This is the extended version of today’s piece in the summer section of the Dominion Post.
It’s summer and hopefully you’re on holiday. Evenings should be stretched out pleasantly in front of you, full of possibility and excitement. So how are you going to spend your time? If you’re anything like us in the Wellingtonista, you’ll be heading out to a bar. But in a town full of places keen to take your money, where should you choose? We have some suggestions.
If you’re meeting a big group of people:
The garden bar of the Southern Cross is a lovely space with plenty of room to assemble large crowds in. Parts are under cover in case it’s raining (yes, it’s going to rain) and if it’s cold enough they’ll even give you blankets and hot water bottles so you can continue smoking. Beer comes in jugs and you can get a pretty good range of food as well, and entertain yourselves playing Giant Jenga. Expect glasses to get broken.
If you wish to hide away from the sun OR watch the most interesting streetlife:
Good Luck’s basement bar setting and air conditioning plus the wide cocktail range have always made it a really good place to escape to if it’s just too damn hot outside, but since last summer they have upped the ante with an enclosed outdoor space right slap bang in the middle of Cuba Mall where you can still get table service and watch the world go by.
If you want to feel like you’re in a new city:
Wellington can get a little claustrophobic at times, especially when all the public servants are unchained from their desks for two weeks, so if you want to feel like you’re somewhere that you’re not, check out Betty’s on Blair Street. Their cunning digital projectors – if applied with enough mojitos – will make you believe that you are in New York, or possibly Cuba, depending on whatever the images de jour displayed across three walls are.
If you want to drink at a bar you might not have tried yet:
Head to Pollux off the lobby of the Opera House on Manners Street. It’s a small space but they have a great wine list, cupcakes and will make you exactly the kind of cocktail you’re after. You’ll feel like a regular after one drink.
If you’re somewhat of a beer enthusist:
Feel like a challenge to complete over the summer? Try every beer on offer at Hashigo Zake underneath Zibbibo in the old police cells on Taranaki Street. It’s probably fair to warn you in advance though that
they claim to have over 200 varieties in stock at any one time they stock a metric buttload of beer (their site lists over 90 kinds), but at least you can order up some deliciously salty edamame as a healthy(ish) snack to go along side your hoppy delights from around the world.