Here are the nominees for the Best Late-Night Venue category for the 2nd Annual Wellingtonista Awards (2AWA).

When even Winston Peters has gone to bed, the best bar to go to is:

Sure, town is banging and humming around midnight. But what if the bar you’re in starts closing and you’re not ready to go home yet? Where do you head to then?

(nominees after the jump)

A. Hawthorn Lounge

cocktailsThe Hawthorn Lounge reminds us of a very sophisticated lounge, so it’s the equivalent of inviting someone home for a nightcap – which means you can cut straight to the sexing when you do actually get home. The smooth, unobtrusive service and the cosy fire (with marshmallows in winter!) will definitely encourage snuggling, and the cocktails are strong enough to help you make your decision on where to sleep that much easier…

B. Sandwiches

Sandwiches serves many purposes, from a quiet spot for an early evening drink, to a tasty restaurant to a full-on venue that places host to international DJs. It’s the latter that makes Sandwiches such a late night spot – don’t be surprised to see people stumbling out at 7am, rubbing their eyes bleerily in the sunlight.

C. San Francisco Bathhouse

bitchesGigs at San Francisco seldom start before 10pm, so with a couple of support bands, it’s rare for a show to be finished before 1am. Just as well that they’re licensed until sometime around 7am then, because the Wellingtonista has seen a couple of sunrises from a couch on their balcony. They don’t always choose to stay open that late, but when they do, good times and debauchery with an alt-indie audience are there for the taking. SFBH is also awesome at obtaining special licenses so they can be open on Good Friday, Anzac and Christmas Day, and it’s very amusing to see the crowds of people from all over town show up desperate for another drink.

D. Mighty Mighty

stage Mighty Mighty doesn’t really start going until midnight, and then it’s hard to know when it stops. What’s fantastic about the Mighty is its diverse clientèle (from hip kids to the Bridge and Tunnel crowd – although many would argue there’s not very much difference there), and the tunes that get spun cover all eclectic bases. Your feet will hate you in the morning, but you just might have the time of your life dancing away the whole night under the mirrorball.

E. Havana

Havana and its many different small spaces is full of dark corners, and that’s really what you need in a late-night venue, isn’t it? Its semi-secret location (well, it’s not on Courtenay Place) means that it’s mostly not populated with wankers, and when the DJ’s spinning funk you can dance dance dance. Several Wellingtonistas nominate this as the bar most likely to feature people who will try to pick you up in the wee hours of the morning, so if that’s the way you get your self esteem boost, we’re not going to judge you. In fact, we might just be at the bar next to you, ordering another caipirinhia and giving you a saucy wink.

For a handy map of where to find these venues, use the “latenight” tag on Zoomin. Go try ’em all out before voting opens on November 19.