WellUrban

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

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mystery bar number 53

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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.

Mystery bar #53 - the barThis 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.

Mystery bar #53 - patrons

9 Comments:

At 4:20 pm, December 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well... there is a pole in the foreground of the picture, and you say you're having "guilty pleasure" and there being late nights and dancing.....


....SURELY this time it must be a nudie bar - and prob most def Santa Fe... seeing as i saw you walking past (or was it out of...?) there

 
At 9:39 pm, December 17, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

I must stress that everyone was fully dressed when I was there. I don't think I'd have gotten away with taking photos otherwise!

 
At 10:08 am, December 18, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Oh, and that pole is right in the middle of the bar, so that's not used for dancing

 
At 8:27 am, December 19, 2006, Blogger Hadyn said...

Yeah I saw the pole too and assumed it was either the new Santa Fe or the old Santa Fe.

 
At 9:42 am, December 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it the Big Kumara? I only say that because it looks like Barneys....
Simon

 
At 11:52 am, December 20, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Nope, not the Big Kumara. The others are much closer, but I have to stress that the bar I visited is not actually a strip club. Can anyone give it's proper name?

 
At 5:04 pm, December 20, 2006, Anonymous Perrin said...

Well I was not going to say "Endup" because you said in the post immediately preceeding this one that it was one of the only two bars you haven't visited this year, and I thought it would be too obvious. But you've more or less given it away in your latest post. Just wanting to see if we're paying attention? :)

 
At 1:58 pm, December 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's SpiceHammer, which has recently opened in Dixon St, opposite the CD store, and upstairs.

I briefly popped in but it didn't seem like my kind of place at all.

It's rather needlessly stuck in the 80s.

Bevan.

http://chockasunday.livejournal.com

 
At 4:29 pm, December 21, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Bang on, Perrin: it's Endup. While the Big Kumara and Spicehammer also have a bit of a scungy 80s nightclub feel, Endup's location in the old Santa Fe leaves it with a legacy of even sleazier decor.

 

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