It popped up out of nowhere, and is celebrating its first birthday with a bash at Lennox Gardens from 4 – 8 pm this Saturday, complete with fine food, music and wine.
We’re talking ‘The Pop Inn’ bar, a unique venture by an adventurous Canberra couple, Kimberley and Eldad Ohayon.
If you’re looking for a permanent address for this wonderful operation, stop wasting your time. The Pop Inn is a completely self-contained operation with no fixed address. Everything is housed in an architecturally designed mega-trailer, measuring 6.5-metres long and weighing no fewer than 3.2 tonnes. It sets up in special spots around the capital, offering delightful scenery, delicious nibbles, fabulous food platters and wonderful wines. On occasion, there’s even live music.
The design is amazing with every millimetre thought through. The Pop Inn is complete with racks of sparkling wine glasses and specialised wine fridges. It’s so beautifully designed that DJAS Architects was awarded the Small Project Architect Award by the Australian Institute of Architects ACT for its work on The Pop Inn.
After arriving at its destination, the team creates a unique space around the trailer, setting up chairs and tables and offering rugs for guests to sit on. Adults love it. Kids love it. Pets love it. So far, The Pop Inn has appeared in places like Bowen, Telopea and Haig parks, Kingston Foreshore, Mount Ainslie, Turner Ovals parklands and even some local markets.
Kimberley says The Pop Inn was 18 months in the making and involved working closely with the ACT Government to bring the idea to life. It’s a Canberra first and the relationship remains strong, with The Pop Inn working alongside the government on new places to activate.
The relationship with guests is key, which is why The Pop Inn likes to stay in one location for a couple of weeks at a time.
“We have many regulars,” says Kimberley. “Some stay on their own side of the bridge but others venture to several locations. We’ve made many friends and had many great times.”
One proud moment of friendship was on Christmas Eve when regulars Mikey Pettit and Ian Crawford were engaged at The Pop Inn. The corks flew off champagne bottles and all guests—even those who hadn’t met before—toasted the surprise event.
“The Pop Inn creates a sense of community. Often guests see each other on a couple of visits. Next thing they’ve joined tables and new friendships are formed. Many see us as an extension of their own backyard,” says Kimberley.
The Pop Inn offers cheese platters and nibbles, sourced from Fyshwick’s Mart Deli, and meat platters from Queanbeyan’s Balzanelli Small Goods. Local wines are sourced from vineyards like Lerida Estate, Gallagher Wines and Three Lads Wine. “We also mix the wine offering up with national and international top drops,” says Kimberley.
There’s no doubt The Pop Inn is an attraction wherever it goes. Kimberley says locals and tourists alike ask questions about how it all came about, with many marvelling at how unique the idea is and how efficient the operation is.
“People love that Canberra is so innovative,” says Kimberley.
In winter, The Pop Inn will serve mulled wines and ciders, provide warm blankies and seek locations with some shelter from the cold wind. “We’re currently trialling some new destinations such as Constitution Place and Regatta Point,” says Kimberley.
The Pop Inn’s times vary, depending on location and weather. It usually opens Fridays at 5 and weekends starting around 3. Check the website for locations and times. The Pop Inn is card only.