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.
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.
Perhaps my favorite nightclub in all of Wellington (maybe even New Zealand) is Jet Bar. Though there is not a lot of gimics at this bar, it might be the most relaxed and hip place in the city. You walk into Jet Bar through a small door on Courtney Place and immediatly you are transported to what I can only imagine is fashionable New York City or Milan.
It's obvious the creators of Jet Bar have a great sense of style and wanted to integrate their idea of style into their bar. European tones and shapes frequent everything you sit on or see at Jet.
Two levels, Jet Bar continues downstairs where another more low key bar sits with halfcircle sofas and tables. It's also apparent that people watching is important here as everything opens out towards the center. Their is also a semi-private pool table room located just next to the stairs.
Lighting is very dim but seeing is not a problem. People come to Jet to see and be seen by the hip and flashy. Unlike the Matterhorn however, this is played down to a more grounded level.
Dress Code: Your hippest and flashiest. Jeans and a graphic t-shirt work well here but so does your more dressed slacks and button down shirts.
Jet is a bar and situated on the corner of Courtenay Place & Allen St. It is a smallish spot but with really comfy semi-circle cubicles inside and some tall tables with bar stools outside. The outside seating is great in Summer for relaxing and having a beer while watching Wellington and its people do their thing. Jet is directly over the road from the local Art House movie theatre so a great place for pre movie drinks (not too much though!!) or an after movie spot to discuss the finer points of life.
Jet has the likes of Tiger and Mac beers on tap plus Heineken & Monteiths. You can also buy food here but as I have never indulged (eatin's cheatin' as my Irish friend tells me) I can't comment.
Dress Code: Smart casual at least though, being the cutural capital of NZ, what passes for smart casual here is less dressy than some other cities.
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!!
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
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 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......
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!
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.
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.
Located on Cuba Street, Matterhorn is known as the place to be for the young and hip. You have to bring your smoothest outfit and sly attitude to the Matterhorn if you want to fit in.
Bathed in red lighting, the Matterhorn is known for great music, djs and beautiful people. Don't visit expecting to drink water or being a loud obnoxious drunk (while there are some that visit, they aren't popular members), but do expect to be seen as everyone here is looking around to see the best and the brightest.
Cover charges are around 10-15NZ, and I believe that is quite cheap for the value of the club.
The chairs and couches sit quite low and give you a very relaxed feel at this place. The music is loud and so is the conversation but you won't have any problem staying for a while. I'd recommend the club for those ages 20-28 and those who feel in that mindset but their drivers cards don't agree.
Dress Code: Your sexiest smooth clothing. Nice jeans and a flash t-shirt. Anything you can find at the store titled Area 51 just down the block would work here.
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.
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.
Not sure if he is still there but, back in '99 I happened upon a local busker playing guitar to the late night bar hoppers. He looked very much like Kenny Rogers (hence his nickname) and played his songs. Anyway, he is definately worth a listen and has some interesting stories how he wound up in Wellington by way of Texas, USA.
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