A much-welcomed addition to Canberra Avenue, 1 On One Espresso glows with warmth among the concrete jungle of Barton’s office precinct. The space oozes with the aroma of its baked goodies, roasting coffee beans, and bustling kitchen, while its fit-out is a home interior fanatic’s dream, boasting a design that looks like it’s been torn straight out of a stylish magazine.


There are intimate spaces to lounge and unwind with friends as the hours go by, but also areas filled with natural light perfect for those quick corporate meetings. The space showcases a seamless arrangement of marble surfaces, plush leather, copper pendant lighting, monochrome fixtures and modern matte chairs. The two show-stoppers, in my opinion, are the commanding textured feature wall that sets the cool and relaxed vibe of the entire space, and the exposed beams on the ceiling – every detail has truly been accounted for.


We dropped in and had a chat to co-owner Robbie Khalil one bustling morning to catch up on how he’s found the first two weeks of trading.


“The response from Canberra has been phenomenal,” he says with a beaming smile.


1 On One has already become a favourite among its building’s office staff and it wasn’t long until word on the street saw people flocking from surrounding offices to see what all the fuss was about.


With years of experience under his belt in the hospitality industry, and having opened Meating Room (ACT Hospitality Awards Best Pub Bistro 2016) in Weston Creek just over a year ago alongside co-owners Phil Sacksady and Hamish Walker, it is clear by the look on Robbie’s face that 1 On One furthermore adds to his engrained passion for the industry.


Being the décor obsessive that I am, of course I had to delve into the fit-out first, but now onto the juicy stuff – the food!


“We have on-the-go treats, foods and snacks in the cabinet with one side dedicated to more healthy options – healthy but still exciting,” Robbie says.


“There’s a nice variety in there and conveniently everything on the menu can also be done take-away.”


Robbie’s top picks on the menu include the Smashed Avo for breakfast with smoked salmon, roast tomato, haloumi, charred rye, a poached egg and beetroot relish; and the classic Steak Burger for main served with onion jam, roasted capsicum, Swiss cheese, roquette, house barbeque sauce and fries.


But he says that customers can’t go past the Cauliflower, Broccoli and Haloumi Fritters with harissa salsa, cumin yoghurt and herb salad; and the CBLT Burger comprised of chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato and seeded mustard aioli, all on a brioche bun with fries – take my money!


The name of the venue is a nod to its prime real estate positioned at 1 Canberra Avenue, but it also pays homage to its staff whose service is friendly, casual, conversational, personable, and well, ‘one-on-one’.


“There’s never a dull moment. When we get really busy, there’s three of us on the coffee machine, one doing shots, one doing coffees and one doing milk – I love the rush of it all. It makes me really proud putting that smile on a customer’s face,” Robbie says.


With the venue’s day trade absolutely pumping, despite being the new kids on the block Robbie and his team have already set sights on what’s next for the café.


“We’re thinking of doing weekends in spring and summer because around here there’s not really anywhere to go,” he explains.


“We’re open Monday to Friday at the moment and have enjoyed the last few weeks so much – seeing people walk away with a great experience after they’ve sat down in this comfortable environment and tasted all the yummy food – that we’d love to extend that onto the weekend and onto the outdoor area when it gets warmer.”


1 On One Espresso
Where: 1 Canberra Avenue, Forrest.
Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 7am – 4pm
Facebook: www.facebook.com/1ononeespresso