Gus' Place cafe on Bunda Street reopening with all-day dining, and dinner to come

Jil Hogan
Owner Fish Zafar outside the new look Gus' Place on Bunda Street.
Owner Fish Zafar outside the new look Gus' Place on Bunda Street. Photo: Ashley St George

With a firm nod to its history, the new-look Gus' Place is almost ready to open.

New owners Fish Zafar and Hazel Tate will re-open the cafe to the public on September 12.

Walking inside feels like stepping back in time, with its teak wood wall, marble columns, cosy maroon banquette and plenty of brass touches.

A wall map inside shows Canberra in 1967, from the street directory, with nothing north beyond Lyneham.
A wall map inside shows Canberra in 1967, from the street directory, with nothing north beyond Lyneham. Photo: Ashley St George

"Gus' has a lot to do with the European style so we've kept a homage to that a little bit, but added modern touches," said Zafar. 

"Attention to detail was our big focal point. So you can see a lot of brass touches here and there, a bit of black marble to brighten it up but we kept old elements such as the floor. This is the same floor that started in the building in 1948 I believe it was, so it's just been topped up and fixed."

Inside has been completely redesigned, with a service area in the middle and some seating around the edges, with the majority of seating remaining outside in the revamped outdoor greenhouse-esuqe dining area.

The interior feels like stepping back in time, with a teak wood wall, marble columns, a cosy maroon banquette and plenty ...
The interior feels like stepping back in time, with a teak wood wall, marble columns, a cosy maroon banquette and plenty of brass. Photo: Ashley St George

Blending old and new, the fit-out has a few historical touches like a wall map of Canberra from 1967 from the street directory, when there was nothing north beyond Lyneham, which is also printed on the menus.

The new all-day seasonal menu has 21 items which are classic cafe dishes with a twist, plus house-made doughnuts and pastries will be served all day.

"Expect certain dishes like scrambled eggs but we've done a chilli crab infused scrambled eggs," said Zafar.

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"And pancakes or hot cakes - everyone has that. But we've done it with matcha green tea, and agave syrup."

A giant customised coffee machine takes up a large part of the indoor bench, with a unique Gus' blend of coffee. Other than a few soft drinks, all beverages are also made in house, from sparkling water on tap to smoothies, juices and shakes. The venue is also licensed with a focus on local beer and wine.

In four to six weeks, Gus' will also add an evening service, with a shared tapas-style menu.

The venue's predecessor Gus' Cafe originally opened in 1965, and was the first venue to introduce outdoor dining to Canberra in the 1970s.

It has remained closed since June 2016, and it was a competitive process to take new ownership of the venue, with more than 70 applicants to bring the Canberra icon back to life.

Gus' Place opens Tuesday September 12, 7.30am-4pm and is open seven days. 8 Bunda St, Canberra.