Braddon's famous Mandalay bus is to reopen, after having tracked decades of the remarkable life of its owner, George Thaung.
For 20 years Mr Thaung served his Burmese cuisine to Canberra's night owls, greeting everyone from politicians to the homeless with a broad smile from his mobile food stall.
But the old Sydney bus he bought in the early 1980s to replace his original caravan has sat mostly unused since he was bashed during a Summernats weekend in the early 1990s, causing him to lose an eye.
The bus has since sat derelict by Haig Park at the end of Lonsdale Street in Braddon, but every year Mr Thaung has religiously renewed his hawker licence.
"Every year I say I must do that, get bus nice and clean," he said.
While Mr Thaung is now mostly blind and has to use a wheelchair, his son Stewart has began the restoration process and hopes to have a revamped Mandalay bus reopened by his father's 90th birthday next month.
"We're going to repaint the bus with the Mandalay sign, and bring back food from my dad's era .. we're practising his recipes."
The "we" is he and Andrew Hollands - best known for restaurants Ellacure and Soju Girl - who has been friends with Stewart Thaung for 10 years.
"I've always wanted to do some type of night trade in a big van," Mr Hollands said and had been asking his friend about Mandalay for four years.
"I looked at other buses to buy and move around but thought, nah, it's got to be this one, it's got the site, it's iconic."
When Stewart Thaung was made redundant from his job with AGL, he decided the time was right.
The decision was met with enthusiasm by his dad; he broke into song when he visited the site on Friday as it underwent its paint job, leading a rendition of Oh What a Beautiful Morning.
But things did not always go the way of the World War II veteran when he was operating his late-night stall.
"Dad used to have a gun under the counter. He [once] shot someone in the leg," Stewart Thaung said.
It turned out the troublemaker was an escapee from Sydney's Long Bay jail, but it wasn't Mr Thaung's only brush with the law.
"He had so much trouble with the night life and stuff, he used to always be going to court. I was named after dad's lawyer," he added with a laugh.
Mr Thaung always did his fair share to look after the locals.
"I love the Canberra people," he said. "Australia's a [rich] country .. some homeless people, they don't have any money, they look through garbage bin. I say no, no, come here and I give them good, beautiful food, I look after them."
It wasn't only the homeless who appreciated his satays and curries; he spent time as the shearer's cook at the Yarralumla Woolshed, befriending neighbouring governors general and cooking for other dignitaries.
Among his cherished possessions is a hand-written letter from then Coalition primary industries minister Doug Anthony in 1968 declaring him "one of the finest cooks in Canberra".