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

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bar wars

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The Capital Times has begun its 2006 Best of Wellington survey (which is now online), inviting readers to vote for their favourite things under dozens of categories. However, one category is glaringly absent: best bar. They have best barman, barmaid, music venue and nightclub, but no bar (or best Martini, for that matter).

Maybe the inaugural NZ Bar Awards will settle that debate. The ceremony was held last night in Auckland, but as far as I can tell the results are yet to be released (at least as far as the Interweb's concerned). I was afraid that it would be very Auckland-centric, but as the nominations (880kB PDF) were concerned, Wellington came out quite well. We had 10 bars up for 19 nominations, which compares favourably on a per-capita basis with Auckland's 21 bars and 30 nominations. The difference in bars-to-nominations ratio probably hints that while we don't have a huge number of top bars, those we have do a lot of things very well (especially cocktail lists).

Here's a list of the Wellington bars, and what they were nominated for (update: I've highlighted the winners):

Matterhorn (bar, bar team, drinks selection, cocktail list)
Motel (bar team, cocktail bar, drinks selection, cocktail list)
Good Luck (bar, bar team, cocktail list)
Boulôt (new bar, cocktail list)
Havana (bar)
Arbitrageur (wine bar)
Vivo (wine bar)
Boogie Wonderland (nightclub)
Sandwiches (nightclub)
Hope Bros (pub)

So, it's mostly the usual suspects, but with a couple of surprises. I'm sure there are plenty of you with strong objections (I'd have picked Leuven well ahead of Hope Bros, and a poke in the eye with a sharp stick ahead of Boogie Wonderland), so let's hear them.


At 1:28 pm, August 24, 2006, Blogger s. said...

Hope Bros is shite. And Boogie Wonderland is just wrong. I've nothing against disco music per se, but they've just got it wrong. They could've hired clued-up djs to play an eclectic mix of stormin 'disco and electro, but instead they just pander to the masses with what sounds like the soundtrack to too many social club Friday drinkies. Ugh.

At 2:38 pm, August 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right about Booger Blunderland: hen-night hell, rather than Studio 54 hedonism.

And as far as "pubs" go, the revamped Southern Cross and even the Brewery Bar would be better than Hope Bros.

At 10:40 pm, August 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Results will probably be released in next month's Bartender magazine, but to the best of my knowledge Bar of the Year and Cocktail List of the Year: Matterhorn, Nightclub of the Year: Sandwiches, New Bar of the Year: Shanghai Lil's (Auckland),Suite(Auckland) won a category, Best Cocktail Bar: Motel, and Bartender of the Year was won by an Aucklander, although Riki Carter (formerly Good Luck now Imbibe) came third.

At 11:16 am, August 28, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

The DomPost snippet on Saturday has da Horn as best bar as well, and Sandwiches as best club, but has Motel as best cocktail list (rather than best cocktail bar) and Matterhorn as best drinks list. All very confusing.


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