Tag Archives: ha Ha Bar

Ha Ha Bar, Belconnen – revisited*

23 Mar

* I visited Ha Ha Bar as a guest.

Belconnen Town Centre’s Emu Bank is something special – or it has the potential to be. Facing (what I think is) the best lake in Canberra, with the Arts Centre at one end and one of the world’s best skate parks at the other, Emu Bank could be a promenade in Canberra’s north.

But it’s not quite there yet. While the restaurant quality is mixed from the average to the very good and caters from takeaway to pub to formal dine-in, it’s been missing a high-quality restaurant to anchor the area and attract similar ventures.

Ha Ha Bar is one of those venues that’s always been very good. I’ve always enjoyed the food (in addition to plenty of brunches and dinners there, you can read my first review in 2011 here, and 2013 here) even if the service left a little to be desired, but it hasn’t been what you’d necessarily call a fine dining experience.

I genuinely think that’s about to change.

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Heather’s House of Cake, Belconnen

19 Mar

I hear a lot how people would love to see better use made of beautiful Lake Ginninderra. More recreation. A variety of accessible water sports. More sophisticated paths and cycleways.

But the number one desire seems to be for restaurants and cafes – existing or new – to make better use of the lake. Along Emu Bank, many of the restaurants face the street, not the lake. (Ha Ha Bar and La De Da are notable exceptions.) The access point for the restaurants is from the car park next to the road, not the boardwalk which frames the water. People find the lake paradoxically energising and relaxing: there’s more and more going on around the lake, and it’s fun to be part of it, and to watch it – not to mention just enjoy the beautiful views.

I’d heard rumours about Heather’s House of Cake opening up for a little while. You might recognise the name: Heather’s been around the market scene for quite a while and creates – as you might have guessed – a wide range of pretty cakes. On the Friday of its opening week, I walk around the building which also houses 2 Yummy, Princes Palace, Sanur’s Balinese and London Burgers to the side which has Up 2 You restaurant.

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La De Da Sunday sesh*

23 Oct

*In The Taratory is a sponsor (non-financial) of La De Da’s Sunday seshes.

I’ve made no secret how big a fan I am of Ha Ha Bar and its upstairs venue La De Da in Belconnen Town Centre. Ever since I first set foot in La De Da I thought it’d be a great place to have a Sunday sesh (for the uninitiated: drinks on a Sunday afternoon), but for a long time its opening hours were restricted Wednesday-Saturday nights. Well, that was the case until one night, deep in the winter blues, Belco bloke James Tew (the mind behind Tweet Canberra and the Social Media Revolution) and I started a small social media lobby for it – and suddenly, it was happening!

What was proposed was even bigger than I expected: not just opening up the venue on Sunday arvos, but launching it with a six week competition for singer-songwriters playing 15 minute sets to be in the running to win a recording contract with local business Studio Sixty-Eight. I love the idea of supporting local, and so the opportunity to be a sponsor of a Belco event run by Canberra locals, showcasing local artists and giving them an opportunity to record a single with a local business was an absolute no-brainer. Plus: Sunday sesh!

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