New owners re-open Gus’ Café in Civic

As of 1 January 2018, the management of the City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy transferred from In The City Canberra to the City Renewal Authority. Views expressed in these articles may not reflect the views of the Authority.

Gus’ was the first café in Canberra to offer outdoor dining, in the 1970s. Not an easy task because the government at the time were concerned about risks associated with eating outside. The new owners are excited to show their renovation of the Canberra CBD icon.

The café is now heritage listed, as it ‘illustrates intangible heritage values’. It may surprise some that the building is not heritage listed, allowing freedom to change the layout and external facade.

According to the ACT Heritage Council, it is the history that gives Gus’ Cafe its strong cultural and social heritage, which is significant for the local community.

Gus Petersilka, the original owner, was named “Canberran of the Year” in 1978 and has a memorial plaque outside the café, placed in 1998 by the Canberra Recognition Committee.

New owner Fish Zafar aims to do justice to the nostalgic venue, whilst shedding a modern and fresh vibe to the new café that is Gus’. A new re-fit and menu options have generated plenty of excitement already, amongst the Canberra CBD community.

Green Tea Hotcakes with cinnamon stewed apple, yuzu curd and dark chocolate – is just one example of the innovative café cuisine on offer at Gus’. The Hotcakes have strong competition, with offerings like the Poached Pear Waffles with salted caramel semifreddo.

Gus’ has also developed its own blend of coffee, known as the Canberra blend. Gus’ currently trades 7am-4pm seven days a week, with plans to open for dinner later this year.