As a boy, visitors to Don Ramal’s family home in Sri Lanka knew to come with empty bellies.
“You’d be fed breakfast, lunch and dinner all at once. You’d go home with a full stomach and a good-sized doggy bag,” he laughs.
“I love that about the culture.”
Hospitality done well was a cornerstone in Don’s childhood and today of his restaurant, Round Pizza.
Located at the former Trinity Bar site in Dickson, Don wants Round Pizza to become a central location for all, whether you’re looking for a starting point for a good night out, a family-friendly dining solution or late-night help hosting at home.
This is why when he took over last year, one of the first things he did was put in a tiki bar and introduce Round’s ‘Always Happy Hour’ concept, providing $5 drinks including high-quality beer, wine and spirits.
“Dickson is a central location when you’re coming in from the north,” he says.
“The minute you hit the city, the drinks get super expensive. Add to that inflation and a night out can break the bank for a lot of people.
“We’re scooting distance to the city and a stone’s throw from the train stop, so with $5 drinks all night, we’re the perfect place to start your night in town off before jumping on the train or even just walking.”
The next thing he did was secure a licence to deliver alcohol, which Don says makes Round Pizza the only pizza shop in Canberra open late that can deliver pizza and alcohol at the same time.
“It’s 10 pm, and your mates drop by, you’re all hungry and you need drinks – just call on us,” he says.
“Before us, people needed to order from two different platforms and it was very difficult to find a place open till 11 pm.
Don says his restaurant is welcoming and inclusive. Its motto – “we make pizzas for everyone” – refers to the restaurant’s ability to cater for classic, vegan, vegetarian, low carb, grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free requirements.
But the philosophy extends beyond, with toys and games laid out for kids and families, and there’s even vegan beer on tap.
Underpinning it all is Don’s ingrained desire to feed people.
“We are famous for our generous toppings on our pizzas and we always source the best fresh ingredients we can get our hands on, ” he says.
“Anyone who walks in is our humble guest, not just a customer.
“We might not make money on the drinks but people will have a good time and we’ll focus on that, as well as making good pizza.”
As part of Don’s mission to make the business Canberra’s constant vibrant host, Round Pizza can host private events on a budget.
The venue has capacity for up to 110 people, a central location with parking, terrific food and a price tag on drinks that will “keep the bar tab going all night”.
In addition, Round Pizza has started throwing block parties.
Guests are invited to enjoy pizza and drinks inside, then head to the car park where local and international DJs and performers will entertain them.
But the good vibes are not just courtesy of full bellies, affordable drinks and great tunes. All block party proceeds go to charity. The most recent block party proceeds went towards building a school in Sri Lanka.
For Don, bringing people together for a party, the affordability and the dietary inclusion all keep the Ramal hospitality central in his house.
That way, the “always happy hour” concept applies in more ways than one.
Round Pizza is located at Unit 8, 28 Challis Street Dickson. It’s open Monday to Thursday 4 pm to 10 pm, Friday from 12 pm to 11 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm to 10 pm.
To place an order online, visit the , or for more information, visit the Round Pizza on Facebook or Instagram.