The Canberran

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

Tag: Garema Place

Provini – Do we really need another Italian restaurant?

by The Editor

Provini-600x400-8While Italy possess a rich culture of food and wine, you could be easily forgiven for thinking the cuisine has been done to death. In Australia, Italian food has become so homogenised we can barely get past a ‘spag bol’ or soggy garlic bread while searching for a true understanding of its traditions. Where do we go from here?

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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
management@hippobar.com.au
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Hippo Relaunch as… Hippo Co

by The Editor

Hippo Co

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’.

What gives?

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A Longer Shorty’s Stop-in

by The Editor

Shorty's Bar

Well, as promised last week, we have thrown ourselves into our work with journalistic and epicurean vigour (plus, it was Good Friday and options for lunch were few and far between). Off then to Shorty’s to trawl the menu for at least one seafood option…

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Get into Shorty’s – A mini-review

by The Editor

Shorty's Bar

On New Year’s Eve this year, staff and owners held a private party to farewell Milk and Honey after ten years on the corner of ‘Melbourne Lane’ and Bunda Street. Less than 90 days later, we’ve got Shorty’s.

So, what is it? Like John Travolta himself, is the site set for a renaissance?
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Ca va? Kava? It’s the National Multicultural Festival!

by The Editor

Multicultural Festival Logo

Fittingly, there is a lot of excitement around town for the Centenary of Canberra on 12 March.  That’s all well and good, but every Canberran who has been here at least 12 months knows that the greatest time in the nation’s capital is today, tomorrow and Sunday. Read the rest of this entry »

Bunda Street – A Wicked Problem

by The Editor

Bunda Street

Regular readers will be more than aware of our carefully thought through and eloquently explained opinion of the current state of Bunda Street.  In summary: not much.

With the focus of the city having been moved several years ago from the pedestrian-friendly Garema Place, an opportunity was lost to turn Bunda Street into an easily accessible service lane to supply a vibrant pedestrian mall.  Sadly, ACTPLA passed up on this opportunity, and we are stuck with a constantly gridlocked semi-carpark, dotted with overused zebra crossings while diners sit only metres away enjoying their lattes with the fumes of long-idling cars.

Brilliant.  So what next?

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The Cafe Formerly Known as Milk & Honey

by The Editor

MilkHoney-logo

They say a week is a long time in politics.  In the world of hospitality, ten years is basically a lifetime.  With that in mind, its worth tipping a hat to Miriana Cavic and Jamie Thompson who, for the best part of a decade, were the front-line faces of Milk & Honey.  On New Year’s Eve, the gang held a party at their Bunda Street institution, fare-welling staff, customers and friends with one last hurrah and closed their doors one last time.  It will certainly be missed.

In the early days of 2013 the keys were handed over to a new owner.  Almost immediately works began on refurbishing the venue – so what can we expect in the months to come?

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New Year’s Eve 2012-13 – Hippo Bar

by The Editor

Image: hippobar.com.au

Image: hippobar.com.au

Here we go – only days remain until 2013, the year we celebrate the Centenary of Canberra.  While we look forward to seemingly a hundred years worth of activities crammed into twelve months, it feels like almost ten years since a balcony at Hippo Bar was first proposed.  Now, as a present to the city’s birthday, the best view in Garema Place is ready for action with a special event on New Year’s Eve.

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Honkytonks First Birthday

by The Editor

Holy frijoles!  How quickly a year passes us by!

Last October we had no idea it would be the Summer of White Sangria, or that tacos would be available across the entire city in such short time. Muchos gracias, Honkytonk – it’s been a wild twelve months.

To celebrate it’s first year, still in nappies and not quite walking – Honkytonks is bringing us ‘The Best of the Wall’ – a party which will feature favourite artists who have been part of the Wednesday evening art show since inception earlier this year.

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