Bars and Nightclubs
Canberra CBD, Canberra

Hippo Co

17 Garema Pl, Canberra City, ACT
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Located in the heart of Canberra, with a balcony on level one over looking Garema Place. The perfect place to relax with a drink and watch the city go by below you.

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What To Expect @ Hippo Co


Written by Ramesha Perera

Hippo Co turns you from a first timer into an addict… Hippo Co has been an established watering whole within the Canberra region for the past 15 years and like all good brands it knows how to reinvent itself to stay current.

Hippo Co follows Canberra’s ever-popular 1920s bar trend with brickwork, leather and warm wooden seating and wall feature. The use of mirrors coupled with floor to ceiling glass wall and undefined outside space overlooking the city, makes this intimate bar seem bigger and less crowded.

The mood is set with early American soul funk music pouring from the speakers and dimly lit art deco lights and candles, that offer a great ambience whilst allowing you to see your friends and drink.

The bar tries to capture that gentlemen’s club/ prohibition-era vibe, but fails with its kitchy and random wall decorations. If you could swap them for some more striking images of classic jazz musicians and old Chicagoan architecture, the atmosphere would be more on point. That said, the atmosphere here is casual, warm and unpretentious.

Catered to a more sophisticated and mature crowd, Hippo Co allows a reprieve from the dramas of Garema Place below, with individuals ranging in age from 25 to 45 years. Depending on the night the venue can be filled with business suits or jeans to cocktail dresses for a girls or boys night out.

Hippo Co credits itself as a cocktail and whisky bar, but the collection at Hippo Co includes beers, wines, cocktails and whiskies. Cocktails are incredibly affordable and range from $11 to $17. Whereas whiskies on the other hand have a steeper curve, with glasses ranging from $11.50 to Y.O.L.O ($92). However this demonstrates the range and quality Hippo Co have to offer.

Now I am no connoisseur on whisky, but the amount of guys drinking it indicated to me this might be the place to try it out. So I did, how did I choose from the extensive list showcased on the wall? My advise for choosing any drink, ask the bartender. The staff here are super friendly, helpful and knows the menu by heart. Not to mention skilled, watching them create amazing cocktails is like watching an intricate dance, full of sidesteps, weaving and lots of shaking, it can be quite mesmerizing. It was in this state I ordered my second drink, a Ryan Gosling. I asked the bartender, “Why is it called a Ryan Gosling”, and she said “It's delicious, need I say more”, and she didn’t and it was!

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