201 Quay Street,
The ViewAuckland Review
3 out of 5
It's a Thursday night and the Viaduct is uncharacteristically dead. But it's not dead in Lenin.
Grant Marshall is resident DJ here each Thursday, and when we come by at around 1am he has a high-energy following in full dance flow.
A Russian-communism themed bar in the very capitalist Prince's Wharf does seem a little ironic. So for a little balance, it seems, Roman Abramovich’s huge ship Le Grand Bleu, symbol of modern Russian capitalism, is parked here the night we visit.
The bar is the centrepiece at Lenin, stuck between the dance floor, a curved seating area and the entrance. Above the bar hangs a giant golden five-pointed star, and off this, hangs five scaffolds for glass racks. A portrait of Lenin overlooks things.
Lenin has pretty regular bar offerings, and you wouldn't come here for any particular kind of drink. But, predictably, vodka is well represented, with a full complement of brands lining the back bar—and Absolut and Smirnoff in the pool.
There are also bottles of fruit-infused Absolut framed in glass compartments in the wall (for decoration, though, not consumption).
Lenin is a young bar (most of the women, say my friend, seem to be aged 18-25). The night we visit, a good half of these folks are on the dance floor.
Grant Marshall controls them all from a tight sliver of a DJ booth, punching out edgy and slightly more commercial house (such as Madonna).
Much more comfortable-looking than Grant's spot, are the plush velvet and
satin-lined punter booths—though if we're being strict, these are more Russian Imperialist in style than communist.
Making up for this aberration is a giant neon red square (OK, rectangle) above the dance floor. Nice too is a reminder of the concept of being 'Sent to Siberia', courtesy of a window through to the refrigerated bar Minus Five next door.
Lenin's worth a visit for tunes without cover charges, and a good option for you and your comrades should the rest of the Viaduct area not be doing its thing.
Lenin has been reviewed by 8 users