Public Bar is located in Manuka, a very trendy part of Canberra. Manuka reminded me of the Eastern Suburbs in Sydney and had similar sort of people too. If I were a cool local, I might have already known about this gem of a pub. That’s we’re it helped to know 101 local humans. I asked this think tank if they knew a good place to eat, that would also accommodate children. It didn’t take long for Amanda (who just happens to be editor and creator of HerCanberra) to suggest Public. When we lived in Sydney, my husband and I used to go the The Willoughby a lot. So happy to say that we’ve now found our Canberra replacement. Neither pub caters specifically for children, but the furniture is indestructible, the music is loud enough to cover the whines of children and the staff are more than happy to work around your children – so definitely meets my requirements for kid friendly (although there aren’t any high chairs, so bring a pram if you need a seat for smaller children).
Public has a great selection of food, with much of their menu being served all day. Another great plus is that you can view the menu on their website, so you can check if they have food suitable for your youngsters. They also have a great selection of wine and beer. We ordered their Moroccan Lamb Pizza with cherry tomatoes, feta, spinach and tzatziki, as well as beer battered chips. Both were delicious. I’d even go so far as saying the chips were the best I’ve ever eaten – high praise considering that, having young children, I think we’ve tried the chips at nearly every place we’ve been. Probably the nicest thing about eating here is that my husband and I were able to have a normal adult conversation. Primarily because Little Miss was busy grooving away to the jazz music and our Little Man was entertained watching our daughter and the guys behind the bar. It was sublime. Not to mention this was the type of place we’d go to without children. So it almost felt like we were back in our early 30s again. The best of both worlds.
But just remember, it isn’t designed for children, so keep them in check. The staff don’t mind but it isn’t the kind of place where the other patrons will think your children are ‘cute’… Especially if they disrupt them. We dined at 5pm (child dinner time) and it wasn’t anywhere near full. So nobody minded Little Miss trying out her moonwalk dance moves between the tables. Not sure that would go down so well if we were there later in the evening.