Mystery bar number 54
It's been a little while since the last mystery bar, which was in fact the last bar I had to visit in order to complete my quest last year. That was Endup, a dodgy "day club" in the old Santa Fe premises, and it seemed to be primarily frequented by people who'd taken too much BZP to get to sleep. Today's mystery bar is likely to attract a very different type of patron.
It's not quite what you'd expect from the outside. The decor is by a well-known designer with a string of high-profile bars and restaurants to his name, and it's certainly striking. If I had to categorise the style, I'd say it's a cross between retro futuristic and international luxury, combining shiny high-tech materials with dark brown leather, and organic shapes with crisp planes. A lot of thought has gone into bringing some intimacy into what could be a cold space, and while it doesn't quite achieve that, it's certainly comfier and more interesting than it could have been.
While the interior might say "Copenhagen circa 1960", the food and cocktail list has a definite Iberian and Latin American accent. In a refreshing change for Wellington, which has been tending towards "Asian Tapas" as the finger-food du jour, the bar snacks come in the form of picadas (South American street food). I also think this is the first time I've seen bacalao on a menu here, and I think I'll be back to try dinner here. There's a reasonable selection of different rums, and many of the cocktails have Caribbean or Brazilian themes. While that's hardly unique in Wellington, there are enough points of difference here to warrant a break from the usual routine to try this out for after-work drinks.