WellUrban

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

Friday, April 21, 2006

Mystery bar number 28

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Mystery bar #28 - the barThis place is decidedly more upmarket than the previous mystery bar, which as I mentioned last week was the very studenty Urbane cafe/bar on the corner of Webb and Hopper streets. It's also new in a sense, because it's had a thorough renovation. The result still looks decidely retro, though, but whether that's by accident or design is hard to tell. They seem to have vaguely gone for Art Deco glamour, with lots of curves and chrome highlights, but the end result looks more like a slightly more tasteful version of the 1980s Deco revival. Only slightly more tasteful, mind you: the slowly changing colours of the lighting strip around the bar seemed tacky in the context of the otherwise restrained decor.

Mystery bar #28 - the ceilingNot that the clientele seemed to mind. It's a very professional place, and the wine and cocktail lists seemed acceptable, so I was disappointed to note that my Martini had been shaken: they should know better. There's a view, though it's not as impressive as it must once have been, so it's easy to just sit back and look at the ceiling. And what a ceiling! The repeating white-on-white patterns of dots and squares (almost Thompsonesque) in the white acoustic tiles look like something a contemporary interior designer would concoct as a knowing nod to the 70s while maintaining a sleeker minimalist look. But I'm told that this is the original ceiling, which shows that is you leave a place untouched for long enough, it will eventually go through the cycle of fashionable to dated to laughable to ironic and back to fashionable again. I wouldn't go so far as to say the bar itself will become hip, but in one sense at least it will remain one of Wellington's top bars.

10 Comments:

At 10:58 AM, April 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh noes, my martini was shaken! this place is shit

sif

 
At 5:08 PM, April 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Pharmacy in Notting Hill, but can't be...

 
At 11:02 AM, May 03, 2006, Blogger Jo Hubris said...

It looks like a bar in a hotel. Which one I don't know though.

 
At 11:13 AM, May 03, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Definitely a hotel. A friend of mine tells me that it used to have a blind pianist and be full of cheap hookers, but it seems nowhere near as interesting now.

 
At 1:34 PM, May 03, 2006, Blogger the_sifter said...

It's the James Cook on the Terrace - their revamped Piano Bar.

I haven't been their yet but you gave far too many clues... ;-)

 
At 1:42 PM, May 03, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

What gave it away: the hookers or the blind pianist? ;-)

 
At 11:35 AM, May 04, 2006, Blogger Jo Hubris said...

Oh my stars, I think that's actually the one hotel bar in Wellington I've actually been to. Of course, I was 17 at the time, so I suspect it might have changed a little now.

 
At 4:42 PM, May 04, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Wow, not only hookers and a blind pianist, but underage drinkers too! Looks like I've either woefully underestimated the decadence quotient for this bar, or that it's settled into dull complacent middle age.

 
At 11:14 PM, May 04, 2006, Blogger Jo Hubris said...

Yeah, I was with a 19 year old and another 17 year old at the time (this was back in 1998 when the drinking age was 20), and the 19 year old kept PUTTING HIS FEET UP ON THE TABLE. Shocking. It truly was a den of sin.

 
At 1:06 PM, May 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well....it did once lay claim to having the best real strawberry daquiris in town.

 

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