Canberra – mini pubs and clubs guide

August 21, 2006 at 10:11 am | Posted in canberra, Out and About, Travel | Leave a comment
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Instead of doing an individual Clubs and Pubs entry this week I’ll do a brief wrap of all the venues I went to. Hopefully I’ll have something else to talk about if I ever go back!

  • King O Malleys – Civic – Inside and Outdoor seating, very casual atmosphere, perfect for after work drinks. Only downside is that there is no heating outside.
  • PJ O Reillys – Civic – Another Irish pub, hardly changed since my last visit a few years ago. Good but slightly more dodgy (only slightly!) than King o Malleys. It’s a fun night, often with live bands.
  • Bbar – Kingston – A more upmarket bar, suits would be the most frequent site, after a long day at work or a chance to catch up with friends.
  • Muddle – Civic – An excellent cocktail bar in the city. Small but comfortable, dress accordingly for a cocktail bar.
  • Mooseheads – Civic – An institution in Canberra particularly with the Armed Forces. It consists of a nightclub upstairs and a pub downstairs. I was particularly interested in going as it burnt down and rebuilt. My memory of the original was kind of fuzzy but the dim interiors remain. While other establishments might have few people late at night Mooseheads will generally always be busy.
  • ICBM – Civic – Another pub/club in the city. There’s nothing special about it but it is a decent place to spend all or part of the night. The big downside are the stairs leading up to or down to the bars. This can be quite a problem depending on how much you’ve had to drink.
  • Transit Bar – Civic – I believe it’s near the backpackers and has a fairly fun atmosphere with DJ’s, pool tables and random conversations. Again nothing spectacular but a good place to while away the hours. If someone knows a link for it that’d be great!
  • Mombasa – Civic – An African nightclub and supposed restaurant although I’ve never seen anyone get a meal. Sometimes it can be quiet but it is fun, even with a small group of friends. Well worth a visit.
  • Cube – Civic – Canberra’s only gay nightclub, after presumably replacing Heaven in that role. Great music to dance to and the drinks aren’t that overpriced. Although how recent events may affect its future/ownership is something to speculate on.
  • The Academy – Civic – While I didn’t go in, I thought it worthy of note to say that The Academy was once an idie cinema in Civic but clearly fell on hard times at some point in the past. From friends in the area The Academy is meant to be good.
  • Cafe Essen – Civic – Located next to Gus’ (below) a perennial cafe in Civic. With food and drink of reasonably good quality. Like Gus’ it’s greatest value is as a meeting place and people watching spot to while away a few hours with friends or a good book.
  • Gus’ Cafe – Civic – I have a soft spot for Gus’ after spending a good chunk of time here when I lived in the city. Here friends introduced me to Sticky date pudding and Mocha’s with Baileys. Both of which I tried again – yes nostalgia! – the Pudding was OK but not nearly as good as I remembered. Granted that’s probably just a trick of the mind. That or the time it took for the food/drinks to come out. I came back a second time to have that mocha and it was OK but once again the service was slow. Gus’ is a great spot and one of the few to have meals late (or at least Canberra’s definition of late).
  • Three Mothers – Civic – Great Thai food that my Thai aficionados eating companions rated highly. Again, if you know a link let me know.
  • Madame Hu’s (?) – Kingston – I think this is the name, and another Thai restaurant. IT was pretty good but Three Mothers is better. Canberra appears to have quite a few Thai restaurants so shop around, ask a local and you’re bound to go somewhere good.
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