In Canberra it is commonplace for the newest establishments to be flooded by locals making it difficult to sample the delights of the Nations Capital’s newest eateries and bars for months. However, visiting the Kingston Foreshore for a meal provides to be an eerily quiet experience. Possibly being compared to its ‘flashy’ Sydney cousin, Darling Harbour over the years has damaged the impact of Canberra’s newest shopping and dining precinct.
Although less glamorous it would have been far more fitting to liken the Kingston Foreshore to other urban renewal projects in Australia, such as the Honeysuckle development in Newcastle. Much like the Honeysuckle precinct, the design purpose for the Kingston Foreshore redevelopment was to breathe new life into unused land that was once the industrial heartland of Canberra.
A criticism of Honeysuckle has been the price of its luxury apartments, which seems to have alienated middle to low-income earners from living within the precinct. As such the a vibrant mix of residents and businesses may be what is lacking in the Newcastle development.
Was the bar set too high for the Kingston Foreshore? Have those who visited the current selection of cafes, bars and restaurants been disappointed due to unfair expectations placed on the development or could the on-going expansion phase of the Foreshore be hindering business efforts?
Awarded most recently at the 2013 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects awards, the Kingston Foreshore redevelopment is the largest development in Lake Burley Griffin’s history and follows Walter Burley Griffin’s original vision for the East Basin of the lake. The Master Plan features Burley Griffin’s famous geometric street design, to which Canberra is now renowned.
Despite the present lack of hype for Canberra’s newest wining and dining district, the Foreshore has not yet reached its full completion with construction of more swanky designer apartments and commercial space under way.
Unlike its Newcastle counterpart Honeysuckle, it appears that the ‘Average Joe’ has been considered during the Planning of the Kingston Foreshore with the inclusion of affordable dining options.
Time will tell whether the Kingston Foreshore has what it takes to suffice Canberra’s fickle ‘wining and dining’ crowd.