The start of each year often sees a shake-up of the bar and restaurant scene, and with the Current Economic ClimateTM one might expect a few more closures than usual. Let’s not dwell on such morbid speculation, and look at a few closings and openings that we do know about.
While discussing the demise of Temperance (which didn’t reopen this weekend, despite DB’s threats assurances), Blair mentioned that the Courtenay Arms had been replaced by something called "The Kiwi Pub". It doesn’t look quite as dire as I had feared, and its light, airy feel is more beach café than six-o’clock swill. It’s still nostalgia-by-numbers, though, presumably aimed at the backpacker market, and despite the odd decent beer on the list, the Society Of Beer Advocates is not impressed.
Across the road, New Orleans will open its new Allen St location in a a couple of weeks, in the space long left vacant by the unlamented Play. I hope it lasts longer than its cursed Lambton Quay incarnation, and while it’s presumably aiming at a different demographic, its Cajun cuisine will have stiff competition from Sweet Mother’s Kitchen around the corner.
I was planning a mystery bar post about the big new place in town, but somehow I just wasn’t inspired. Let’s just say that Osteria del Toro is to the Mediterranean what Monsoon Poon is to Asia. Make of that what you will.
But after dinner I ran across this paste-up in a dark alley:
Something gives me the impression that this was not intended as a finished work of art: more as a canvas for further creative intervention. Make of that what you will.
Caffe e Gelato has just opened on the waterfront at the base of the NZX building. With the weather like this right now, it may be worth noting that as an opening special, this week they are offering single scoop gelato cones for just $1.
Newtown may or may not be a bit shit, but their right-on coffee company People’s Coffee (sorry, I couldn’t resist adding the apostrophe) certainly know their shit. Their presence in central Wellington is expanding, and two recently-opened cafés proudly stock the People’s brand: Meow and Mon Ami.
Meow has taken over the space of the former (and much lamented) Roti, next to Quoil in Willis St. The decor’s only had a mild makeover, but the retro kitschy kiwiana theme is pretty consistent, with the usual Tretchikoffesque prints, orange lampshades and ’70s TV augmented by some nice chunky crockery. I haven’t eaten there yet, but the brunch menu included some interesting variations on the standards, such as pinenut & saffron scrambled eggs, cashew & cranberry rosti with haloumi and rocket, and all sorts of things with "wild" bacon.
In Bond St, a French café called Mon Ami has also recently opened. It’s interesting that while many French places in downtown Wellington emphasise the stylish urban theme (e.g. Simply Paris, Le Metropolitain), Mon Ami is full of outdoorsy magazines, and their website goes on about "tramping, sailing, kayaking, biking, paraglyding". The decor manages to look both rustic and sterile at the same time, but even if that’s not your thing, dishes such as rabbit terrine and roquefort & sultana loaf (at reasonable lunchtime prices) should be enough to tempt you in.
Have a look at show pictures and behind the scenes at Flickrâ„¢
Ever wondered what a theatre show looks like behind the scenes? Or you want to have a look at some images from a show before you buy your tickets? Or simply drift away in memories when watching shots from a production youâ€™ve recently seen? Have a look at our newly established photo gallery at Flickr. From now on you can have a look at pictures from shows, rehearsals and behind the scenes at http://www.flickr.com/photos/downstage/ We hope you enjoy them!
Hey, this is Wellington, the town that’s run on coffee and is generally savvy enough to be online and connected.
We probably need this (Coffeenatic) like an extra hole in the head … but then again that’ll just make getting the coffee in quicker!
(thank you Web Worker Daily for noticing this for us all)
We like CafÃ©Net at the Wellingtonista, yes we do. But it’s not always an unqualified feeling. Mostly it works well once you find a hotspot – and more arrive all the time. But sometimes, and with some devices, things aren’t so rosy.
At this Wellingtonista’s risk of sounding like a spoiled geek whose new toy won’t do what it says on the box, it seems that iPods Touch and iPhones don’t always have an easy time connecting to CafÃ©Net. And it’s not just this writer’s experience – others have noticed it too.
More after the jump…
Okay, you know how the Wellingtonista have a twitter account that you can sign up to in order to receive updates to your phone about what’s going on in the city? Yeah, I suppose I should be the first person to admit that doesn’t go so well. You see, despite the fact that all Wellingtonistas know the login and password for it, there are only a small handful of us who use Twitter, and all of us therefore have our phones configured with our personal accounts, which means any updates to the Wellingtonista Twitter have to come from online, which means we’re tied down to a computer.
Well, clever people have come up with solutions to let everyone use their own personal accounts to update one main twitter. I first experienced this at Webstock, with the Webstock Twitter bot which ran hot during the conference. Now there’s the Free Wellington account, which will send you updates on things to do for free or under $10 in Wellington. But here’s the trick: you can update it too. Just follow FreeWellington on twitter, and preface your updates with an FW, and everyone will be able to know what the water’s like at the beach, or why they should be staying the hell away from Waitangi Park…
It’s a genius scheme. Now we’re just hoping that the Wellingtonista will get a bot of its very own for Xmas!
So, we didn’t post in advance to tell you about Webstock, because it’s sold out.
We do think you should know though that if you’re seeing a large number of people around the Town Hall this week carrying these sexy-ass satchels, they’re Webstockites, and they’re all about the peace, love and internet. You may also be able to recognise them by the shiny gadgets they carry that feature pictures of apples prominently, the coffees they’ll be knocking back at an alarming rate, and the excited, enthusiastic and emphatic conversations they’ll be carrying out with people who were complete strangers an hour earlier.
So, if you’re not a
Browncoat brownbag carrier, we suggest that you lock up your sons and daughters, unleash your networks and put some more beer in the fridge for us. Cheers!