Expanding: George Gregan is looking to open new hospitality ventures in Canberra. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Retired rugby legend George Gregan and his wife Erica are expanding their coffee and wine bar empire - with one, and perhaps two, new venues planned for his hometown of Canberra.
This week, the couple opened a new GG Espresso coffee outlet in Brisbane, and have revealed plans for some exciting outlets in Canberra.
Erica Gregan told us they planned to have a coffee bar opened by April in the Times Square building in Mort Street (once occupied by The Canberra Times, now occupied by Telstra). It will be either under the name GG Espresso or, its other brand, The Lobby Bar, with wine and food also on the menu.
Erica and George Gregan. Photo: Louie Douvis
"We would envisage on a Thursday or Friday night people staying back to have a drink and we're licensed until midnight," Erica said.
They are also looking for the right venue for a "very cool" European brasserie kind of outfit in Canberra, with Erica confident they will have one within 12 to 18 months. The couple did look at the former home of Fletcher Jones in the historic Sydney Building, which was sold mid last year. But they are still on the hunt.
"The site has to feel right and we will find it, we just have a lot on the agenda," she said, with their company focused on expansion this year, bringing the number of their outlets to more than 20.
Gregan, the former Brumbies and Wallabies captain, has always maintained strong links to Canberra, including his foundation raising money for a new playground at the new Women's and Children's Hospital.
"Canberra, George, has always thought of as home and the Brumbies are his special team so it makes total sense that we would end up in Canberra," Erica said.
There is already a GG Espresso outlet in Canberra at the Australian Institute of Sport.