321 Queen Street,
(09) 373 4321
The ViewAuckland Review
4 out of 5
A man walks into a bar. It's the classic opening line to a thousand jokes and tonight I'm the man, and the bar is the retro haven at the Classic. Later in the night, I'm heading with a few friends to a live gig at the International Comedy Festival, but before that a few drinks in a bar with probably the loudest carpet in town.
The floor covering at the Classic may be riotously red and fiercely floral, but it suits the bar's 1960s stylings. The Classic's about half full with a few punters fingering well-worn copies of the festival programme. There's not much laughter around, (maybe everyone's saving it up), but the slightly grungy laid-back vibe is perfect for letting go of a busy day.
All the booths are taken so we settle in with a round of Becks at the smallish round tables. Speights, Lion Red and Mac's Gold are all on tap and the concise wine list has something for everyone. Cocktails (only an enticing twelve bucks) include a few classics, but there's also the more interesting sounding After Dinner Mint and Aroha. With an outside chance of being involved in 'audience participation' during the upcoming show, (hey, it happened to me at a performance by the same comedian a few years back), I steer clear of trying any of the shooters. When you're dragged up on stage before a baying crowd looking for cheap laughs, the last thing you need is a potent mixture of vodka, midori, and blue curaçao coursing through your veins.
On the walls there's a selection of autographed pics of the famous and almost-famous of comedy. The Topp Twins, (dressed as Ken and Ken, everyone's favourite provincial uncles), and Mike King, (with full moko), lead the Kiwi contingent, and a bit of digging reveals a few (relatively) big names like Greg Proops, the guy with the big glasses from Whose Line Is it Anyway?
With live comedy most weekends and the occasional music gig, The Classic's a thoroughly unpretentious alternative to other smarter pleasure palaces around town. It's a bit out of the way to become a regular haunt, but even if you're not there for a comedy show, it's essential preparation for a music gig at the Town Hall or the Aotea Centre.
Finally something for anyone who's read this far.
Celine Dion walks into a bar. The bartender says, "So, why the long face?"
Classic Comedy & Bar has been reviewed by 3 users