The Backyard

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11 reviews
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31 Northcote Road,

(09) 419 6299

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson26/01/2009

4 out of 5 stars

Here’s a little known fact. More people on the North Shore have got backyard decks, swimming pools, and barbecue areas than anywhere else in Auckland. Actually, I just made that up, but I’d put money on the fact it’s true. That’s probably why the latest incarnation of Northcote’s Poenamo as The Backyard makes so much sense.

The ‘Poe’ has been around since there were tolls on the Harbour Bridge, and has served roles as diverse as the unofficial after match venue for Takapuna rugby and for wet T-shirt contests. More essential Kiwiana came from an onsite Cobb & Co.

Now in a new century, the team behind the Kingslander have relaunched the ‘Poe’ as The Backyard. That means a major fit out, poolside bean bags, and the unique appeal of the ‘Kiwi-yaki’ – basically a cross between a barbecue and a Teppanyaki-style bar. Instead of Japanese eats there’s classic Kiwi tucker like steak sandwiches, burgers, and salt and pepper squid.

On a busy Friday night, The Backyard is relatively busy with a mixed crowd. Young blokes are supping Monteith’s and Heineken around a red-cloth pool table. An older crew has drifted in from the nearby Takapuna Golf Course, and there’s even an ex All Black turned rugby commentator having a few end of the week drinks around the pool.

On a small stage the Friday night band is setting up. I sneak a look at Catch 22’s setlist to reveal INXS and Midnight Oil, and have a hazy flashback to a 1980s rugby after match. Another mini flashback is the promise of a free drink to any female punters who show up wearing a bikini top. (I’m pretty sure the poster specified females only, but I could be wrong…)

Despite the flashbacks, The Backyard is a thoroughly modern bar. Now that Cobb & Co is gone, the space has been opened up considerably, there’s events most nights of the week – Tuesday is quiz night – and big screen TVs that were never so big in the old days of the ‘Poe’. With a few ironic cocktails like the Killer Fruju, this place deserves to be a rite of passage for yet another generation of younger North Shore revelers.

And if you don’t have a pool, deck and barbecue at your place, now you know exactly where to head for on lazy summer nights.

The Backyard has been reviewed by 11 users

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