News from the ABC today that Gus’s in Civic has, by some miracle of bureaucracy earned heritage protection status. By miracle, I don’t mean one of the good ones either, but rather a cruel and ironic one. ACT Heritage cites the cafe as a reminder that in Civic, it was once impossible to enjoy coffee outside while “sitting on the pavement.” Yes, there was a time before yuppiedom.
So the heritage listing is based on the business, within the building, the latter being a rather bland, dilapidated structure with an unrelated neon sign on the front.Importantly though, the whole thing looks nothing like it did in 1967. Pavement, seating, signage have all changed. The only original fixture I believe is the espresso machine.
Anyone else confused? What if the business goes out of business, will the new one have to keep the existing (non-original anyway) appearance and name? And does anyone else get the feeling this is a ploy of heritage proponents to stop the expansion of high rise and the Canberra Centre in the area?