for the whole day.

John & Paul at their shop
John & Paul at their shop

A lot of Melburnians refer to this part of Melbourne as “the West”, despite no one calling the east of Melbourne “the East”. Can you explain why this is?
Paul: Well, we are in the west, aren’t we?! The western suburbs were once rough and rugged and they’re still regarded as that today, so maybe that’s part of the reason. We were brainwashed as children to become Bulldogs members.

John: Footscray was one of the first western suburbs. Before Point Cook and the other, newer suburbs emerged in Melton, the West was really quite small. A lot has changed, some good some bad. I think there are too many people now but you can’t help progress.

Do you think Footscray is a safe place to walk around, especially at night and do you have any tips for staying safe?
Footscray station used to be a no no but there’s a good police presence there now. People still think Footscray is full of druggies but things have changed.

How much time do you think people should allow for exploring the food culture of Footscray and when is the best time of the week to visit?
You need a fair bit of time to explore Footscray. On a Sunday night, if you brought someone to Little Saigon, they’d think they were in Vietnam. They’d have their eyes opened!

Do you have any advice for people coming to Footscray? Any places they must visit or experiences they shouldn’t miss out on?
Don’t expect David Jones! Footscray Market is different: it’s a great place to shop – especially for fish!  We get our fish daily. What’s caught yesterday we sell today. The Vietnamese restaurants are unbelievable – a must see.

John & Kevin’s Fresh Fish
Footscray Market, Footscray VIC 3011

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