Mystery bar number 19
Well, so much for mystery bar number 18: it didn't take long for Josh to identify it as Trax at the railway station. Do you agree with me that Wellington commuters and visitors deserve something better than a relic from the days of walkshorts and railway pies?
Today's mystery bar should be harder. A lot harder. Stephen once accused me of being "duplicitous" in my mystery bar clues, and while I would dispute that, in this case I could be accused of making it unfairly difficult. But it should become a lot easier from tonight.
This place is a shrine to the sixties, and the Beatles in particular. The walls are covered with album covers, posters and guitars, which combine with brick walls, leather booths and squishy sofas to give (what I imagine to be) the atmosphere of a club from the 1960s. The image is enhanced by the low, arched ceiling and dim lighting, for an effect that is either claustrophobic or cosy, depending upon your point of view.
The management are clearly aiming at the over-40 set, and plan to keep the music quiet enough for conversation. Hummingbird is similar in that is also plays music from the same era, but often very loudly: this, and the difference between a large restaurant/bar with fishbowl windows and a small underground bar should ensure that the place has a point of difference.
It's not predominantly a cocktail bar, but they do make cocktails, and various styles of Martini glass are prominently displayed on backlit shelves behind the bar. I asked the bar manager what she'd use to make a Martini, and she answered "Plymouth. We have Bombay Sapphire too, but that's not really gin, just gin-flavoured vodka". Stephen would approve.
There's also a baby grand in the corner and a couple of Rat Pack posters, so those who prefer a loungier style of music may be in luck, too. If the sixties music isn't too dominant, the combination of cocktails and comfy sofas could bring in a wider clientele, especially those of us looking forward to the Lounge revival revival.