APRIL 2021


Please note: During April the Convict Cafe will be closed on Wednesday evenings and only open between 11am and 2pm on weekends.

Located inside the Gatehouse the Convict Cafe's food and service compliments the high quality of other products and services currently delivered by Fremantle Prison. The Convict Cafe is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm daily, and open from 6pm until late on Wednesday and Friday evenings.

The Convict Cafe is operated by Griffin Catering & Events. For bookings or information, contact the Convict Cafe directly on (08) 9336 2659 or email convictcafe@pmgroup.net.au

View the Convict Cafe menu here.

Catering Packages

The Convict Café provides delicious catering packages for functions or events inside Fremantle Prison as well as other local venues. They offer corporate lunches, cocktail functions, morning teas, afternoon teas and dinners

All functions at Fremantle Prison must be professionally catered for by Griffin Catering & Events. To find out more information about their function menu and pricing options please contact Mark Griffin, Director of Operations and Functions on (08) 9209 3791 or 0410 284 146, or email contact@pmgroup.net.au.

Menu Terminology

What does it mean to fightcoakum, tospeel the drum or to christen ayack? Do you own a skin, a dummy, a waterman or a wedge feeder? Have you ever met a swagchoveybloak or perhaps been passed someshofel by a smasher?

Convicts used a complex slang called flash language which enabled them to talk together about their criminal activity, as well as to ridicule their jailers, without being understood.

In the back pages of the York Police Occurrence Book for 1860-62 a police officer compiled a list of slang used by convict and ex-convict prisoners. The York Police had daily contact with convicts on work parties and ticket of leave convicts who found themselves in trouble again. The flash language list helped local police and officials decipher prisoners’ chatter.

The following terms have been used in the Convict Cafe menu:

  • a BEAKER HUNTER was a poultry stealer
  • to BUZZ meant to pick someone’s pocket
  • SMASHER referred to passing forged money
  • to be LAGGED meant to be transported

A number of convict-era terms and names appear in the Convict Cafe menu:

  • BROAD ARROW was the imperial symbol stamped on convict uniforms
  • BOLTER referred to an escaped convict who became a bush ranger
  • the FENIANS were an Irish nationalist organisation opposed to British rule in Ireland in the 1800s - many Fenians were transported to Fremantle Prison
  • CATALPA was the name of the boat used in the escape of six Fenian convicts from Fremantle Prison in 1876
  • MAGPIE was the slang term for the yellow and black uniform worn by convicts on work parties
  • Henry WRAY was the captain of the Royal Engineers tasked with supervising the building of Fremantle Prison
  • MOONDYNE Joe was Fremantle Prison’s most famous escape artist