If you haven’t heard it from me, then I guarantee you’ve heard it somewhere. Canberra is abuzz with the big reveal of local establishment, Hippo’s – now Hippo Co’s - new interior. The last time we saw Hippo was at the launch of Luke Chiswell’s latest T-shirt print collection, when the iconic bar’s prior facade was stripped bare.
The new Hippo Co was something very unexpected – pleasantly unexpected. As you climb the stairs to its second floor locale above Happy’s Chinese Restaurant, you are transported from Canberra Civic to someplace distinctly European. Once inside, you are greeted with soft yellow lighting, warm brick walls and rich wood accents. The walls are decked with regal game trophies (recognizable as being from Lonsdale Street Traders), an eclectic array of vintage photos and prints, and intriguing highland paraphernalia. The new Hippo Co resembles a turn of the 19th century ski lodge in the Alps. It’s so homely and cozy inside that you feel rather like you had happily escaped where you had just come from.
The delectable drinks being served are also very befitting the new theme. Hippo Co’s new bar has been fitted with an expansive whiskey rack (which requires the bartender to climb a quaint wheeled ladder to access), stocked with a whisky selection numbering in the hundreds. The scoreboard style whiskey list on the wall lists a number of decedent bottles aged in their 30’s.
As for the inspiration for the new interior, director, Sasha hints that there were many inspirations, but they have tried to incorporate a lot of locally sourced decor and recycled materials. The result is a new elegant space in Civic that’s a little bit different.
Hippo Co is located on the second floor at Garema Place, above Happy’s Chinese Restaurant. Follow their facebook page here.
More photos on my facebook page.