The Kingston Foreshore – Canberra’s new dining district?

Em Ca 4 June 2014 5

In Canberra it is commonplace for the newest establishments to be flooded by locals making it difficult to sample the delights of the Nations Capital’s newest eateries and bars for months. However, visiting the Kingston Foreshore for a meal provides to be an eerily quiet experience. Possibly being compared to its ‘flashy’ Sydney cousin, Darling Harbour over the years has damaged the impact of Canberra’s newest shopping and dining precinct.

Although less glamorous it would have been far more fitting to liken the Kingston Foreshore to other urban renewal projects in Australia, such as the Honeysuckle development in Newcastle. Much like the Honeysuckle precinct, the design purpose for the Kingston Foreshore redevelopment was to breathe new life into unused land that was once the industrial heartland of Canberra.

A criticism of Honeysuckle has been the price of its luxury apartments, which seems to have alienated middle to low-income earners from living within the precinct. As such the a vibrant mix of residents and businesses may be what is lacking in the Newcastle development.

Was the bar set too high for the Kingston Foreshore? Have those who visited the current selection of cafes, bars and restaurants been disappointed due to unfair expectations placed on the development or could the on-going expansion phase of the Foreshore be hindering business efforts?


Awarded most recently at the 2013 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects awards, the Kingston Foreshore redevelopment is the largest development in Lake Burley Griffin’s history and follows Walter Burley Griffin’s original vision for the East Basin of the lake. The Master Plan features Burley Griffin’s famous geometric street design, to which Canberra is now renowned.

Despite the present lack of hype for Canberra’s newest wining and dining district, the Foreshore has not yet reached its full completion with construction of more swanky designer apartments and commercial space under way.

Unlike its Newcastle counterpart Honeysuckle, it appears that the ‘Average Joe’ has been considered during the Planning of the Kingston Foreshore with the inclusion of affordable dining options.

Time will tell whether the Kingston Foreshore has what it takes to suffice Canberra’s fickle ‘wining and dining’ crowd.

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5 Responses to The Kingston Foreshore – Canberra’s new dining district?
dungfungus dungfungus 2:36 pm 06 Jun 14

The Kingston Foreshore redevelopment is very much like the Lyon-Confluence redevelopment in every way and I am declaring that a good thing.
Pity the Kingston version will never have the light rail.

Madam Cholet Madam Cholet 1:27 pm 05 Jun 14

I’ve had lunch and breaky down there in the last few months (C-Dine both occasions). Both times it was really busy – not just in the restaurant but in the whole foreshore area. I don’t think it’s an area where people are going to just ‘walk’ – it’s too out of the way for other mere mortals who can’t afford to buy there.

It is a place that fosters outdoor eating and with the cooler weather it’s not going to attract diners who want to freeze whilst they eat. It also needs bigger venues that are more family friendly. We take our son anywhere as he’s really well behaved, but if you are with a few kids, cramped cafes and restaurants can be uncomfortable to be in for longer than is totally necessary.

It’s probably a bit on the pricier side which again is going to put people off.

Paul0075 Paul0075 1:20 pm 05 Jun 14

I am not sure I totally agree that this development is in the principles of WBG’s design, however it is quite an attractive spot, considering it’s filled with soulless boxes for apartments.

A little bit too out of the way for me, I live in Belconnen, so a night out usually doesn’t extend past Civic.

I would like to see The Causeway linked to the northern side of the lake though, as in WBG’s plans and have it join up to Canberra Av as planned, but the amount of re-jigging to make this happen is likely to not allow this to happen.

Niki van Buuren Niki van Buuren 12:56 pm 05 Jun 14

I visited the foreshore precinct a few weeks back for dinner. I too found it eerily quiet but put it down to the fact that the place is still very unfinished. I think it will be a nice area once all the development is complete. Looking forward to Autolyse and Lonsdale st Roasters opening up there.

Meanwhile, yes, the Rum Bar is quite a nice venue. I also quite liked the Thai resturant we visited (whose name escapes me). I went to the free International Music Festival concert in the little park on the same day. The small crowd was a bit disappointing but it had a nice family-friendly feel to it. Hopefully there will be more events like that held there.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 10:03 am 05 Jun 14

Morks is excellent. The rum bar is pretty good too. Max Brenner is a bit overrated, best not to stray from simple hot chocolates and waffles.

Haven’t tried any of the other options yet but will do so over time I suppose.

Until all the development is completed the area is always going to seem a bit, well, unfinished.

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