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Cult Braddon eateries Barrio Collective and Lazy Su’s have confirmed they are opening off-shoot restaurants in Civic’s business district.
The establishments are joining a growing collective on No Name Lane and the block underneath the new Mayfair apartments on Alinga Street and West Row.
Just this week, Malaysian Street Food restaurant Ming’s Pantry opened its doors on the strip, while Supa Bowl Poke is due to open shortly.
The decision by two of Braddon’s most successful businesses to open in the precinct bodes well for the laneway redevelopment which already hosts Doughnut Department, The Goods Wholefoods, and Mayfair Espresso. There’s an Asian grocery store on-site while BWS Liquor has also taken a lease.
Colliers’ Michael Ceacis confirmed negotiations were also underway with a blow-dry bar and florist.
Barrio boys Duncan Turner, Dan Zivkovich and Sam Burns said they were excited to expand into a larger venue than their popular coffee and light meal café on Lonsdale Street. But nobody panic, Braddon Barrio would continue to operate as usual.
The new space will focus on “hand-held food”, capitalising on Barrio’s standing-room-only popularity when it has hosted food events in Braddon.
According to Duncan, “we want to open a venue that focuses purely on food and celebrates it in a fun and interesting way. We deal with some really great local suppliers in the cafe and we don’t always have the kitchen or the menu space to explore what’s available as much as we might like.”
He added that “No Name Lane is really appealing because we like that area of the city and it’s an opportunity to be involved in something that really opens it up to people in a new way. Sam and Dan have history in the area having worked at 2 Before 10 when it was in Canberra House and I think they’ve seen the life that’s in that area and the possibilities that come with that. Plus there’s some great venues there already and a few in the works so it’ll be a nice area to hang out and spend some time there.”
The team is hoping to open the doors of the yet unnamed eatery by May at the latest.
Similarly, Asian food juggernaut Lazy Su is expanding to open a fast, casual and delivery-based venture on the West Row side of the block.
Co-owner Jared Calnan said he and partners Andrew Duong, Shao Yi Kuek and Ben Ilic had been blown away by the success of their restaurant at the top end of Lonsdale Street.
They wanted to open a more casual concept in the coming months that would cater to walk-in customers.
Jared said he believed No Name Lane would eventually become Canberra’s next food hot-spot.
“We refer to that part of the city it as ‘downtown’ and we feel like it is the business district of the city which, for a long time, has been under-serviced in terms of food, compared with other parts of the city.”
“With the combination of new food businesses opening, as well as more apartments going up, it is starting to build a critical mass in terms of customers coming to, working in, and living around the area.”
One of the first businesses to open in the precinct, Doughnut Department, welcomed the injection of new talent. It was among the first businesses to take up a lease in No Name Lane when it opened six months ago.
Co-owner Nathan Frost said the location was paying off.
“We have seen business build and build over recent months and the guys behind both Barrio and Lazy Su are top people, so it is going to be great to have them over this side of town.”
“It is really going to ramp up the life and atmosphere of this area and make it a destination point for the rest of the city.”
Colliers’ Michael Ceasis said the mix of tenants had been carefully chosen. “We have been really picky to ensure a good balance of businesses in the area.”
With the new Capital apartment block under construction on Hobart Place to provide another 200 apartments on top of the 181 within Mayfair, Michael said that there would be 20,000 workers and residents within a 500 metre radius of No Name Lane within the next two years.
“It is absolutely prime real estate for any business to open up into. This really is going to be the new frontier of Civic,” he said.