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

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mystery bar number 59

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Saturday's mystery bar was indeed fairly mysterious, and I'd imagine that few if any of you have been there. It's called The Loft, as correctly identified by Colin from the description, though he's never been there either. It's a very odd place to find a bar, even one that's primarily a café: on the top floor of the historic Whitcoulls building in Lambton Quay, accessible via a lift in the shop or from Gilmer Tce, and part of the new Sync gym and spa complex. Given that it's described as "the only restaurant in town where you can order a Zone balanced meal", I hardly think that it's going to become a den of hedonistic excess, even with cocktail specials on Friday evenings.

Mystery bar #59 - chandeliersToday's mystery bar, on the other hand, is very much a proper late-night bar, and definitely sees its share of revelry. The décor is slickly glamorous, though in a style that's become perhaps over-familiar, mixing dark wood and leather with chandeliers and mirror balls. The staff seemed very young (translation: we seemed very old), but were impressively professional when it came to mixing cocktails.

Mystery bar #59 - cocktails and sweetsWhile some of us stuck to classic drinks, it's clear that their forte lay not in their competently made Manhattans and Caipirinhas, but in sweet and creamy concoctions. The telling detail was that when our drinks were accompanied by a bowl of free snacks, they weren't the usual nuts or other savoury treats, but little pink and white lollies. This all makes perfect sense given that the music was top-40 pop with a dance beat, and that the floor was quickly taken over by hen party from the Hutt. No matter how sophisticated the design or how professional the mixology, I think that recent history will continue to weigh on this place and define its style and clientèle.


At 1:40 am, May 25, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 12:49 pm, May 25, 2007, Blogger phil_style said...

Lollies . . . hmm . . . featured by either Minibar, Jet or the bar that used to be Go-Go (I forget what it is called now).

At 3:16 pm, May 25, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lotus, However may as well be called 'White gogo'. Not the finest place in wellington but at least its not as bad as it was during its last few months as gogo

At 3:26 pm, May 25, 2007, Blogger Seamonkey Madness said...

San Fran Bathhouse?
Fills all the criteria from what I remember last night:
● dark wood/leather
● chandeliers/mirror balls
● young(ish) staff.


At 3:34 pm, May 26, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

definitely lotus?....

At 5:57 pm, May 26, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

Yep, definitely Lotus (or the Lotus Room , to give it it's full name).

At 3:22 pm, May 28, 2007, Blogger phil_style said...

Not a bad guess for someone who's never even been up there. . . it was the lollies that gave it away.

Some bar owners are too predicatble.


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