1 March 2024

'It's the right time': Canberra institution Temporada announces closure

| Lucy Ridge
Dave Young smiling in a portrait

Chef Dave Young took over ownership of Temporada in 2020. Photo: Jason Loucas.

Temporada has become the latest Canberra restaurant to close its doors. After 10 years of service, the team has decided it’s time to call it a day.

Region spoke with owner and head chef Dave Young about the decision to shut up shop.

“It’s bittersweet. It’s nice to get to 10 years, but it will be sad to let it go,” Dave said.

“It’s been an amazing run … It just feels like the right time for me, personally, and for the restaurant. Time to go out on a high.”

Temporada opened in 2014, and Dave took over ownership in January 2020 – a challenging time for hospitality businesses – although he had worked in the business for several years beforehand.

plate of beautiful food

For the next 12 weeks, the Temporada menu will feature favourite dishes from the last decade. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

In addition to its excellent menus, the restaurant has become well known for its presence at the Canberra food market, The Forage, collaborations with other local restaurants, wedding catering at Petrichor Farm, and farmers market presence with The Butter Project.

Dave says he’s always worked to keep Temporada relevant and has endeavoured to reinvent the restaurant. When they first opened, the restaurant was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner five days a week, but the impact of nearby office employees working from home made them rethink their hours.

“With everything we did, we were always trying to keep the focus on the customer, just trying to work out how to make it better for them,” he said.

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Dave is honest about the fact that these various evolutions have been economically necessary – especially to make it through the ongoing impacts of COVID – but he’s proud of the work they’ve done to keep the business viable while staying true to their values of high-quality food and service.

When looking back on the last few years, one thing really stood out to him: “I’m really proud, first and foremost, of the people who’ve worked here … I feel like we’ve succeeded in showing people that this is hospitality. When people choose to spend time with us, to spend their money here, we have an obligation to honour that. The guys here really get it.”

Dave stands next to a market banner.

The Butter Project was just one of Temporada’s side hustles. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Whether it’s casual staff who went on to be doctors or apprentices who have gone on to work at top restaurants in Melbourne, Sydney and elsewhere in Canberra, Dave says that he’s been lucky to work with great people. It’s especially bittersweet that his current staff is such a tight-knit group, and he will particularly miss working with front-of-house manager Andrea.

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Temporada will be open for just 12 more weeks, so there are still a few opportunities to return for favourite dishes.

Dave is eager to revisit some classics on the menu, like the Jack’s Mistake dessert, wagyu intercostal with bean paste and nashi pear, and a grilled octopus with black vinegar and chilli oil. He’s already received requests from diners requesting their favourites.

Dave isn’t sure what he’ll do next. For now, he is “100 per cent focused on the next 12 weeks”, and he has a few future functions booked in at Petrichor Farm. While there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future, one thing is for sure, he’s not finished with hospitality.

“I’m keeping my options open. I don’t think I’m done yet.”

Black and white photo of restaurant interior with text 'Adiós.' in the corner.

Temporada will hold its final service on Saturday, 18 May. Photo: Temporada.

Dave wants to encourage diners to keep supporting their favourite restaurants. He has seen Canberra’s restaurant scene grow and improve dramatically over the last decade and hopes that more brilliant local restaurants will reach the 10-year milestone.

At the end of the day, hospitality and restaurants are ephemeral. Diners are paying for an experience, and the restaurant’s role is to make it as good as possible. Dave and the Temporada team should be proud of the many happy memories they’ve provided to Canberrans over the last ten years.

“Everything becomes memories from a restaurant. That’s all you get when you leave. We’ve just tried to leave people with the best memories.”

Temporada will close on 18 May. Book online to visit them before they close, and follow them on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with their menu of favourite dishes. Temporada is located at 1 5 Moore St, Canberra City.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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