Out with the Old

Out with the Old.

Having lived it up and boogied down in this town since it was almost legal to do so, I have seen a few generations of cool come and go.

I have never been able to include myself in a definitive generation of cool, but I am talking about the venues. The hot spots, the current “place to go”, the jive dive, you get my gist.

Most of the drinking and dancing halls of old have long gone, or have changed their stripes, as is pretty standard in the hospo game. So I thought I’d redefine a few of the Bars of Old (these will be recognised by a few long time campaigners) with the new groove of establishment that has usurped their place in the scheme of things.

OLD : Paradiso. This place used to be the haunt of the moneyed up creative coolies, flavoured with a slight twist of grunge.

NEW? Motel.

OLD: Dockside. While still there, the reputation of this place as a drinking hall personified by 80s currency traders and stockbrokers diving off the second story into the harbour is long gone.

NEW? Foxglove. No diving though (it just ain’t like the old days).

OLD: The Thistle Inn. Once upon a time, so much more of a true blue collar joint, the working man’s preferred pint.

NEW? The Cambridge.

OLD: FishBowl. Law students mixed with dark-dyed arts students in this ‘everybody knows your name if you’re 20’ Willis St joint.

NEW? The Green Man.

OLD: Bar Bodega. On Willis St back in the day this was the classic eclectic mixalot bar. Live music, Doctor Martin boots and dodgy tables served by deliciously dodgy waitstaff.

NEW? Mighty Mighty.

OLD: Chicago Bar. The latest in AV excellence, with three floors of screens for watching sports.

NEW? Bettys. Surround sports (or whatever else you like).

OLD: The Malthouse. Upstairs in a building that no longer exists, this was Wellington’s definitive brewbar, before brewbar was a word.

NEW? The Malthouse! Or Hop Garden, Little Beer Quarter, Fork and Brewer, Bruhaus, …

OLD: Q Bar. Upstairs on Courtenay Place, this was where Geoff Ross launched 42 Below and was the 4am hive for the cocktail set.

NEW? Hawthorn Lounge. Same brains behind it.

Where’s the new generation going? Or indeed the old generation – where are they going? What’s your take on the New vs Old?


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OMG...Fishbowl, LOL.

By Martyn Pepperell, 7 February 2012

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