Fox's Ale House

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7 reviews
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85 Customs Street West,
Viaduct Basin,

(09) 358 2767

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson14/04/2008

3 out of 5 stars

There are two types of bars at the Viaduct. The late night/early morning crowd is best observed at spots like Bubble and Soul, while an all day, every day vibe infuses places like O’Hagan’s, Danny Doolan’s and Fox’s Ale House. While O’Hagan’s and Danny Doolan’s play the Irish card liberally, Fox’s Ale House comes on with a Northern English accent. Even the music’s got a Brit tinge with 80s dance floor classics like Blue Monday and Tainted Love pumping out. Fancy a pleasantly boozed sing-a-long later at night?

What this also means is lots of English sports memorabilia and probably the Viaduct’s best array of big screen TVs. Across winter it’s not uncommon for Fox’s to be showing at least two different sports channels. If you’re a sports junkie, it’s almost worth canceling your Sky subscription and parking yourself outside. No wonder it’s become a favourite haunt of British travelers in search of a Premier League football fix. Maybe they just feel at home with the vintage golf bags, the souvenir team photos of Liverpool FC, and the stuffed stag’s head.

Beer's the preferred tipple at Fox’s, ideally in pint glasses downed quickly in tribute to another Blues, Warriors or All Blacks try, and Mac's products are the major focus. With almost 30 wines available by the glass, the wine list is actually better than it needs to be. That’s because Fox’s also tries to assume credentials as a restaurant, but despite the manly menu with perfectly good burgers and steaks, there are better places to eat at the Viaduct. You’re better off losing yourself in the cosy nooks and crannies that also conceal a couple of pool tables and a dartboard. Later at night the sound-system blares out the classics that you know the words to.

Fox’s is pitched somewhere between The Loaded Hog and Soul. You won’t see any property developers at Fox’s, but you can at least look forward to an older crowd than at the Hog. Fox’s is an honest kind of spot, and wears its laddish, sports-watching influences proudly. Most nights it even avoids adopting the slightly, sleazy and desperate air the Viaduct can sometimes project.

Sports on the telly, a decent beer and wine list, and songs you can hum along to. Is there really anything wrong with that?

Fox's Ale House has been reviewed by 7 users

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