Megan Doherty March 26, 2012
New digs, same faces ... Brodburger owners Sascha Brodbeck and Joelle Bou-Jaoude at their new Glassworks location. Photo: Richard Briggs
The owners of the Brodburger cafe are prepared for an onslaught as they open at the Canberra Glassworks tomorrow.
Sascha Brodbeck and Joelle Bou-Jaoude have been working furiously behind the scenes to cater for the pent-up demand from customers who have been without their Brodburger fix since their little red caravan closed down in Bowen Park in December.
As Canberra Glassworks chief executive officer Ann Jakle said: ''The single greatest question asked at the Glassworks in the last couple of weeks has been, 'When is Brodburger opening'.''
The cafe will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, to start with at least, they're not taking bookings.
''We don't want to seem too commercial. We still want to be unique but give Canberra that great service,'' Mr Brodbeck, 25, said.
But there will be buzzers - with a range of about two kilometres - so that people ordering takeaway can wander through the glassworks or down by the lake foreshore while they wait for their food. Brodburger had operated out of the caravan at Bowen Park for three years but came into dispute with the National Capital Authority which wanted it to work from a purpose-built kiosk because the van did not comply with the aesthetic demands of the National Capital Plan. The authority later offered to allow the van to keep operating under its hawker's licence as long as it was removed after each day's business.
Instead, the ACT government brokered a deal for Brodburger to move into the glassworks. The now empty red caravan will sit outside the glassworks on Wentworth Avenue as a reminder of their humble start. ''We're about to start a new chapter in our lives,'' Mr Brodbeck said.
Ms Bou-Jaoude, 33, said they were revelling in the space of their new digs.
''We can actually breathe and relax,'' she said.
''The caravan was amazing. It's done a lot for us. But it was time to move on and this space is amazing.''
Ms Jakle said the presence of Brodburger would enliven the glassworks. Glass artists Annette Blair and Mel George made a glass hamburger for the cafe's tips. The revamped cafe in the glassworks has an open kitchen reminiscent of an American diner with accents of red throughout, in a nod to the caravan. Media reports and sections of a petition signed by 10,000 people supporting the Brodburger van have been wallpapered on to an entryway. The back glassed area is for table service. Mr Brodbeck said there was room for 50 diners inside and 70 outside.
And, yes, there will still be burgers. Lots of them, with a steak burger and cheeseburger added to the menu.
''We still have the original burgers, the original recipe but we can spend more time with it,'' he said.
Arts Minister Joy Burch will officially open Brodburger at 11am today with the cafe opening to the public from 7am tomorrow.
''Our biggest goal is making people happy, giving them the same product in a beautiful location as well. It's going to be fun. It's going to be a lot of fun,'' Mr Brodbeck said.
Brodburger will be open Tuesday and Wednesday from 7am to 10pm, Thursday to Saturday from 7am to midnight and Sunday from 7am to 4pm.