Mystery bar number 53
As I've already confirmed, the previous mystery bar was Vintage, a new "Asian tapas" bar in the old Monkey Bar space under Zibibbo. Its mixture of Orientalist decor and old-school hip-hop might sound odd, but like their cocktail that blends apple, elderflower and wasabi, somehow it works very nicely to kick a bit of freshness and spice into what could have been a tired genre. To top it all off, alongside the Bruce Lee videos and bombing-inspired signage, there's just a hint of retro kiwiana: another very contemporary form of nostalgia.
This week's mystery bar, which may well be the last for the year, is in a very different sort of timewarp. The music is pretty new, but sounds very 90s. The decor probably dates from the late 90s, but looks stereotypically 80s, with vast swathes of black paint, chrome and neon. Much of that is left over from a previous occupant of the space, and some elements look so incongruous that they could be seen as either hilarious or quite misleading, depending upon your point of view.
It's certainly not a place that you'd pop into for a quiet afternoon drink. It's all about late nights and dancing, though the pool table and pokies seemed to be getting more use than the dancefloor when I visited. Accordingly, the drinks selection leans more towards combinations of energy drinks and Jagermeister that sound not only nauseous but downright neurotoxic. Needless to say, a Martini was out of the question, and while I gained a kind of guilty pleasure from some of the music, I don't think I'll be hurrying back.