Honeysuckle. It’s an unusual name for a venue. But when owner Arthur Choi tells the story behind the name, it makes perfect sense.
“Honeysuckle is a climbing vine that produces fragrant and pleasant flowers – it symbolises happiness, sweetness and affection,” Arthur explains.
“We want this to be a place of sweetness and happiness for residents of the Molonglo Valley.
“We want the Honeysuckle vine to connect everyone in the community: connect your family, friends and your neighbours. This venue will be the central area of the vine.
“And there’s also the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station nearby too, so we feel we’ve landed on the perfect name.”
Arthur Choi, owner, Honeysuckle and Morning Dew at Denman Village Shops.
With the tagline “Your sweet local”, Honeysuckle is Molonglo Valley’s first licensed venue and will be opening next week, with the full food and beverage menu available from early May.
It’s located right next door to, and is the sister venue of, Morning Dew: the café at Denman Village Shops providing Molonglo Valley with high quality coffee, breakfast and brunch since mid-2019 (and owned by the same group).
Honeysuckle will offer a comprehensive lunch and dinner menu seven days a week, a takeaway or “grab and go” menu for people with limited time, and a sunroom and beer garden that can be sealed off for parties and functions.
The interior reflects the organic feel evoked by the venue’s name, with the extensive use of recycled timber sourced from Thor’s Hammer and recycled Canberra redbrick creating a warm, peaceful and inviting atmosphere. The natural palette and glass drop-lights resemble dripping honey.
The beers available at Honeysuckle are a line-up of Canberra’s best, including Capital Brewery favourites Coast Ale and XPA, and Bentspoke’s Crankshaft and Barley Griffin. The wine list stretches from Canberra across the Bass Strait, from Nick O’Leary to Tasmania’s Holm Oak. An extensive international line-up of wines is also available.
Not only has Honeysuckle been designed for the people of Molonglo Valley but residents have contributed strongly to features of the venue, especially the food offering.
You can expect “all the classics” on the lunch and dinner menus, Arthur says, but most with a modern twist. Like the Honeysuckle Parmi, which comes with pasta instead of the standard salad and chips.
“Executive Chef James Calagos, ex-Tilleys, brings a wealth of experience in casual, fine dining and takeaway operations, and he knows local tastes and local produce incredibly well,” Arthur says.
“Being a family-focused venue, we’ll have a kids menu, but also a selection of beautiful quality small plates, so you don’t have to come in for a big meal if you’re just looking for a glass of wine or a beer and a snack.”
Arthur owns eight cafes and bars across Canberra. His vision for Honeysuckle is “good times, great vibes and connecting the community together” and he’s hoping the venue will be packed with families and groups of friends, as well as professionals meeting for a quick lunch on weekdays.
“We’ve been really, really blessed to have the people of Denman Prospect and Molonglo Valley embrace Morning Dew,” Arthur says.
“It’s given us the confidence to expand the business into a new venue that’s a lot bigger in size and scale, but with the same high quality food and beverages, and friendly staff.
“We can’t wait.”
Honeysuckle opens from 12noon, Saturday 24 April.
View menu and trading hours here.