Mystery bar number 48
I underestimated you. Or perhaps overestimated you. I thought that last week's mystery bar would not be the sort of place that sophisticated, literate urbanites like yourselves would recognise with any ease, and yet it was identified within two hours as The Shack in The Oaks complex. I suppose, though, that a dedicated drinker should consider the whole world of bibulous experience open to him or her, and in the spirit of Terence would have to say "Blotto sum: alcoholico nil a me alienum puto".
This one should be pretty straightforward. While it's not exactly a sports bar, it has sporting connections, and its attempts at "urban cool" are let down somewhat by a plethora of projection screens showing rugby league. On the other hand, the designers have gone all-out to achieve the "wow" factor, much more so than this sort of establishment normally attempts, and I think they've achieved it. The swooping ceiling elements, faceted wall panels and ever-changing coloured lights create a sensory overload that could be either invigorating or irritating, depending upon your mood.
While there's a reasonable attempt to engage with the street, most of the action happens deep in the bowels of the place. And it certainly does go deep: it's a bit like a Tardis, since even though it looks substantial enough from outside, it goes much further back than seems physically possible. Combine this with the changes in level, island bar, booths, ramps and private room, and in the dark and noisy atmosphere it can seem vast and labyrinthine.
It seems to have an adequate wine and beer selection, and the inexperienced yet enthusiastic staff made a reasonable attempt at a Martini despite the lack of proper ingredients. There's a full menu as well, but in the end people come here for entertainment rather than food. It's good to have something like this in Wellington, and it makes a great alternative to bog-standard bars.