Established in 2005, The Front Gallery and Cafe can be found at the Lyneham shops, just a 10 minute drive north from Canberra's central business district. The suburb Lyneham was named after Sir William Lyne, who was the premier of the Australian state of New South Wales from 1899 to 1901, whereas the streets that make up this suburb are named after artists and other relevant peoples that are associated with the development of early Canberra. Speaking of streets, there is plenty of free parking in adjacent streets, although some areas may have a time limit imposed during certain times of the day.
Is The Front Gallery and Cafe really both a gallery and cafe?
Yep - The Front Gallery and Cafe, true to their name, consists of both a cafe and a gallery in adjacent spaces. The Front is an independent, artist-run venue hosting a range of exhibitions from art, music, poetry, to comedy, and much more! The Front Gallery is host to a dynamic artist-run gallery showcasing diverse contemporary exhibitions by emerging and established artists, both interstate and local. The exhibition in the form of a pop-up store currently on display is Polka Luka, an Australian design label creating contemporary resin jewellery and homewares, which opened its doors on 17th November 2016, and will run for approximately one month until 22nd December - the pop-up store is open everyday during this period from 9:30am to 7pm. There is no entry fee for The Front Gallery, and you don't even need to be a customer of The Front Cafe to visit - double positives on this front here, no pun intended!
Polka Luka - current exhibition at The Front Gallery until 22nd December 2016.
The Front also hosts gigs 3-5 nights a week. Self-described as an "intimate, small and cozy space", The Front likes to let the performers run the evening as they see fit, but will also be more than happy to help out in any way they can. Best of all, The Front does not charge for gig space, which is great news for both potential musicians and for potential patrons!
Live music at The Front.
What's the ambience like at The Front Gallery and Cafe?
The Front Gallery and Cafe was packed and buzzing with people on the two times I visited during my brief stay in Canberra, once during the morning and once in the evening. Despite the business of the cafe, the ambience was relaxing and peaceful, with the soundtrack of friendly chatter playing in the background. The indoor seating was especially relaxing, with the couches giving a 'home vibe'. Plus, board games are provided!
What food and drink options are available at The Front Gallery and Cafe?
The menu is displayed on top of the counter inside The Front. The Front has available my favourite all-day breakfast menu, with a variety of options ranging from just $7 to $14 - they're such reasonable prices! You can also add a range of sides (avocado, slow roasted tomato, mushroom, spinach, bacon, salmon, chorizo, ham, halloumi) for just $4 each to any of the meal options, or perhaps just design your own from scratch! There are also specials that range from $10 to $18. In conjunction with the all-day breakfast menu, The Front also offers a lunch menu from 12pm to 2:30pm (which is when their kitchen closes although they are open till 7:30pm) - prices again range from $10 to $18.
Drinks wise, The Front offers a range of coffees, fine teas, homemade chai, Parkers Juice and milky drinks. In terms of alcoholic beverages, as they are open till 7:30pm everyday, The Front has an extensive range of beers, wines, spirits, whisky, and cider available.
I was only stopping by for a quick bite on a road trip, so I opted for a coffee (my trusty soy cappuccino) and white house toast with butter and jam from the all-day breakfast menu. For the coffee and the toast, my meal cost only a little over $10, which I thought was a very reasonable price, especially considering how good they both were - after all, food does not always need to be gourmet and 'fancy' in order to be 'good'. Eddy had a bite of plain toast and he too loved it!