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2 Hobson Street,
Auckland Central

(09) 307 7030

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson25/06/2007

4 out of 5

I've always had a thing for the apartments in the heritage building on the corner of Hobson St and Wolfe St in the city. With exposed bricks and high ceilings, they've got a New York loft thing happening, but if I did live there I'd probably spend way too long at Suite Bar downstairs.

Suite's the latest opening in the slim and minimalist space that used to house firstly, the Hobson St Lounge, and most recently Pickle. All three bars have been in a similar style: kind of Manhattan cool and sophisticated with good cocktails, smart wine lists and interesting food platters.

On a damn cold Friday night, descending down the stairs into Suite's cosy underground warmth is very inviting, and I settle into a Little Creatures Pale Ale. Wine drinkers and cocktail buffs are usually well catered to in Auckland's more interesting bars, but too often beer fans are ignored. Suite redresses the wrongs with a list of 35 beers ranging from the sublime, (750ml bottles of Belgium's Chimay and Duvel), to proudly local, (Baroona lager from Waiheke Island). Not everything listed is available, but there's still enough on offer to put 99% of Auckland's other pubs and bars to shame. The cocktails keep up Suite's admirable dedication to eclectic and quality imbibing, and the wine list wisely skews away from heavier, food-friendly varieties like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon to lighter styles like Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.

On a Friday night, the vibe is definitely end of week slowdown. Smart suits are de rigeur, and you get the idea that some punters are wondering whether to kick on somewhere else or stay for the impending beats. Wednesdays sees retro pleasures from the North Shore Pony Club, and on Thursdays there's the Base Below team from Base FM. Every second Saturday of the month, Slow Down Sessions deliver downbeat and dub. The list of DJs is as impressive as the eclectic and knowing array of drinks on offer.

The Hobson Suite Lounge and Pickle were both good venues, but the team behind Suite has really raised the bar. It's only June, but it looks like it's going to be a long, cold winter in Auckland. I can definitely think of worse places to be than the inviting and unpretentious Suite.

Does this review have you salivating? You can now make a reservation here!

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