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

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Most of my recent posts have been on two subjects about which Wellingtonians are known to be passionate: the waterfront, and drinking. So here's one that combines the two.

The space on the north and east sides of the Loaded Hog is finally turning into a branch of One Red Dog. It was always intended to be such, but seemed to have received only a partial fit-out before being left in limbo. It looks as if the owners were waiting for spring to make it a more attractive destination before opening, and in the meantime it's been kept busy as a special events venue (Barmy Army, World of WearableArts etc).

While it's good to see a greater variety of waterfront dining venues, I had hoped for something other than a chain (at least it's not Starbucks!). I also hope that the staff are better-trained than at the Hog or at the Ponsonby One Red Dog. Years ago at the latter venue, I asked for a Martini made with Bombay Sapphire, receiving the reply, "Certainly sir, and would you like some gin in that?"

The Green Room opened some time ago in the old function room of Shed 5. It's going for more of an intimate, boutique bar feeling than Shed 5, and with it's Starck plastic sofas it's the closest the waterfront gets to hipness. On the other hand, the soundtrack tends to be aimed at a Baby Boomer and Generation Jones crowd, and the clientele reflects this. Nevertheless, the outside area is still a pleasant place to be on a still night.

The Odlins building is pretty much complete, though the ground floor tenancies are yet to be leased. Next door, the former Wellington Brewing Company in Shed 22 has been re-branded as a Mac's Bar. The giant mural celebrating Kiwi booze-barn culture has gone, replaced by a row of booths, and while there are hints of the ersatz miner's cottage look of their rivals Monteiths, as a first impression it looks lighter and more contemporary. As long as they still have Verboden Vice, I'll be happy.

People often talk of establishments "going under", but the F69 bar will be literally going under when the frigate is sunk off Island Bay next month. I'm sure that Te Papa will be glad to get their view back, but it's been great to have a bit of life partway along the long, bleak path in front of Te Papa.


At 2:52 pm, October 21, 2005, Blogger Dena Ringold said...

Hey, cool. I want a photo credit! :)

At 11:55 am, October 25, 2005, Blogger Tom said...

Ok, here you are: "Photo stolen from Dena."

Happy now? :-)


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