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

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mystery bar number 38

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Finally! After one or two hints, Dylan identified the previous Mystery Bar as Lone Star Lounge in Tory St. While it obviously shares branding with Lone Star restaurant and bar below it, it's physically quite separate and relatively civilised. Its slightly hard-to-find entrance no doubt contributes to this mellower atmosphere.

Mystery Bar #38 - the barThis week's Mystery Bar shares one or two attributes with Lone Star Lounge (a pool table, leather sofas, a mix of rustic and contemporary decor), but is much more visible from the street. It's also fairly quiet, but probably not intentionally: it's located on a block that's had a patchy history for retail and hospitality, which might go some way to explaining why it was so quiet when I visited on a Saturday lunchtime. While it's no surprise that the dedicated upstairs bar was deserted then, the downstairs café/bar could certainly be expected to be busier, and since the food was tasty and well-priced, it deserves to be. Still, it's early days.

Mystery Bar #38 - pool tableThe recent renovation seems aimed to steer the establishment in a slightly more upmarket and contemporary direction, but there are plenty of reminders of its previous incarnations. Not just because it retains the same layout and much of the old furniture, but because there are traces of the old branding throughout the place. I doubt that this is intentional, but there were a couple of (in)famous incidents here that lend it a certain notoriety, and maybe that could give it a point of difference that it otherwise lacks. And there's one part of the exterior that remains very distinctive, even though it's becoming less and less relevant to the food, drink and atmosphere.


At 12:24 pm, August 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy one this, The Quarter on Dixon St (former location of Chevy's).

And unfortunately, it's not 'early days'. We had our company Christmas lunch there last year - and we were not impressed. The food was ok, but the atmosphere was very quiet - we were the only ones there. I got the feeling that if we hadn't had a booking they would have closed up for the afternoon.

At 12:34 pm, August 14, 2006, Blogger Martha Craig said...

Man, I get so few of these right, and then someone pips me to the post.

At 1:02 pm, August 14, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Bruzie: you're almost right. It was indeed The Quarter, and Chevy's before that. But it has just reopened under a new name and management, and no longer specialises in Cajun food, so for the new owners, it is indeed early days.

Martha: you've still got a chance for half points if you can tell us what it's called now.

At 3:57 pm, August 16, 2006, Blogger Martha Craig said...

Sorry Tom, all I was going to say was it is the old Chevy's, no idea what it is now.


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