332 Manhattan, an imported name but a local heart

A note to property developers and real estate marketers that insist on naming Canberra buildings after places on the other side of the world: Just stop it! If there is a recently completed building in Canberra with a more stupid name than Manhattan on the Park, I’ll eat my hat. Why? It’s out of context. Out of place. Out of style.

That said, 332 Manhattan, the café that opened this morning on the corner of this property has made the right decision, considering the landlords have emblazoned the word MANHATTAN across the awning directly above its door. And it is, after all, number 332 of this awkwardly named building.

But like a book that should not be judged by its cover, 332 Manhattan is not about pretending to be somewhere else, but rather, about supporting our city and our region and highlighting the best of local produce. Here you will find espresso coffee, supplied by Lonsdale Street Roasters, just a couple of blocks away. Tea is from Canberra tea-masters Adore, and chai comes from Queanbeyan based RealChai.

A range of Canberra region artisan food items are on display and available to take home, including chocolates from Little Monster Chocolate and Lindsey & Edmunds Fine Chocolates, conserves from Black Horse Fine Foods, honey from Canberra Urban Honey, and olive oil from Homeleigh Grove to name a few.

332 Manhattan’s marketing manager, Emma Batchelor, explains that it is part of their mission to support local businesses as much as they can. She has been instrumental in sourcing the local producers, making the café one of two outlets in Canberra to stock Bison Homewares, and commissioned local artist Lexi Keelan and photographer Kira Dowling to contribute to the fit-out.

Emma has also put in place a Baker in Residence program. She has approached a number of local bakers, both commercial and home based, and asked them to supply 332 Manahttan on a rotational basis. The items will change on an almost daily basis, and complement the in-house offer of the café.

Owners Tom and Dan Butt have brought together a kitchen team that is being guided in the early stages by well-known chef Paulo Milinesi from Black Fire, and the menu reflects his consultancy with a number of Italian themed dishes. Pasta features prominently with offerings like tortellini of goat’s cheese with wild mushrooms and pecorino, or spaghetti with pork belly, capers and spicy tomato sauce.

Sandwiches may be filled with oven-roasted tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant or prosciutto San Daniele, fresh mozzarella and rocket. Breakfast is a big part of the offer here, and includes parfait with fresh and dry fruits, toasted Canberra muesli with first milk yoghurt, or a number of egg offerings that include standards along with some unique creations.

Of Paulo’s involvement, Tom Butt had this to say: “We met Paulo through Rob Salafia (Salafia & Co) who did our fit-out. Rob is a partner at Black Fire, and he introduced us. We’ve been blown away by Paulo’s generosity, and it was amazing how much assistance they gave us.” Once more, this is testament to the way locals support locals in our community, and all the more reason to visit 332 Manhattan, a place with a name from the other side of the globe, but with its heart firmly entrenched at home.

332 Manhattan is open Tuesday to Saturday from 7am to 9.30pm, and Sunday to Monday from 7am to 4pm.

See their facebook page here

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “332 Manhattan, an imported name but a local heart

  1. Great piece of work that can do good and therefore these social mediums are not so bad as tools of advancing the dialogue for defining the Canberra identity. Alex, I hope through your ‘pen’ you can advocate and champion the need for property developers and real estate owners to ‘get real’ by pretending to be living elsewhere in naming of their buildings! They should consider naming their buildings after places which celebrate the beauty and mystique of living in Canberra. What’s wrong with “Glebe Park on Capital Lakeside’ etc. Reality check number 1: Property owners, Canberra is already expensive enough, you do not need to worry about your investments regardless of real estate marketing slogan ‘location, location, location’. Manhattan is in New York, even a year 5 student could tell you that. Reality check number 2: You should really stop the pretentious nature of naming buildings in Canberra after places that are just not aligned to its geographical reality, and worse it is not comparable as far as global cities are concerned! Please lets take Alex’s advice and “just stop it” because we all have to put up with the bad press and negative publicity of our beautiful gem of a city. We may not have a Central Park, Empire State Building or Hudson River in sight but we have Lake Burley Griffin and the Capitol Hill and all the beautiful city and hill surroundings in sight. Let’s celebrate what we have and let Donald Trump and his fellow property developer colleagues market their authentic ‘Manhattan on the Park’ in New York!
    Good morning Canberra!

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