Is there a recipe for success? Apparently yes. According to Jared Calnan, debutant director of our new favourite food concept, there is. Passion, opportunity and timing; all thrown in together without too much consideration.
Lazy Su, Canberra’s newest Asian-inspired eatery, is the sum of these parts. The first collaborative venture for partners Jared Calnan, Ben Ilic, Andrew Duong and head chef Shaoyi Kuek is making some serious waves. Since opening, the bar-too-cool-for-bookings has had a line around the block.
Designed by BrandWorks, the vibe is cheeky, dotted with throwbacks to 80’s K-Pop icons. Full of personality, original industrial elements are met with candy pastels, denim partitions and lucky cats.
An all-day space, the vibe is transformed from day to night through a series of light and mirror installations. Mirror balls channel a disco vibe, while timber partitions and shibori-dyed lanterns juxtapose traditional elements. And in a true eighties tribute, the tables feature gold Lazy Susans – perfect for a menu made to share.
An adaptation on a traditional izakaya layout, a long bar draws down one side. Lazy Su lures you to stay longer with rear dining space that moonlights as a dancefloor. The feature of which is a red and gold lenticular mirror wall. Warmly hypnotic, it leaves you wondering whether you’ve had one sake too many... Even the dimpled cement walls were designed as a feature of function. Chosen to enhance the industrial vibe, the cladding doubles as soundproofing, allowing Su to take full advantage of her 2am license.
It’s is a concept that’s been brewing for some time. “I’ve always had this vision for this really fun, Asian-style venue that did food and drink… a casual style that wasn’t so serious,” owner Jared Calnan says.
A new kid on an up-and-coming block, the ‘very fresh’ Lazy Su is breathing life into a hospitality scene emerging from complacency. The team join the ranks of a growing number of self-starters in the Australian capital who are taking the industry back with vision and good vibes.
Combining Jared and Ben’s bar backgrounds, with the menu know-how of Andrew and Shao Yi, meant a set of well-seasoned industry skills were poised. The result of which is the retro-nostalgic Asian dining concept which is taking Braddon by storm.
“Everything was at the right time, right location, we loved the building as well. So I saw the space, the location, the right people were all there at the right time and it all kind of came together,” Jared says. Making the whole thing sound quite seamless, the 27-year-old credits the past to the team’s present (and no doubt future) success.
“It helps being our age I guess as well, because we have enough experience in the industry that we know kind of all the suppliers, and we know how to make everything happen, but (at the same time) we’re young enough (not to overthink it).” Jared says. Enough experience to pull it off, whereas still enough naivety not to hesitate.
Branding by BrandWorks personifies this; fun, loud, cheeky and curious. Inspired by retro 80-90’s American-Japanese-Korean pop culture, eating houses and hawker stalls. Lazy Su’s the brand menders through the interior guided by retro posters, lightboxes and LED in way which says ‘discover first, ask questions later’.
For Jared and the team, it’s their passion for the concept that’s really translated. With a background in marketing, Jared can contest firsthand to importance of authenticity. “You can have a really nice brand but if people don’t really believe that it’s you or believe that you believe in it, then it’s not going to work,” he says.
While the dust is yet to settle on Su, the team already have expansion plans in the works. And seeing as they have a knack for creating concepts that guarantee a good time, we will certainly be following closely!
LAZY SU - BOOK A TABLE
1/9 Lonsdale St, Braddon ACT 2612
(02) 5105 3812