Mama’s Trattoria gone?!!

miss molly 28 March 2011 22

mama's corpse

I was walking through Garema Place yesterday and was SHOCKED to find Mama’s Trattoria is closed!

The sign on the window said that it was due to the lease ending, and that they ‘hope to see us in a new venue soon’

That doesn’t sound like much of a relocation plan to me.

Mama’s Trattoria is one of my favourite restaurants, and I have been going for 10 years. I have never been so sad to hear of a business closing. Does anyone have any more information about why they closed and if there is any hope they’ll re-open?

mama's closure notice


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22 Responses to Mama’s Trattoria gone?!!
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Robauz Robauz 12:19 pm 29 Jun 12

Mumma’s have moved to West Row, Melbourne Building.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 10:34 pm 29 Mar 11

John Moulis said :

Postalgeek said :

GardeningGirl said :

jsm2090 said :

What concerns me more is how depressed that area of Civic is looking now.

It’s awful. Old Civic, run down and depressing, surrounded by various versions of new Civic, parts of which are quite nice but mostly in a bland could-be-anywhere way. Civic could be so much better.

Hardly surprising when Canberra Center developers have successfully managed to close off shoppers to the outside world. They don’t even have to leave the Center to cross a road now. Couldn’t think of a better way to kill off outside trade and ‘boulevards’.

You mean there is actually something else in Civic apart from the Canberra Centre? On the rare occasion I visit Civic I park in the Canberra Centre, shop in the Canberra Centre, pay for my parking then leave.

I sometimes go for a walk around, and then hurry back to the Centre.

Garema Place could have the sort of attractions that the Centre could never offer. Seems to me there’s opportunity for both to provide something for visitors to Civic. Garema Place could have outdoor dining, live entertainment (regularly, not just in association with some festival), art exhibitions, chess (hmm, that rings a bell). But it took on an aura of being the domain of inconsiderate skateboarders and pushy beggars long ago, which IMO was more damaging to its viability than the construction of the mall extensions. I’m coming to the conclusion that some aspects of Canberra could be so much better . . . if it wasn’t for the fact that they couldn’t be. If that area hasn’t managed to develop into a vibrant attractive area by now, with the population growth of the city as a whole and the inner city in particular, when will it?

Nice that the ice cream scoop has gone to a good home. 🙂

Martlark Martlark 8:32 pm 29 Mar 11

Still plenty of good eating out on the street. Bunda street. Garema place as been declining for many years.

breda breda 7:35 pm 29 Mar 11

Yep, vale Cafe Della Piazza. While the food quality and service was variable, I had some magnificent meals there, and their wine list was very good indeed.

Its loss was much more significant than Mama’s. As PP has said, the Desolation Row that used to be the Civic restaurant precinct is sad. How come West Row et al are packed with eateries, while the ‘heart’ of the city is dead?

John Moulis John Moulis 4:08 pm 29 Mar 11

Postalgeek said :

GardeningGirl said :

jsm2090 said :

What concerns me more is how depressed that area of Civic is looking now.

It’s awful. Old Civic, run down and depressing, surrounded by various versions of new Civic, parts of which are quite nice but mostly in a bland could-be-anywhere way. Civic could be so much better.

Hardly surprising when Canberra Center developers have successfully managed to close off shoppers to the outside world. They don’t even have to leave the Center to cross a road now. Couldn’t think of a better way to kill off outside trade and ‘boulevards’.

You mean there is actually something else in Civic apart from the Canberra Centre? On the rare occasion I visit Civic I park in the Canberra Centre, shop in the Canberra Centre, pay for my parking then leave.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:39 pm 29 Mar 11

Postalgeek said :

Hardly surprising when Canberra Center developers have successfully managed to close off shoppers to the outside world. They don’t even have to leave the Center to cross a road now. Couldn’t think of a better way to kill off outside trade and ‘boulevards’.

Quite.

Indeed, this was the reason given by the operators of Caffe Della Piazza when they closed down many years ago. They described it as some sort of protest against the Canberra Centre expansion if I recall.

CDP was a fantastic fall back, where you knew you’d get a great meal, plus an excellent wine to go with, for a reasonable price.

It was easily my favourite casual dining option in town and I still miss it.

EvanJames EvanJames 10:16 am 29 Mar 11

Alf said :

I now own their ice-cream scoop. It is a thing of beauty – solid, one piece, German-made, with 20 years plus of love and patination. And it was $2!

Good score!

We seem to lack cheap’n’cheerful Italian pasta restaurants. Cafe Pronto used to sort-of fit the bill, but you’d think Garema Place would be perfect for it. It’s certainly changed, 10 years ago or so there were so many restaurants there, it was really popping. Although I tended to veer to della piazza, mama’s being a bit variable.

Postalgeek Postalgeek 8:53 am 29 Mar 11

GardeningGirl said :

jsm2090 said :

What concerns me more is how depressed that area of Civic is looking now.

It’s awful. Old Civic, run down and depressing, surrounded by various versions of new Civic, parts of which are quite nice but mostly in a bland could-be-anywhere way. Civic could be so much better.

Hardly surprising when Canberra Center developers have successfully managed to close off shoppers to the outside world. They don’t even have to leave the Center to cross a road now. Couldn’t think of a better way to kill off outside trade and ‘boulevards’.

Alf Alf 8:37 am 29 Mar 11

I really liked this place, although the food did seem more special when I first started going about five years ago. They had a sale of all their crockery on a Saturday morning just after they closed. I now own their ice-cream scoop. It is a thing of beauty – solid, one piece, German-made, with 20 years plus of love and patination. And it was $2!

breda breda 2:08 am 29 Mar 11

Had dinner at Italian & Sons last Friday night, and can assure readers that the notion that people have switched from Mamas-type trattorias to I &S is ludicrous.

I &S is at least twice as expensive. That said, Mamas and its ilk have pretty much outgrown their usefulness, having put up their prices while serving very ordinary food. There is always a place for cheap and cheerful restaurants, but when they become mediocre and overpriced, the writing is on the wall. People are not prepared to pay $20+ for a plate of pasta and sauce which they could make at home for $5, even allowing for buying the best pre-made sauce on the market (which is not at all bad).

It will be interesting to see if they re-open. The mediocre, overpriced restaurant market in Canberra is pretty saturated. Cheap and cheerful is another thing entirely.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 1:12 am 29 Mar 11

jsm2090 said :

What concerns me more is how depressed that area of Civic is looking now.

It’s awful. Old Civic, run down and depressing, surrounded by various versions of new Civic, parts of which are quite nice but mostly in a bland could-be-anywhere way. Civic could be so much better.

blind blind 10:55 pm 28 Mar 11

They sold their tables and chairs to the You Are Here Festival to use in SmithDick. At the end of the festival, we gave them to the Corinbank Festival and Robert Guth’s family’s equestrian business. Lions eat antelope, die then become the grass which the antelope eat, etc etc

puggy puggy 3:39 pm 28 Mar 11

astrojax said :

…try italians and sons a couple blocks away in braddon for much better italian food.

Surely you’re not suggesting they were in the same market. I don’t recall seeing hipsters in Mama’s. Overall I agree though. Mama’s was a suburban restuarant in the middle of Civic. Though, I can’t imagine getting screwed by Government planning gives you much incentive to change and drop the cost of a small house on a new fitout.

Kerryhemsley Kerryhemsley 2:49 pm 28 Mar 11

It may be a Canberra icon but it was one of many mediocre Italian restaurants around Canberra.

These restaurants were ok in the 80s but they are now competing with some good operators as Astrojax mentioned such as Italian and Sons and Dieci e Mezzo.

It was a matter of lift the food quality or die. Last time I ate there it left a lot to be desired.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 2:30 pm 28 Mar 11

It’s sad to see a Canberra icon move on (possibly). However as I have only eaten there once in the last 20 years, I guess I can’t really complain too much.

jsm2090 jsm2090 2:19 pm 28 Mar 11

agree, astrojax. What concerns me more is how depressed that area of Civic is looking now.

gooterz gooterz 2:00 pm 28 Mar 11

I’ve been there twice and got fed once!

First time was not too bad.

The second time i decided to take my partner, sat down got drinks and things on the table, and just waited at least 30 minutes! We left when they started going to the tables around us that had just sat down!

Gf wasnt happy, but then we went to dobbinsons and it was all good, cheap and quick, the only problem with dobbinsons is that there are never enough tables when its busy

astrojax astrojax 1:29 pm 28 Mar 11

can’t say i’m disappointed – i never found the food there up to standard; try italians and sons a couple blocks away in braddon for much better italian food. but sad a canberra icon has moved on – i wonder what will replace it; and how soon..?

The Phoenix Pub The Phoenix Pub 11:58 am 28 Mar 11

Their lease was up for renewal this March and they just decided to call it a day rather commit to another 5 years (with a slight hike from the landlord), damn shame as we loved the menu and the private secluded nature of the place with its arches and interesting staff.

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 11:58 am 28 Mar 11

akinom said :

No advice on where will be the new venue!!! That’s a great way to lose your loyal customers.

like d’oh, I’m not a rocket scientist but even my limited intellect suspe4cts that the owners don’t know where they’re going to be because they haven’t yet found a venue.

so what does that insinuate about yours?

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