26 Lorne Street,
(09) 309 1850
The ViewAuckland Review
3 out of 5
I suppose you could argue this place deserves a 5 out of 5. Top marks. Congratulations. High five for achieving no more and no less than it set out to achieve.
It is, after all, the bar that belongs to the Central City Backpackers and you’d hardly expect that to be the last word in style and sophistication.
It’s also below ground with a horizontal rectangular window providing the only outdoor peek of Lorne Street at ankle level.
So down you go into the concrete bunker with smoke-yellow walls (paint colour that is, not the real thing) and furniture looking like the donated left-overs of long-gone student flats.
It’s got a throw-everything-at-it kind of style. Rotating balls beam out spots of colour that land on the soccer table, the jukebox, three televisions and two pool tables.
At one of the pool tables, a wiry older woman plays a canny game of pool with a young fella and does a nifty wiggle when the rap music comes on. I overhear two English lads discussing the finer points of Warhammer at a bar table near me. I would love to be here when they do karaoke.
The old woman cackles. She’s lobbing them into those pockets like a pro. The barman gives her a high five. I’m sure she’s a regular, as is possibly the young Asian woman having a lengthy chat with the barman.
The barman has a good smile and makes me a creditable gin and tonic for the knock-down, can’t-be-beat, winning price of $5.50. I could have also bought a handle of Waikato for $3.
So Embargo Bar is cheap and cheerful. No it’s not flash, but then it’s not pretending to be.
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