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The triumphant return of the downstairs food court

By Barcham - 31 October 2013 16

Downstairs

Welcome back downstairs food court!

When I was a kid the downstairs food court in the Canberra Centre was the best. It was fancy, had little raised areas, brass rails, the works.

At some point it became less fancy, but it was still the fanciest food court in the city. That was until the upstairs food court came and stole its glory.

Now it’s time for the downstairs food court to take that title back.

The food court is open again and it’s all fancy looking.

I know I’m saying fancy a lot, but it is fancy.

Well fancy for a food court.

Green.

Look, they have some greenery!

So what’s new, most of it. There’s still Myer on one side and David Jones on the other. There’s still a McDonalds, but other than that it all seems new.

Tex Mex.

We’ve got a Mad Mex now, because tex-mex is Canberra’s new sushi.

So that's where Dymocks went...

So that’s where Dymocks went…

Goodbye food court.

To celebrate, I will go there for lunch today.

Maybe.

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
The triumphant return of the downstairs food court
mabinogi 8:55 am 01 Nov 13

There’s nothing particularly American about malls – they’ve existed for thousands of years. And whilst the modern suburban malls may well have partially evolved in the USA, they also evolved in Australia at the same time.

It’s no coincidence that the largest mall company in the world is Australian. We have to take at least as much blame for malls as Americans. Australia had exactly the same conditions that fostered their development – Rapid car-focussed expansion of outer suburbs in the 20th century, with plenty of space in which to expand.

Australia and the USA have way more in terms of common history and parallel evolution than most Australians would care to admit.

c_c™ 11:49 pm 31 Oct 13

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

c_c™ said :

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

Where has the Greek food place gone?
I’d’ve also thought a new fountain would look great installed where the old one once was..

I don’t recall either a fountain or a greek food outlet.

Fountain: at the base of the once standing clock which ran up to the third level.. In front of where McDonald’s used to be. (Replaced by rotating TV)

Greek food outlet: Back left corner next to (the late) Dai Ho.

Gosh, we’re going back a long way there. The clock tower and base was taken away a long time ago, they also removed the kiosks on the upper two levels for which the clock tower formed the rear walls. I think that was when POSH downstairs was replaced, but can’t recall exactly when.

Dai Ho had the Italian place to the left and the lebanese place to the right (Kapital Kabab, later Ali Baba) for as long as I can recall, at least back to the mid 90s.

Dai Ho kinda died a long time ago, in the sense that the gentleman who used to run it left and started Asian Tiger upstairs when North Quarter opened in 2007. The company that owned Dai Ho branched out into a couple of other food outlets in Civic quite some time ago, not sure if either still exist.

HiddenDragon 11:39 pm 31 Oct 13

It was so much cooler when you could smoke there, in black and white:

http://www.abc.net.au/corp/history/80years/videos/80years-act-MonaroMall.mp4

La_Tour_Maubourg 8:24 pm 31 Oct 13

c_c™ said :

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

Where has the Greek food place gone?
I’d’ve also thought a new fountain would look great installed where the old one once was..

I don’t recall either a fountain or a greek food outlet.

Fountain: at the base of the once standing clock which ran up to the third level.. In front of where McDonald’s used to be. (Replaced by rotating TV)

Greek food outlet: Back left corner next to (the late) Dai Ho.

Genie 7:43 pm 31 Oct 13

Went to the foodcourt just before 5pm hoping to get some Japanese goodies from Hanaichi to take home for dinner.

I was surprised at how busy the food court was at 5pm, and I waited about 10 mins to be served as there were probably a dozen people in the line. The length of the line made me question how it would function at during, as we basically cut off access to the rest of the food court. People either had to push through the line or walk all the way around the stupid looking white walls around the seating.

Anyhoo… 50% off all dishes made my dinner just that little bit more satisfying… May attempt to get lunch there tomorrow while the deal is still on.

Evil_Kitten 5:37 pm 31 Oct 13

I didn’t even know it was gone! Why is there a photo repeated twice?

Also, caves???

fromthecapital 4:08 pm 31 Oct 13

I quite liked it, good banh mi

thebrownstreak69 3:20 pm 31 Oct 13

So I went and had a look this afternoon, and it isn’t as bad as I’d feared. I think there’s at least as much seating, although the ‘caves’ are pretty awful, and there seems to be some different food in there, though nothing that jumped out at me as special.

I might try an early lunch down there tomorrow. As long as I don’t have to sit in a cave.

c_c™ 2:47 pm 31 Oct 13

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

Where has the Greek food place gone?
I’d’ve also thought a new fountain would look great installed where the old one once was..

I don’t recall either a fountain or a greek food outlet.

Deref said :

Malls are horrible places, and food courts are the most horrible places in malls.

Yep, a horrible American import. Kind of strange that in a city where all the malls (except Tuggeranong Hyperdome, which still had fairly strict government control though) were planned, built and owned by the government, in a city where front fences aren’t allowed, all succumbed to the worst feature of malls – dead exteriors. Just can’t work out why the malls are all so insular and internally focused when the planning experts wouldn’t dare let even low decorative fences interfere with the vibrancy of the street scapes.

Deref 2:33 pm 31 Oct 13

Malls are horrible places, and food courts are the most horrible places in malls.

JonahBologna 2:22 pm 31 Oct 13

I was surprised to see the place was completely full at 1:30pm today. I didn’t know that we were all so easily amused.

Barcham 1:53 pm 31 Oct 13

So my lunchtime plans were thwarted by approximately 2.4 billion people getting in there before me.

There were more people than seats, which there seem to be far less of now that they’re all arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way.

The lines were giant, I shall wait for the novelty to wear off I think.

Erg0 12:27 pm 31 Oct 13

ZOMG the McDonalds has MOVED SLIGHTLY.

La_Tour_Maubourg 11:49 am 31 Oct 13

Where has the Greek food place gone?
I’d’ve also thought a new fountain would look great installed where the old one once was..

Blen_Carmichael 11:45 am 31 Oct 13

A.F.T.

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