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Plaque to Gus Petersilka, near Gus's cafe
Gus's cafe

Coordinates: 35°16′39.92″S 149°7′55.00″E / 35.2777556°S 149.1319444°E / -35.2777556; 149.1319444 Gus's cafe is a cafe located in Civic, Canberra, Australia. It opened in 1969 and later became the first outdoor pavement cafe in Canberra. It is one of the oldest and best known cafes in Canberra and one of the first European-style cafes in Australia. It has both outdoor and indoor dining areas.

The cafe was established by Augustin 'Gus' Petersilka (20 July 1918 – 23 October 1994)[1] who emigrated to Australia from Austria in 1951 and arrived in Canberra in 1962. Petersilka had difficulties with introducing this new style of dining to Canberra as it was against the regulations of the time for people to sit outside in a cafe or restaurant, and he had several well-publicised clashes with bureaucrats.[2]

A plaque on the pavement outside Gus's cafe marks the occasion of Gus Petersilka being made the Canberran of the Year for 1978. It reads:

Petersilka was commemorated on 14 November 2002, by having a street[3] named after him in the Canberra district of Gungahlin.[4] The cafe was heritage listed in 2011.[5]

On 11 March 2011, Gus's was added to the Australian Capital Territory Heritage Register.[6]

On 9 March 2012, Gus's was temporarily closed down by the ACT Health Directorate for serious food safety breaches and risks to the public.[7]

The cafe closed in late June 2016 and was sold.[5] It re-opened in September 2017 as Gus' Place.[8]


  1. ^ ACT Library. Retrieved 27 March 2018
  2. ^ Condolence motion on the death of Mr Gus Petersilka at "Death of Mr Gus Petersilka" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly. 8 November 1994. pp. 3771–3774. During the debate Mr Stefaniak said: Gus went through various jobs and businesses until he went to his famous Cafe Gus's on Bunda Street. He had a lot of fights with bureaucrats there. One morning he found that his tables and chairs had been taken away on the back of a Department of the Interior truck. As a result of the public outcry, those tables and chairs were returned. .... In 1974 he had further problems with the department in relation to some awnings and some poles which did not have the correct approval. Again, the department did a raid; this time, I understand, a pre-dawn raid. Again, there was an outcry; and those goods were returned.
  3. ^ Petersilka Street
  4. ^ "Schedule: Public Place Names 2002, NO. 11 (Street Nomenclature - Gungahlin) - Division of Gungahlin: Australian Industrialists and Aspects of Industry, Gungahlin Pioneers" (PDF). ACT Government. 2002. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
  5. ^ a b Thistleton, John (18 July 2016). "Canberra's heritage-listed Gus' Cafe in Civic will re-open with new owners". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  6. ^ "GUS' CAFÉ at Bunda Street, Civic" (PDF). ACT Heritage Council. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Hogan, Jill (8 September 2017). "Gus' Place cafe on Bunda Street reopening with all-day dining, and dinner to come". goodfood. Retrieved 5 November 2017.