Wine, dine, cheer and dance at the Lighthouse Pub this autumn as their crowd-pleasing food and drinks menu is paired perfectly with sport on the big screens, live music and cruisy afternoons in good company.

Affectionately known as the ‘Lighty’, this is Belconnen’s timeless local. Located on the shores of Lake Ginninderra, the Lighty is the ideal spot to dine with a view. Always bustling, you can enjoy lunch in the sun, beers and the footy, dinner by the lake or tearing up some rug of an evening.

Venue manager, Andy describes the Lighty as a place that “anyone can walk in straight away feel like it’s their local. It’s a good, friendly vibe, all the time and an inclusive venue for people of all ages and walks of life – from kids to retirees.”

That it is! It really does cater for everyone. The waterfront location is the perfect spot to enjoy the tasty menu: from snack food to share plates to hearty pub meals. “What people are starting to realise, too, is that we are a good family option.”

The strong family focus on Sundays is boosted by live music to smoothly sail you into the afternoon as the kids eat for free. “On a beautiful day, you don’t get much better than our outdoor area, right by the water in the sun, listening to good music.”

And what better accompaniment to fun Friday and Saturday nights out than live music followed by DJs? But if you’re not there for the music, perhaps the sports will capture your attention. Live sport is a big focus at the Lighty and TAB facilities add excitement to any day. The big screens are unobtrusive to diners as they showcase a wide range of live games around the clock.

The bar offers a range of local and boutique beers, as well as an extensive wine and brand new cocktail list. Happy hour is always a kicker between five and six on weekdays and on Saturdays, 2-for-1 cocktails between 6.00pm and 8.00pm is sure to get the party started!

The food here is consistently good and made from locally sourced ingredients where possible “It’s pub grub but made with a lot of care and attention to detail.” There are menu options available all day, including several specials that ensure there is always something new to try.

The linguine, a gem from the daily specials board, was exactly what I wanted in a bowl of delicious pasta. Cooked al dente, the mushrooms, avocado and asparagus balanced perfectly with the creamy white wine sauce. I’d call this the best comfort food as the light yet hearty ingredients and fresh produce shine.

It wouldn’t be a pub feed without a generous serve of nachos… and generous it is! “The nachos are one of our most popular share dishes, it’s a favourite,” says Andy. The carefully-crafted pile of corn chips delivers all the spice and crunch you want in a hands-on share dish. The fresh sour cream and light guacamole are sure to put a smile on your face alongside a well-earned beverage.

How about healthy options, you ask? Don’t go past the nutritious pizza. Topped with roasted pumpkin and sweet potato, crunchy pine nuts and crumbled feta on a crispy-yet-fluffy base, this is a guilt-free go-to! The Lighty caters for all and has vegetarian options on both the menu and the specials board.

As you’d expect at your local, the most popular dish on the menu is a burger! The beef burger is a hearty stack, accompanied by crispy chips, seasoned to perfection. “A big favourite, this one,” Andy told me as I dug in. I couldn’t fault it, it was everything I wanted in a burger and more.

The southern fried chicken has been a smash hit on the daily specials board and is sure to be Canberra famous as it heads up the new menu. The crispy, salty exterior complements the tender, juicy chicken pieces. And my, they’re big! You won’t be hungry after this, served up with a side of fresh coleslaw.

“At the moment to southern fried chicken is my favourite thing on the menu. It’s such a tasty dish. It’s fairly new but I think it’s set to be one of our most popular dishes. That and the old faithfuls like burgers and all-day pizza. They’re the best sharing options when you’re here with mates.”

The Lighty is not gimmicky or clichéd. It’s everyone’s local and has cemented its place in the heart of Belconnen for every occasion.