The Canberran

A snobby (though tongue-in-cheek) look at the finer sides of the National Capital. Got a tip? Email

Tag: civic

The Argument Against Uber

by The Editor


Today, Canberra’s taxi drivers went on strike to protest the potential arrival of the richest enfant terrible, Uber.

So who’s side are you on?

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Rant: Bunda Street Redevelopment

by The Editor


Anyone who has been into the city during the last six months or so could not fail to notice the construction work at Bunda Street. What you may fail to notice is what the point of all this disruption is, given the result of the ongoing roadwork.

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Hippo Co – A Lightning Review

by The Editor

Hippo Co

Last week we briefly previewed a refurbished and relaunched Hippo Co (formerly called Hippo Bar). We’d seen the interior during the build stage, but it was always going to be interesting to see what it all looked like once the finishing touches had been applied.

Anyway, last Friday night was the time to get frocked up and make our way back up the stairs from Garema Place to see what had become of the previously soft and sultry surrounds of the Hippo Bar.

Hippo Bar Shot

The firs thing you notice, particularly when the bar is not particularly full, is how sparse the bar now feels. Thanks to the removal of the heavy, vinyl ottomans and square low tables that previously dotted the bar, Hippo Co feels a lot bigger. Prohibition-era tables with fine wooden chairs dot the room, and the bench along the back wall is now covered in green leather that looks as though it was pulled from the Lower House of our old parliament.

And it is at this point that the old world Gentleman’s club feel kicks in. The ornamental trophies (not the kind you won playing netball, rather those that might return from a hunting trip) line the upper walls with vacant expressions.

The brickwork and wooden wall feature enforce the austere feel of the bar. When the lights go down the new lighting does well to soften the room, and it is then one notices the glittering, gold lettering of the extensive whiskey list. Made from an old notice-board style, with individual metallic letters pressed in the grid, the ad-hoc alignment of the names and prices add a more human feel.

The cocktail list has been updated and streamlined, now offering a more limited selection of tipples served in small, elegant stemware. Even Lonsdale Street Roasters is involved, supplying fresh coffee on a daily basis for the espresso drinks.

All in all, it’s a lovely experience. The biggest question will be whether Hippo Co will (or even wants to) be as attractive to groups of ladies who have for so long perched themselves elegantly around the bar. Hippo Mark II is indeed a different beast, and we’re fascinated to see how Canberra responds to Canberra’s latest addition.

Hippo Co
Upstairs, Garema Place
02 6257 9090

Dress Circle – Jade

by carlyjadedevine

Jade - Headshot

Meet Jade, the stunning legal secretary by day and the dancer, singer, DJ and handbag designer by night (and any other spare moment possible).

This girl has a schedule even a multi-tasker would struggle with and yet she manages to look ever so stylish while running to grab her morning pick-me-up coffee at Two Before Ten Café & Coffee Roasters before her busy day ahead.

When we spotted Jade she looked effortlessly chic donning bold red lips and a pair of nude Wittner heels, a stylish Witchery satin pencil skirt and  – our favourite – a colourful and cool patterned top from Sportsgirl. She loved her new bright blue iPhone case, and we agreed. It was the perfect accessory to go with a perfectly put together outfit.

Jade is one to watch. She is a talented gal whose handbag label, Jade Stone, about to launch with a bang, and already has a metre long pre-order list. Did someone say Australia’s Got Talent…? Perhaps you should keep a close eye on the television (the 16 second mark) if you want to see a familiar face!

Thanks Jade!


Mint Road Cafe and Dolce e Salato and Autolyse

by The Editor

Mint Rd logoYears after Silo had the Canberra bakery set pretty much sewn up, it appears a number of new players are moving into the cafe/bakery scene.  Be it with a focus on Italian cuisine, the sourcing of products from across the region, or classic French style, it appears there are plenty of options across the tree-lined avenues of Canberra for those seeking their daily bread.

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The Fast and the Flavoursome – Oishi Japanese

by The Editor

Back on the Eighties it was all big hair, PacMan and money, money, money. To counter the years of hedonism and indulgence Japanese food – especially sushi – became a worldwide hit as a healthy meal. We checked out the city’s newest offering – Oishi – to see what quick lunch was on offer.

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‘Sup? Oh, it’s a Hole-in-the-Wall!

by The Editor

'Sup SignageSup(?)

1. to take (liquid food, or any liquid) into the mouth in small quantities, as from a spoon or cup; sip. –

2. a greeting, an abbreviation of “What’s Up?” – Urban Dictionary

3. The city’s smallest cafe – The Canberran

There’s big plans for this little venue – and it all kicks off tomorrow.

New Roots: The Treehouse Bar Launch

by The Editor

Treehouse Logo

A Hippo, a Playground and now a Treehouse. The finer bars in Canberra seem to be adopting a playfully titular trend. This weekend sees the opening of Treehouse Bar in the Sydney Building. Who is this, what is it all about and why is this occurring?

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Jamie’s Kitchen – Canberra’s Latest Vindication

by The Editor

Jamie's Italian

It’s a funny thing, Canberra’s retail ‘cringe’. The news of Jamie’s Italian opening in the Canberra Centre – among outlets such as Supre, Aldi and Roger David – got fingers-a-tweeting late yesterday afternoon. But, really…why?

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The best of both beans – coffee at Koko Black

by Barrister Barista

Koko Black 8

Is it just us, or is there something depressing about supermarkets at Easter time? Tossing discounted (still expensive) Lindt and Cadbury into the trolley next to iceberg lettuce and jalna yoghurt just doesn’t say I love you, let’s get into a food coma this weekend.

We’re snobs, and we live in Canberra, so we passed on the supermarket queues and did some destination Easter shopping this year.  Aside from eggless / dairyfree / carob at the hippy grocery stores, our options boiled down to Canberra’s chocolate destination – Koko Black, Canberra Centre. While we were there, we had a coffee (or two). Passing up St Ali coffee is something our snobbery just doesn’t sanction.

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