ACT News


Canberra's new watering hole, Hopscotch Bar, opens in Braddon

The latest addition to Lonsdale Street is ready to throw open its doors.

Hopscotch Bar is Braddon's latest watering hole and co-owners Nick Parkinson and Brian Smith are hoping that whole pigs roasting on an outdoor barbecue will help lure crowds down to their beer garden for Sunday sessions.

The bar will open formally on Monday but Parkinson and Smith are hosting a launch party for friends, family and invited guests on Friday. 

There is a large outdoor space featuring a huge mural created by 16-year-old street artist Solomon Grainger, whose mother Kacy produced stenciled art all around the bar – a firefighter hoisting a hose onto his shoulder, a young girl playing hopscotch at the back of the bar. 

One wall is covered in printed advertisements for previous incarnations of 5 Lonsdale Street, Hopscotch's address. It used to be a car dealership, a hair salon and a fishing tackle store.

The name Hopscotch comes from the combination of hops for beer and scotch for whiskey, and Smith said there would be interesting examples of both kinds of liquor on display.


"We wanted something that Canberra hasn't seen before," he said.

"The whole idea with the beer taps in particular is that we're not contracted to any brewer. We're launching with three beers on tap that no one in Canberra has – a Pikes Clare Valley, same as the winemaker. We've got Illawarra Brewing Company pale ale and also Endeavour Brewers Reserve."

The whiskey list has about 50 names on it and includes unusual drops such as a French whiskey aged in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.

Parkinson said the food was inspired by barbecue around the world and the menu would feature meat cooked on a parilla grill.

"There's no fixed cuisine,'' he said. ''We're just trying to bring together different cultures and relate it to Braddon. Most of the apartments around here don't have backyards, they've got poky little kitchens and we're creating a backyard for people to come and entertain. A shared community.''

Smith said the opening of Hopscotch was the end of a long journey.

"We were looking for sites for about four years and couldn't find the right site, and eventually this came up and we couldn't say no. This area here [is so vibrant]," he said.