Subscribe to our regular 'What's on in Victoria' newsletter

Hotel Canberra in Ballarat has once again opened its doors

Words by Richard Cornish
Images supplied

On the main road between Ballarat and Creswick is a grand old hotel dating back to the late 1800s. In 1927 the beautiful old girl was renamed after the nation’s new capital to celebrate the opening of the parliament.

Victorian on the outside but Art Deco on the inside, the pub has new owners and a new offer. The new team is headlined by one of Melbourne’s best-known radio producers and publicists Pete Dillon. A Ballarat local for some time in the 1980s, he is joined by his brother Paul and former Rockpool chef, the Philippines-born Jeris (Jigs) Liwanag.

The Hotel Canberra is opening in three stages. Bobby’s bar opened recently featuring a 100% Victorian beverage, with a commitment to artisan, craft, and hyper-local beer, wine, and spirits.

Next will be The Stables Café & Bar, a seven-day licensed café in the heritage-listed, hundred-year-old stables at the rear of the property. There are a series of individual nooks and crannies where guests can enjoy locally roasted coffee, sweets, and treats from around Ballarat and a contemporary menu offering pre-noon and post-noon menus, as well as some locally produced beers and wines.

And coming soon, Vesta x Jigs, the new dining room, will give former Rockpool chef Jigs Liwanag plenty of opportunity to flex his culinary muscle, drawing on his Filipino heritage and a decade sailing the world cooking on private ships. He’ll be preparing degustation menus celebrating the very best of the state.

The menu will be 100% Victorian produce, with much of it drawn from the local Ballarat region. “I will be challenged by our strict Victorian-only ethos as I am used to using what is available, but I am motivated to find the very best from the region and get really creative with the produce. I am excited to offer guests a glimpse into my heritage as well as the amazing dishes I fell in love with as I travelled the world”.


What: Hotel Canberra re-opens
Where: 812 Macarthur St, Ballarat Central
Bar open, Stables Café and Bar and Vesta x Jigs dining room coming soon
Old pub with art deco interior with Vic food and beverage focus
More info: Canberra Hotel and The Stables Tea Room Ballarat

We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.
Every week we send you
our picks of the best
stuff happening outside
We will never share your information with a third-party.