Sometimes, a bar is too pretentious even for me. Though by “pretentious”, I don’t mean what some people seem to mean by that: expensive, stylish, ambitious or glamorous. No, it’s bars that make a great show of aspiring to all those qualities, and yet end up being the same-old same-old Courtenay Place tack, that really set my mandibles on edge.
Take this place, for instance. It’s keen to impress punters with its “exclusivity”, but if there’s any door policy here it seems to be “must be wearing this season’s Supré”. It wants to promote itself as a burlesque-style cocktail bar, but playing endless remixes of 70s and 80s hits is not the way to do that. It pretends to embrace decadence and daring, but is deeply conventional and corporate. It wants to dazzle us with “glamour”, but looks like it’s aiming to attract the sort of brain-dead bleached and gelled pseudo-slebs that infest the Auckland gossip rags.
Maybe if it were honest enough to admit that it’s just aiming for the bridge & tunnel crowd of glossed-up RTD-swilling teenage girlies and the thick-necked leather-jacketed middle-aged men who love them, it wouldn’t grate so much. And frankly, in such a location, one shouldn’t expect too much more. But by promoting itself as exclusive and sophisticated, it’s opening itself up for ridicule.