The owners of the building that Gus’ Cafe – the Canberra cultural icon – sits in, is owned by Certrane Pty Ltd. John Grimble, their principal, has reportedly opened the door to allowing potential new owners to change the name. This could forever assign the iconic name Gus’ (Cafe) to the dustbin of history, after a more than 50 year legacy and history behind the name.
The Canberra Times reports Janice Glenn, the former owner of Gus’ Cafe, as saying the following:
The heritage listing her family secured in 2011 may not prevent another business opening on the Bunda Street site under a different name. “I was under the impression it would continue to be Gus’, but I am unsure now,” Ms Glenn said.
The ACT Heritage Council told her it was a grey area. “I thought it was the name that was heritage-listed, [but] that’s not the case. They can only strongly suggest that it be retained. I don’t understand why it is just the plaque. It has something to do with legalities. The owner of the building objected.”
Ms Glenn said Sydney investors may not understand Gus’ cultural significance. “It doesn’t matter who goes in there, so long as it is Gus’, that’s what I would like to focus on,” she said. “There are so many memories there for a lot of people.”
I have started a petition to urge Certrane and Mr Grimble to commit to keeping the iconic name, you can find it here: https://www.change.org/p/certane-pty-ltd-keep-the-name-gus-cafe-before-it-s-lost-forever
If Gus’ Cafe has ever meant anything to you, or a family member, or a friend, or co-worker, or even just an acquaintance, please consider signing this petition. It is one of the few businesses left from that era still operating under the same name, more so in the same location. We cannot allow the iconic name of Gus’ to just disappear.