ACT News


Burgers in the bush an unlikely local icon

Independent food vans are a fast-growing trend on Canberra streets. Photographer Dion Georgopoulos visited one that has stood the test of time.

Andrew Dale remembers watching the cars pull up outside his food van in Gungahlin, take a photo, laugh, and then speed off.

"Don't worry," he would say to his wife Lee-Ann as they surveyed the empty stretch of carpark in front of them.

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Food vans still drawing fans from near and far

As food vans around the country find themselves increasingly under pressure from fast food chains, one Gungahlin institution has managed to carve out a loyal following.

"That's our marketing team, they're laughing at our name, but they're going to go to their office tomorrow and tell everyone about this place, the G-Spot in Gungahlin."

Nearly two decades after everyone told them it would fail, the G-Spot has become a landmark for the north Canberra community, drawing hundreds of customers each week from across the district.

Facing ever increasing competition from takeaway chains and home delivery services, the G-Spot is one of a dwindling number of food vans managing to carve out a niche in Canberra.

The G Spot owner Andrew Dale talks to a friend before he leave for the night.

"When we started it, we were told it wouldn't work, we were in the burbs, there's no nightclubs, there's no nothing, you're in the bush. But a chance to prove people wrong is great - and we didn't for a long time - but then we did."

While some things have evolved since the early years when the couple was barely making pocket money, others have remained staples. Those arriving for a feed can still expect to be eating a "Mud Bucket" or a "Cheesy Bastard" while sitting in a gutter, perched on a milk crate or on the bonnet of a car.

On Friday nights the car community gather at The G Spot. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

It's the passion, raw customer experience and sense of community that appeals, according to customer Rys Evans.

"There is really nothing else in Canberra like it, there was a couple of other food vans around. But this one's always had a good atmosphere, just never any trouble."

Mr Dale says his family and staff have put passion into the place.

"I'm really proud of the vibe we have at the G-Spot, and you can see the love that our staff put into it, even when we're not there."

The G Spot owner Andrew Dale. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

G-Spot owner Andrew Dale. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Kids running down the hill beside the The G Spot. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

‚ÄčSome of the interesting menu options at The G Spot. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

The G Spot. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos.

Phil Nguyan working inside the van. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Snitty 2 Surf is one of the many exciting options on the menu at The G Spot. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Louise O'Toole preparing a hot dog. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos