The Windsor Castle

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6 reviews
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The Windsor Castle,
144 Parnell Road,
Parnell
Auckland,


(09) 3563650

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Review byBrett Atkinson27/09/2009

The Windsor Castle in Parnell is traditionally one of Auckland’s great music venues, so it’s been a bittersweet irony to see the place where I experienced legendary gigs from Chris Knox and Toy Love, be recast as a high-end restaurant or trendy LA-style sushi bar. Now the Windsor’s recent incarnations as The George or Blowfish Sushi have been relegated to history, and courtesy of the music-lovers at Juice TV, it’s reopened as both a music venue and a good local pub in the middle of Parnell.

It’s actually a pub of two halves with a large area put aside as the Juice Bar with live music from Wednesday to Saturday. It’s still early, and at present most acts are of the cover band variety – although the Windsor did recently host an iTunes showcase by Tim Finn – but hopefully a tougher, more contemporary edge will be introduced with a wider range of gigs. Back in the day, the Windsor was an essential stop for all top Kiwi touring bands, and it would be good to see the venue return to this level of importance.

On this busy Saturday night though, it’s another iconic group of Kiwis being watched on the big and smaller screens as the All Blacks demolish the Wallabies. The best place to watch it seems to be in the Juice Bar with lots of contemporary orange and grey sofas a relaxed option. Beers - including the full Mac’s range and Beck’s on tap – comes in pints or jugs, the winelist is good enough even for Parnell, and cocktails are just nine bucks. With food including good pizzas and bar snacks, the Windsor’s obviously looking to relaunch as a good local pub. Its alternative life as a rocking music venue should hopefully give it an edge against popular nearby competitors including The Paddington and the Nuffield St Brew Bar.

Fingers crossed for the return of The Windsor. It’s definitely been missed.

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