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

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mystery bar number 68

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The last mystery bar was in a fairly visible location, and it didn't take long for it to be identified as D4, a large and slick new bar upstairs on Featherston St. It has already attracted a regular clientèle, partly because it has everything required to appeal to the local office workers, and partly because, as was pointed out to me, the owner Dermot used to own the Black Harp just up the road.

Mystery bar #68 - booths and tablesMeanwhile, as some of the comments on the "Wellington's most needed" category in the Wellingtonista Awards attest, Wellingtonians have been hanging out for a tapas bar. Might today's mystery bar be the answer to their prayers? While it bills itself simply as a "café and wine bar", it has a definite lean towards Iberian food, and the tapas menu includes such classic nibbles as piquillos rellenos, pinchos, gambas al ajillo and even (for those unafraid of tentacles) pulpo a la vinagreta.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a traditional tapas bar atmosphere, with old brick walls, low lighting and a crush of regulars eating and drinking at the bar, then you may be disappointed. There's been an attempt to make some of the seating areas reasonably intimate, with comfy banquettes and walls lined with dark wood, but the overall impression is more like a café than a bar or restaurant. That suits the market that they're aiming at, though, and it could gain a lot in atmosphere depending on the crowd. The selection of wine and other drinks also doesn't seem to go out of its way to offer traditional matches, such as sherry, Rioja or Sangria, so it might be best to think of this as a "café with tapas" than as a tapas bar per se. Nevertheless, it's a pleasant enough place and much better than one might expect from the location.

Mystery bar #68 - chairs


At 5:36 pm, December 10, 2007, Blogger starlajo said...

Chill on Willis St?

At 3:02 pm, December 11, 2007, Blogger Seamonkey Madness said...

Superfino on Ghuznee?

BTW, do they serve Eggnog cocktails? ;P

At 3:08 pm, December 11, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

Jo's right, it's the cringingly-badly-named yet really rather good "Chill", recently opened at the bast of the Central Stratford apartment hotel at 156 Willis St. No eggnogs, as far as I know (and I don't think Superfino does them either, though they do make a good Champagne Cocktail ;-)


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