The strip of cafés along Braddon's Lonsdale Street showed strong signs of emerging from the doldrums of coronavirus restrictions on Saturday, with most forced to turn eager customers away.
Despite persistent drizzle, lines formed along the street, with Canberrans now spacing out along the footpath as a matter of habit.
On the vast upper level of Lonsdale Street Roasters Number 7, 10 diners enjoyed their one-hour slot among empty tables which would have been very unusual before coronavirus.
Owner Evan Mannan said the café's 10 spots each hour were booked out for the whole day.
"Being around people and getting back in the café has been awesome," Mr Mannan said.
"Obviously, everyone wants to come in now, so it is a little bit tricky to try and get 10 people. We do have a big space as well, so we're doing the best we can at the moment."
He said customers had been accommodating of the restrictions and there had been "public policing" of the social distancing rules.
"Other than that, it's been OK. They've been pretty understanding of it. They know that we're only allowed to have 10 people, so the public has been good," he said.
Mr Mannan said he was hopeful restrictions would be lifted to allow 50 people in the cafe, which would see a significant revenue lift for the business.
"With 50 [people], there's a lot more that you can do," he said.
Among the 10 dine-in customers, Kirsten Livermore and Craig Brown were enjoying their second breakfast out with their children since restrictions eased. The family ventured out for the first time last Sunday.
"It feels different because - it hasn't changed - but it feels more convivial, there's a bit more life to it," Ms Livermore said.
"I've been looking forward to this. I was working overseas, and I've just been, for months over there, [thinking] 'I can't wait to get back and come to Lonsdale Street and read the papers and hang out with family'. Of course, I got back from overseas [and it couldn't happen]. So this is pretty special."
Mr Brown said Ms Livermore had wanted to squeeze a takeaway breakfast in from Lonsdale Street the whole time since she had returned from overseas and needed to go into isolation.
"That's right, I asked if we could come on the way from the airport," Ms Livermore said.
The owner of Rye, Gurmeet Singh, said it had been positive to see people in the cafe again after weeks only being able to offer take-away service.
The eased restrictions also meant the café could offer shifts to staff who had been left without work during the shutdown period, he said.
Although a shift to allowing 50 people to dine in would help the business, Mr Singh predicted it would be harder to manage than the 10-person rule.
When there were 10 people, it was easy to count patrons and manage bookings, he said.