A place in the sun
On a day such as this, wouldn't it be nice to sneak out of work early, saunter off to your local watering hole, and enjoy a thirsty quenching beer/Pinot Gris/mojito in the afternoon sun? The only difficulty (apart from escaping work) lies in finding a decent bar that catches the last of the sun. A fellow dipsomaniac asked me for suggestions just now, and here are a few possibilities:
- The Green Room
- The Malthouse (balcony)
- Bouquet Garni
- Jet (before the B&T crowd arrive)
- Last Supper Club (if you time it right)
- The Tasting Room
You'll have noticed the relative lack of waterfront venues. That's partly because the orientation of the Wellington CBD, with hills to the west and harbour to the east, limits the possiblility of late afternoon sun at the harbour edge. Dockside gets the best sun (so it's usually packed on a nice day), and The Green Room's small outside area gets a bit of late sun, but apart from a few tables on the southern side, Shed 5 loses it fairly early. What about Chicago and the Loaded Hog? Please: I do have some standards. Bring on the Hilton!
There's always the Shed 22 brewery of course, and in summer it's hard to beat their Verboden Vice, but by beer o'clock they're mostly in the shadow of the Odlins building. Here's hoping that the Free Ambulance building gets a decent bar when its renovations are complete (in January, with any luck), as that will have some of the best sun in the city, and it will be especially pleasant when the lagoon is extended southwards. The wharenui is expected to have a cafe when it's complete, which will also help make this corner of the waterfront much livelier. But there's currently a dry zone from Taranaki St to Oriental Bay, so we'll have to wait to see what the Waitangi precinct delivers.
So, most of our best places for evening sipping are inland. In fact, if you're willing to trek up into bypass territory, I'm told that our latest mystery bar gets plenty of sun in its garden bar. Yes, as one of you worked out, it's the Southern Cross, and from the looks of things it may have seen its last $3 jug, but maybe its distance from Lambton Quay will save it from the suited hordes.