Hippo Relaunch as… Hippo Co
by The Editor
Attention hipsters! Leave your bicycles at the bottom of the stairs!
After thrilling Canberrans with the appearance of a beautiful, glass-walled balcony looking over Garema Place, it felt like only three minutes later the doors of Hippo were closed and a suprise refurbishment was underway. Now it’s back with a stripped-back look and a ‘Co’.
For those that have spent many an evening up the stairs and in this delightful cocktail bar (nee: lounge), the layout will be familiar. However, don’t expect a revolution on your next visit: this is a reskin and a refine as opposed to a redesign. Truth be told, the design though after twelve years of setting the standard for mixed drinks in Canberra, needed little tinkering. Enter there, order here, sit there, toilets out the back. Done.
One of the new features is an extensive whisk(ey) list, the likes of which Canberra hasn’t seen for a few years now. Punters will be able to chose a dram of around 200 tipples ranging from the accessible to the exemplary, and we’re fascinated to see what resides at the top end of the list.
There’s a whole new bar set-up, which is a long way from the original, basic (though well-serving and very well-loved) version: the 2013 edition is topped with a counter made from an old basketball court. Brickworks line the walls and a curved, panelled wall curves into a ceiling on the opposite side of the room from the bar. The Asian influences that provided the ‘opium den’ feel of Hippo Mark I are gone. Here we have the post-industrial version with raw materials matched by an equally simplified drink list.
So, make your way in to see the new Hippo Co this Saturday (10 August). It’s yet another welcome addition to the Garema Place bar crawl, and we look forwrd to many more years of fine times of Hippo Co in this new iteration.