WellUrban

Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Mystery bar number 19

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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.

Mystery bar #19 - guitarThis 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.

Mystery bar #19 - sofas and postersIt'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.

7 Comments:

At 11:38 am, January 27, 2006, Blogger the_sifter said...

Damn, I don't know where it is, but I'd sure like to go there!

 
At 11:54 am, January 27, 2006, Blogger stephen said...

That bar manager sounds like my soul-mate. I'm there with bells on.

 
At 12:01 pm, January 27, 2006, Blogger Jo Hubris said...

I'm going to guess the Cavern on Allan St, just cos of the '60s music thing. Of course, it might be upstairs, not downstairs, but nevermind...

 
At 6:26 pm, January 29, 2006, Blogger bush whacker said...

I didn't know there IS a Cavern on Allan St - i was thinking Tom had gone all out of town on us, via a quick trip to Christchurch with its tacky Beatles Beefsteak club or whatever its called - supremely fascinating in its ancient homage.....

 
At 11:29 am, January 30, 2006, Anonymous Josh said...

Even tho Im way outside the target demo, it sound like a great place. I get a little sick of bars that naturally assume that we are the soley to listen to the DJ's, perhaps we are out to socialise and converse with others. for that reason every time I'm out in the courtney area, I seem to spend most of my time in the 'Smoking area's' as its the only place you can talk to people without shouting.

 
At 4:18 pm, January 30, 2006, Blogger AL said...

Not the bar under Bodegas is it?....

 
At 11:44 am, February 07, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Yup, Jo, it's The Cavern Club.

 

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