The Naval & Family Hotel

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2 reviews
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Cnr Karangahape Road and Pitt Street,

(09) 309 0213

The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byBrett Atkinson15/01/2007

Finally, Karangahape Road has a drinking hole for people who want to be tucked up in bed at a reasonably sensible hour.

Elsewhere on the strip, Auckland's true night owls can party on to the wee small hours at raucous bars like Family, but—until recently—K'Road has been bereft of a good pub.

At 8pm on a Saturday night, K'Road's reputation as a late night haunt is intact, and The Crest is only moderately full. Rising from the ashes of the notorious Naval & Family, The Crest has a veneer of respectability that was definitely missing in its former incarnation.

With a chocolate brown interior punctuated with dark wood and trendy lampshades, the décor is a long way from the rough-house beer swilling ambiance enjoyed by its former regulars.

The music's probably changed too—and an industrial strength sound system pumps out everything from vintage ska to alt-country heroes Calexico.

Where would an inner city Auckland pub be without bar staff recruited from foreign travellers jumping off the Kiwi backpacker trail? The Crest delivers with a couple of accents that I struggle to place even after a couple of beers.

With Holland's Orangeboom, and New Zealand's Macs and Speights on tap there's also an international tinge to the draught beers available, with a few more obvious choices like Becks and Stella in the fridge.

The wine list is nothing exciting, and almost embarrassingly limited in its selection. We counted six wines available by the glass. One chardonnay ... one sauvignon blanc ... one merlot ... you get the picture.

Cocktail fans will be much happier, and the listing of several champagne cocktails highlights the kind of crowd The Crest is targeting. First stop, a few drinks at the pub, followed by nearby dancefloors. Tasting platters provide an alternative energy source to party pills and Red Bull.

The Crest is slightly different from K'Road's other bars, and well before the big beats caress the strip, it should be a top earlier in the night spot to watch live sport on the big screens.

In a few months, I'll be back to tuck into one of their gourmet burgers while I watch the Warriors and the Blues test the loyalty of even their most ardent fans.

Judging by the range of foreign accents overheard during my first visit, I'd better come equipped with a concise summary of the rules of football Kiwi style.

The Naval & Family Hotel has been reviewed by 2 users

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