The Polo folds its final pierogi

Lucy Ridge 13 January 2022 28
Polo logo with plants and doughnuts in background

The Polo opened in 2015 but will close in 2022. Photo: The Polo Restaurant.

Pierogi lovers of Canberra, I am the bearer of bad news. After six-and-a-bit glorious years of plump, tasty dumplings, Polo Restaurant is closing its doors.

Owners Fiona and Adam Veikkanen have announced on social media they’re closing their doors tomorrow – and their final night is already booked out.

“Recently, the hospitality industry has been hard hit, and despite overwhelming support from this incredible community, unfortunately, we have made the extremely difficult decision to close our doors,” they posted.

Speaking to Region Media, Fiona said: “I’m just so thankful for our regular customers and our gorgeous staff members and to the Polish Club for the opportunity to run a business even though we had no prior experience.”

The family-run restaurant, which opened in 2015, operated independently inside the Polish White Eagle Club in Turner.

The club has been open since 1973 and has been proudly pokie-free since 2007. The Club Bar and Live at The Polo gigs will continue in 2022.

Pierogi dumplings on retro plates

Pierogi fans have snapped up the remaining frozen packs leaving the rest of us to wonder: where will we find our pierogi now? Photo: Polo Restaurant.

Polo Restaurant (known simply as ‘The Polo’) has been a favourite thanks to its focus on local ingredients and fresh flavours. Pierogi fillings like kangaroo, beetroot and rose-hip were certainly not traditionally Polish, but they proved popular among a loyal customer base.

After the social media announcement, it took only 90 minutes for the last frozen pierogi packs to sell out.

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I count myself among the many fans of The Polo. I have plenty of happy memories drinking long necks of Polish beer among the eclectic decor of retro furniture, macrame plant holders and portraits of the Pope.

I first came for the ‘Pint and Pierogi’ nights, and since then, I’ve cheered for local musicians at gigs with a mouth stuffed full of pork and fennel dumplings and queued up on Saturday mornings to grab a couple of paczkis Polish jam doughnuts – from the fortnightly bake sale to share with my friends.

But my love of pierogi and The Polo is perhaps best summed up by this memory: in the summer of 2020, as bushfires raged and smoke filled the air, my housemate and I cooked up a big breakfast of all our frozen pierogi to avoid them defrosting and spoiling in the forecast power outages.

It seemed like the apocalypse was upon us, but our first priority was to save the pierogi!

Fiona holding baked goods

Polish jam doughnuts were a favourite at the fortnightly bake sale. Photo: Polo Restaurant.

Fiona and Adam are taking a well-earned break for now but encouraged people to follow them on social media.

“We’re going to take some time to rest and recharge,” said Fiona.

“We’re going to be keeping our eyes out for opportunities, and we’ll see what happens.”

It may be a sad day for the pierogi lovers of Canberra, but we can look forward to finding out what comes next.

Adam and Fiona inside the Polish club

Adam and Fiona Veikkanen said that running The Polo has been an amazing experience. Photo: Polo Restaurant.

The Polish White Eagle Club is located at 38 David Street, Turner. The Club Bar is open Wednesday to Saturday from 5 pm to 10 pm.

Keep up with Fiona and Adam on Instagram or Facebook.

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28 Responses to The Polo folds its final pierogi
Ellen Georgia Ellen Georgia 4:40 pm 17 Jan 22


Sophie Scanes Sophie Scanes 3:56 pm 16 Jan 22

Nice picture

Julia Macie Julia Macie 7:14 am 16 Jan 22

Peter Macie have you heard the sad news?

    Peter Macie Peter Macie 8:30 am 16 Jan 22

    Julia, yep, it’s very very sad. I used to go there regularly.

Nicole Helen Adikari Nicole Helen Adikari 2:14 am 16 Jan 22

Anthea Marie Dinith Adikari Susith Adikari we never got to try it 😥😥

Kelly Stensholt Kelly Stensholt 8:29 am 14 Jan 22

Tom Byron I wanna cry

    Tom Byron Tom Byron 9:04 am 14 Jan 22

    Kelly Stensholt same, Jimbo was also disappointed

Sarah Wise Sarah Wise 9:09 pm 13 Jan 22

I am so sad not to have been able to get masses of frozen pierogi to eat my feelings with!

Alice Barnett Alice Barnett 8:37 pm 13 Jan 22

oh no!!!!

Claire Louise Claire Louise 7:55 pm 13 Jan 22

This makes me sadder than sad 😔 😪

Janette Spaven Janette Spaven 7:48 pm 13 Jan 22

Due to government restrictions no doubt wake up ACT government

JP Zed JP Zed 6:51 pm 13 Jan 22

Delicious food & terrific staff will be missed.

Totem Newsam Totem Newsam 6:46 pm 13 Jan 22

Helena Bakogianis Madeleine Banister Emily Gorse Kate Sammut DEVASTATING

Jessica Adamczyk Jessica Adamczyk 5:44 pm 13 Jan 22

Isaac Adams I’m ready to move 😭

Katarina Slavich Katarina Slavich 3:33 pm 13 Jan 22

Bree Lauren nooooo we were just talking about this!

Hannah Jolley Hannah Jolley 3:15 pm 13 Jan 22

Scratch N Hannah Ferguson!!!!!!!!!!!

Anna Earnshaw Anna Earnshaw 3:12 pm 13 Jan 22

Can I buy some before you close?

Beth Rolfe Beth Rolfe 2:59 pm 13 Jan 22

Josie HuynhSam RolfeAlicia Rolfe I am devastated

Brenda Lander Brenda Lander 2:25 pm 13 Jan 22

We’ve really enjoyed our regular catch-ups with pierogi and beer over the past few years. Thanks Fiona and Adam for all your hard work to keep it going.

Sharon Beaumaris Sharon Beaumaris 1:37 pm 13 Jan 22

So sad it's such a big loss

Kerry Apted Kerry Apted 12:08 pm 13 Jan 22

Lindsay Barton one of your haunts?

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