Nightclubs and bars in Wellington

  • Guiness and nibbles
    Guiness and nibbles
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    The Apartment: The Apartment

    by fishandchips Written Sep 9, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Apartment is styled on a New York loft apartment so the blurb for this place goes. It's a nice spot and has a good range of beers and wines. Rather pricey though - $9 for a glass of Epic beer - so not somewhere you'd base yourself unless you've got plenty of coin to spend!

    I was here on a Thursday night and a Jazz 3 piece was setting up as we left to find food (at 8pm or so) so live music some nights.

    I didn't take any photos in here though have a look at the website. We sat in the couch area - very comfortable and easy to relax.

    Dress Code: Smart casual is fine.

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    Mac's Alehouse: Mac's Alehouse

    by fishandchips Written Mar 18, 2011

    Mac's brewery produces some good beers with many of them on site. The Alehouse itself has up and downstairs tables with downstairs more the pub grub spot and upstairs aiming at the restuarant side of things.

    Mac's beer is sold all over NZ in bottle stores and supermarkets however it's always better on tap. That's my reason anyway! As I often stay at the Museum Hotel, the Alehouse is just down the street so a great place for an after work drink on the way to the hotel or going out a bit later to catch up with mates.

    Dress Code: It's smart casual though I'm normally in a hoody and jeans so maybe less of a focus on the smart?

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    Motel: Motel Lounge

    by Skymannz Written Jan 30, 2010

    The Motel bar is behind a restaurant called Chow in Tory Street, entrance is off Forresters Lane. There is (usually) a bouncer out the front, and they are quite polite, but most of the door attendants are not people you want to get into "a little bit of bother with". They will only resort to physical contact if provoked to an extreme level or are concerned that someone else is being threatened.

    If the bouncer says there's a full house, it's usually the truth as Motel is a (relatively) small bar by New Zealand standards, but has a good ambience (playing a mixture of lounge style music) and is usually quite busy. Motel is a great place to relax with some friends, have a drink and some food.

    One thing that will strike you is the decor - very 1970's style, and the bartenders wear white coats (in the style of laboratory workers). Don't let that put you off, as they are very good at what they do, and if you ask for a recommendation they will usually ask some intelligent questions and then make a good drink for you.

    Best time to go, is usually around 10pm on a Friday or Saturday night.

    Dress Code: I tend to go wearing smart casual, meaning trousers (not jeans) and shoes (not sneakers). They have a dress code and it is enforced. Irrespective of who you are. Urban legend is that some of the cast of Lord of the Rings were advised (politely) that they couldn't enter, as they were not dressed properly.

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    General Practitioner: The GP

    by fishandchips Written Mar 12, 2009

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    The GP is a nice pub and food spot on the corner of Willis and Boulcott Sts. It's a two story building in a great location to catch the afternoon sun - when it's available! The bar serves a good variety of beers and wine plus has an ok menu for snacks and light meals.

    Guiness and nibbles Inside the GP Bar at the GP
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    Leuven: Belgian Beer

    by fishandchips Written Oct 7, 2008

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    The Leuven bar is a really great spot to relax with your favourite Belgian beer and have a few fries with mayo or one of many Mussel dishes. Situated in Featherston St the Leuven is in the middle of town and patronised by everyone from Office workers to visitors.

    The beer menu is quite extensive with everything from your bog standard Stella to the various Leffe brews. Most have the option of a small 330ml glass or a large 500ml. Prices are about average though the large glasses will set you back around $14 per glass! The food is ok with the fries & mayo a popular nibble while enjoying your beer.

    There are several levels to the premises including a small downstairs area that is great if you can get alarge crowd together and make a takeover bid! The staff a fairly attentive and will move around the tables taking orders. Menus are in good supply so you can view the variety of beers and food options.

    Dress Code: Smart casual is the pref here though the bar doesn't seem to be too worried about the more casual attire. Between 4.30 and 7pm lots of the patrons will be wearing suits.

    The bar The upstairs level
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    Circa, Downstage, maybe Bats - Pics coming soon: Going to the Theatre

    by craic Written Sep 9, 2008

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    If you are at a loose end, sick of going out drinking, weather is bad, nothing good on TV - try and pick up half price tickets for a play - go to the Information Centre in Civic Square after midday. Your chances are good because this opportunity is not well publicised.
    Circa's standard is pretty good and I have seen two plays there very cheaply. And it is such a charming venue - very close to Te Papa. I think you can get tickets for Downstage too - which is in Courtenay Place. Now - that building is not charming. But it is protected because it is such a good example of the Brutalist school. Very very very ugly!
    Bats Theatre is opposite Downstage - and it always has something on - prices are cheap so maybe they don't discount them (not sure because I haven't tried) but the standard is variable. VERY variable.
    They have a lovely bar called The Pit just off their foyer - scrabble nights on Tuesday!

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    3C: Colonial Carrying Company

    by fishandchips Written Jul 23, 2008

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    The old Colonial Carrying Company in Chews Lane has been changed into a very nice pub with a mix of new and old. It's quite a nice setting on the lane and there are plenty of seats outside for smokers or those wanting fresh air (not by the smokers of course). The bar itself has a wide range of NZ and O'seas beers and wines and you can get everything from bar snacks to light meals (didn't try eating here though). The bar is very busy from 5.30 to 7pm when local office workers pop in for a drink or two after a hard day moving paper and playing with spreadsheets.

    Dress Code: Smart casual at least with many in here wearing suits - but don't let that put you off as I'm normally one of them.

    At the bar The old building name Chews Lane with 3C at the end
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    Black Harp: Black Harp

    by fishandchips Written Jun 29, 2008

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    The Black Harp is a great Irish bar on Featherston St with all of the stuff you'd expect from an Irish bar - good booze and some good entertainment on and near the weekend. There are some interesting items around the bar of an Irish nature plus an old library area complete with easy chairs and books. There are plenty of good brews on tap incluidng my favourite - Kilkenny (mmmmm, Kilkenny...)

    Dress Code: It's an Irish bar so most things are fine......

    One side of the bar Old sitting room
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    The Shepherds Arms: Civilised Thorndon style night life

    by craic Updated May 15, 2008

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    No rough types. NO POKIE MACHINES! Very nice food which is not a total rip off. Sit at the tables and get waitress service - or sit on the bar stools and order at the bar. Agreeable staff. Music of the less raucous sort and they don't pump up the volume. Families with kids eating there. Locals meeting and chatting. No rough types staggering up and down the streets smashing bottles and asking for money or a smoke - (they are all down in Cuba Mall).
    One of the oldest pubs in Wellington all tastefully gussied up.

    Tell you what - this pub is so refined they don't have a bouncer - not even on a Friday night.
    They do lunch too.

    They also seem to have accomodation of the extremely top end sort.

    Agreeable local.

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    Blue Note: Late opener

    by craic Updated Apr 29, 2008

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    I am sure there are other places in Wellington where you can get a drink at 6am but so far this is the only one I know about.
    It's most recent reincarnation is as a karaoke bar - but when I was there at about 2 am recently not too many people were annoying us with terrible renditions of even more terrible songs. In fact now I think of it here was just one guy having a go - over and over again.
    Tables outside for smokers.
    Drinks seem to be the reasonable sort of prices that you might expect.
    Word of warning though. Cuba Mall can be a bit of a rough area. Even early in the evening there are various types lurching around bludging smokes off you - and later on - well - if you are of a nervous disposition, perhaps don't go there.
    I made it home safe enough, on my own, but I didn't look at anyone twice or seem nosy in any way or attract any attention to myself. Just kept on walking purposefully.
    I seem to remember seeing that this area has become part of a no alcohol in the streets zone - to try and encourage lurching, out of control types to move on somewhere else - or at least not to party in the streets. But it doesn't seem to have kicked in yet.

    On the corner.

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    Chow: Chow

    by fishandchips Updated Nov 20, 2007

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    Situated above Burger King on Tory street/Courtenay Place corner, Chow is a good spot for a bit of Asian food or just a drink. We popped in here after work for a quick drink and the place got very busy very quickly after 6pm as people came in for either the 2 for 1 coctails (wednesday night) or the more serious business of eating.

    If you come here for lunch you can opt for the $12 special which gives you a long plate of food with rice and Miso soup. Very reasonable and very tasty. I've been here with mates and shared Eel rolls, Prawn dumplings and NZ Scallops - all really good.

    Prices here are slightly above average though the Tiger beer I'm having was $7 a bottle so about what you might expect.

    Dress Code: Smart casual

    Nice plate of nibbles The bar
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    Courtney Place: Nightlife

    by hamishdownunder Updated Aug 15, 2007

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    The best range of places for a good night out are all on Courtney Place or of adjoing streets such as Cuba Mall. There is a large variety of clubs/ bars and restrunts and games rooms. There are numeorus Irish pubs, Bars with live music, electronic dance clubs, and some rather swish clubs. There are Movie ciemas, Theaters, gamming rooms, and plenitful restrunts. With numoerous bus routes running down this street and taxi's for africa- its easy to get to and from. The main nights out are Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays, with Wendsdays and Sundays being a lot quieter Most people dont go out untill late so it usually gets busy about 11:30 to midnigt. most places stay open to at least 3am, to 5am depening if its a busy night. After a big rugby game, the p[lcae can be packed with ques common, depending on time of year and wether.overall, a great place to have fun night out.

    Dress Code: Dependes on the establishment, but 'casual smart' would be a safe bet for most places. Guys; jeans are okay as long 'dress shoes' ie-usually black are worn, a good idea as most places insit, a causal shirt would suffice although t-shirts can be fine.
    ladies; anything a lil bit flashy really- you can get away with a lot more.
    its a good ideas to take some kind of warm top, it can often be rather cold early in the morn, especailly if your achool jacket wears thin.

    Kitty O' Shea's- live music

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  • The Lotus Room: Hidden up the stairs

    by lewisvc Written Jul 9, 2007

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    I just had a great Saturday night up at the Lotus Room. It seemed to be one of the only busy bars in town on this particular night. We started out having a sing along at The Minibar, which was also very cool but a slightly older crowd. Lots of old tunes that had us singing at the top of our lungs, the bartenders helped as well.
    We then went up these narrow stairs to Lotus Room and while it wasn't busy when we arrived it very soon packed out. Lots of dancing and best of all for us it seemed to be the place where the attractive people where hanging out. After many hours on the dance floor we left and went to a number of other bars, but after a while it was clear that Lotus Room was the place to be. We went back to find a big line to get in, but the doorman pulled my mate aside as he had recognised us from earlier, we jumped the line and danced till 7am.

    Great night and thank you to the staff there

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    Courtenay Place: Nightlife

    by Cris8 Updated Jun 3, 2007

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    In Wellington, the only place to be for socialising is the city centre. Its great for everyone (bit like most of NZ).
    On Courtenay Place there are plenty of bars and lots of eating places. All very nice. There are a few Irish bars, which are good craic. In particular Kitty O'Sheas is great, especially on a Friday or Saturday night when there is live band on.
    Elsewhere, down the street there is nightclubs which are good and have to goto at least once!

    Looking down Courtenay Place Looking the other way down Courtenay Place
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    Malthouse: Malthouse

    by fishandchips Written Apr 12, 2007

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    The Malthouse has recently moved from Willis St to its new location on Courtenay place between Tory & Allen sts. The bar is on the smaller side but has plenty of seating and is a great place to have a beer or two. Behind the bar is a vast, vast array of international beers from all over the globe. Added to this is a few local beers on tap including a couple of exceptional brew - the Tuatara Pilsner & the Monk's Habit from the Cock & Bull brewery. The latter is a 7% alcohol beer so you need to be careful!!

    Service here was great and nothing was a problem. Open 'til quite late most nights the Malthouse is a good spot to sample a few ales. If you are a homesick visitor or a local who hasn't experienced the wonders of international brews the Malthouse is the right place to go.

    Dress Code: Casual is the thing here with the punters in the bar wearing everthing from jeans & tee shirts to expensice suits. You should fit in no matter what you are in!!

    Inside the Malthouse
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