Local Canberran. Reluctant member of the Smashed Avo set. Lover of the classics.
Published May 7th 2016
Try it quick before the crowds catch on
It's almost 11 pm on a Saturday night and I've just returned home from dinner and drinks at The Pedlar, Canberra's newest pub. When I say newest I'm not being blazé; it opened yesterday and I just happened to be there for their first Saturday night. To be honest it's the closest I've been to an opening of anything in Canberra and I'm feeling particularly proud, like for the first time ever I'm one-up on the hipsters I live and work with in Braddon.
The Pedlar is on the Campbell side of Constitution Avenue, on the ground floor of a new apartment complex. It's got a great range of drinks and the food was very good; plenty of selection if you're just there for snacks (lovely haloumi bruschetta) as well as solid old favourites like a chicken schnitty or fish and chips if you're there for mains. Everything was very reasonably priced, maybe even $2-3 less than prices you've come to expect in Canberra.
The owners appear to have gone for a soft opening with little fuss or fanfare. Their limited advertising material emphasised families and locals, and they really seem to have met their mark. We managed to stay outside the whole night (the place was very well equipped when it comes to heaters) and I could literally see locals walking in off the streets for dinner or even a sneaky vino while walking the dog. There were also families with kids having dinner out on a Saturday night. The crowd came from all walks of life; some blokes had just come in from footy training, shin pads still on, while others were very smartly dressed. The music was even family pub-esque: the perfect mix of Justin, Stevie Nicks and Beyoncé that would keep everyone in the family happy.
The staff were very friendly and the food and drink simple but divine. Three TVs mean everyone in your party will be happy if you happen to host a function there while their favourite team is playing. I've already committed to hosting 10 there for State of Origin 1 this year. Not because their food is the best or their TVs the widest but because there is this sense of community; that everyone there is local – whether that's really the case or not – and everyone's happy to have a chat. I should have declared by bias up front too; I cut my teeth in the first few years of my move south on the infamous Blamey Crescent.
I've only been to The Pedlar the once but I can tell you right now I intend to be a regular. The place is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week and I'm most excited about trying breakfast there in the morning sun in a couple of weeks' time. Their menu is on The Pedlar's website. but for the moment I suggest you just get there and see for yourself. Support your local.