For the pretzel bakery and snack counter in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, see Gus's Pretzels. For the famous pickles vendor located on the Lower East Side of New York City, see Guss' Pickles.
Plaque near Gus's cafe to Gus Petersilka
Gus's cafe

Coordinates: 35°16′39.92″S 149°7′55.00″E / 35.2777556°S 149.1319444°E / -35.2777556; 149.1319444 Gus's cafe is a cafe located in Civic, Canberra, Australia. It opened in 1969 and later became the first outdoor pavement cafe in Canberra. It is one of the oldest and best known cafes in Canberra and one of the first European-style cafes in Australia. It has both outdoor and indoor dining areas.

The cafe was established by Augustin 'Gus' Petersilka (1919–1994) who emigrated to Australia from Austria in 1951, and arrived in Canberra in 1962. Petersilka had difficulties with introducing this new style of dining to Canberra as it was against the regulations of the time for people to sit outside in a cafe or restaurant and he had several well-publicised clashes with bureaucrats.[1]

A plaque on the pavement outside Gus's cafe marks the occasion of Gus Petersilka being made the Canberran of the Year for 1978. It reads:

Gus epitomised the emerging soul of Canberra. His constant representations on behalf of the people of the city produced the establishment of the outdoor Viennese cafe throughout Canberra. He was the scourge of the establishment and a crusader of the people. His friendly hospitality and fierce determination has been indelibly stamped on the character of Canberra. May his energy, vision and laughter live on in this city.

Petersilka was commemorated on 14 November 2002, by having a street[2] named after him in the Canberra district of Gungahlin.[3] The cafe was heritage listed in 2011.[4]

On 9 March 2012 Gus's was temporarily closed down by the ACT Health Directorate for serious food safety breaches and risks to the public.[5]

The cafe closed in late June 2016 and was sold.[4]


  1. Condolence motion on the death of Mr Gus Petersilka at "Death of Mr Gus Petersilka" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly. 8 November 1994. pp. 3771–3774. During the debate Mr Stefaniak said: Gus went through various jobs and businesses until he went to his famous Cafe Gus's on Bunda Street. He had a lot of fights with bureaucrats there. One morning he found that his tables and chairs had been taken away on the back of a Department of the Interior truck. As a result of the public outcry, those tables and chairs were returned. .... In 1974 he had further problems with the department in relation to some awnings and some poles which did not have the correct approval. Again, the department did a raid; this time, I understand, a pre-dawn raid. Again, there was an outcry; and those goods were returned.
  2. Petersilka Street
  3. "Schedule: Public Place Names 2002, NO. 11 (Street Nomenclature - Gungahlin) - Division of Gungahlin: Australian Industrialists and Aspects of Industry, Gungahlin Pioneers" (PDF). ACT Government. 2002. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
  4. 1 2 Thistleton, John (18 July 2016). "Canberra's heritage-listed Gus' Cafe in Civic will re-open with new owners". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 18 July 2016.

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