Saturday, February 03, 2007

Top Ten (OK, Twelve) Places to Get Drink, Drink Drink and Be Drunk in Wellington

After many comments and much deliberation by the judges (i.e. Tina and myself), we have narrowed the list down to the Top Ten, plus a few honorable mentions.

A few notes on how we judged:
  • Good first-year haunts were given some positive bias, but this wasn't necessarily meant to be the Top 10 First-Year Haunts, even if it is indirectly intended for an up-and-coming first-year.
  • Nominations not directly related to Getting Drink, Drinking Drink and Being Drunk (all in the alcoholic sense) were generally left off. However, we do promise there will be a Top Ten Cafes post in the not-to-distant future (Tina started writing it a while ago), and possibly somewhere for all the strip-clubs to go as well. So keep those ideas fresh and don't be afraid to re-post when the opportunity arises.
  • Points were awarded for accuracy of description. More points were awarded for hilarity of description. Descriptions have also been shamelessly stolen where we felt it was appropriate and/or easy.
  • We decided, in retrospect, that it might be best to break up the list into its three main components, simply because it makes no sense to compare bottle stores to takeaway shops (although the two are most certainly related). We have also extended the list slightly to 12, because only four bar recommendations just isn't enough. So we have:
    • Three places to Get Drink
    • Six places to Drink Drink, and
    • Three places to Be Drunk.
    • And yes, we are aware that most good bars are a mix of all three. Meh.
So without further ado, here are our recommendations.

Top Three Places to Get Drink
Probably the easiest section to judge, this section lists the top places in Wellington to buy Alcohol, other than bars. Entries were judged primarily on Price and Selection.
  • The Mill (Map)
    Nominated by: Geoffrey

    How could we not mention The Mill. Located just up the road from Unicomm and the closest decent liquor shop to Vic House and Weir, it is the student liquor store. They even have a bouncer there on Fridays and Saturdays. The Mill has an impressive range of spirits, wine and beer (the beer is in a huge walk-in cooler all of its own), all at very reasonable prices.
  • Moore Wilsons (Map)
    Nominated by: Brendan
    For the small inconvenience of signing up for a Moore Wilsons card (free for students), you can gain access to some of the best bottle prices available. Excellent selection of Wine and Spirits, although the Beer selection is somewhat lacking. Also good for buying bulk snacks for the party.
  • Petone Pak'n'Save (Map)
    Nominated by: Superblaise
    Better wine selection than is reasonable, all at better prices than anywhere else. Of course, we're not advocating that you get drunk inside the supermarket, but we're not condemning it either. Of course if you live in central Wellington, it is a a bit of a trip.
Top Six Places to Drink Drink
Bring on the bars! For many of our student friends, having bars on the "Drink Drink" list is a little inaccurate, as most students prefer to drink at home and go into town nicely prepped. Nonetheless, these are our top picks:
  • At Home (insert your own map)
    Nominated by: Brendan
    In honour of all those students who are a) too poor to pay bar prices or b) not attractive, female and lacking in conscience, we recommend Home as a brilliant place to Drink Drink. Take advantage of one of the fine establishments listed as Best Places to Get Drink, organize a get-together with a few mates, and let the games begin.
  • Mount Street Bar and Cafe (Map)
    Nominated by: Superblaise
    Makes the list purely because most of our friends are Vic students. Some people still insist on calling it Eastside. It's overpriced, but it's on campus and open during the day. Perfect for lunchtime drinking before afternoon lectures. The only place to be seen drinking while skipping lectures. (Well, there's Matterhorn if you must).
  • Red Square (Map)
    Nominated by: Ida, Tina
    House music! Big leather couches to sit on outside! Big velvet couches to sit on inside! Chandeliers! Ice Bar! Pretty people behind the bar! Oooooohhhhh! Yes, we know it isn't cool anymore. And it is the home of Hallensteins Boy and Glassons Girl, but it has the feel of a Russian Bordello, and we like it. So there.
  • Matterhorn (Map)
    Nominated by: Ida
    A Wellington institution. Many a film star has been spotted here. Home of the legendary 'Falling Water' cocktail (as served at most of our parties). Great music. Great bartenders. Great clientèle. Good luck finding a table. In fact, good luck getting in on some nights.
  • The Big Kumara (Map)
    Nominated by: Geoffrey
    Mocked by: Superblaise
    Basically, the main student bar of wellington and the first port of call for most of my mates on a town night. Attractions include drink specials (Wednesdays $3 most drinks, Friday and Saturdays 2 Redbull and Vodkas for $10), toilets that seem to always have a pool of urine (or soapy water poured in there to clean the pool of urine), live Premier League football after midnight on Saturday nights, sticky feed on all surfaces, being let in on Friday night with t shirt, shorts and jandals, and live music that always plays the same songs, with 30-y/o+ band members that pack up at the end and prowl the dance floor.
    There is meant to be an apparently Kiwiana feel to the bar. Plastic cups are used because when patrons finish their drinks on the dancefloor, they simply drop the glass and keep dancing.
  • The Shack (Map)
    Nominated by: Brendan
    It's tiny, it's scungy and it exists primarily as an addendum to Bazu, but it serves the cheapest shots (made from the cheapest alcohol) in Wellington. Unlimited $3 doubles.
Top Three Places to Be Drunk
Actually quite a difficult list to narrow down, primarily because it includes both "great places to eat when drunk" and "great places to have fun while drunk".
  • Wel-come Takeaways (Map)
    Nominated by: Geoffrey
    Always tasty, always greasy.
    Consists of a counter to make your order and one seat. Its opening hours are 8pm-8am - this takeaways shop is not even open for dinner. Located in the heart of Wellington's red-light district, Wel-come is dwarfed by prolific neighbors Liks strip bar, the Adult Shop, and Blue Note bar and Valve across the road. With such neighbours and their opening hours, their target market is comprised of drunks from town, emos and goths from Valve, Bums from Cuba St, scummy men from Liks/Adult Shop, and prostitutes from Marion St and Vivien St.
    Prices are cheap, food is surprisingly decent and varied, and the staff are friendly and don't mind if you write on their (two) walls.
    • Wel-chicken Combo $5.50
      1 Wel Chicken Burger (chicken patty, lettuce, tomato, mayo, bun)
      1 scoop chip (thats whats written on the board)
      1 Coke brand can of your choice
    • Chicken Chow Mein $6.50
    • Wel-Come Chicken Burger $4.50 (Huge)
      This is making me hungry...
  • Cuba Kebab (Map)
    Nominated by: Ida
    There are many other fine kebab establishments throughout Wellington, but it's nice that one finds the kebab establishment that they are happiest with. This one is mine. Conveniently located on Cuba St. Near an Irish bar. Beware the drunk and rowdy patrons on a Saturday night. Since it is also near a variety of good bars, the chances of you seeing people you know are pretty good. The staff are also very nice, and if you go there enough times, they remember your order. I like their falafels with hummus. Open till around 3-ish on Friday/Saturday nites, and around midnight for the rest of the week.
  • Cue Room (Map)
    Nominated by: Superblaise
    Although technically a bar, more a place to be drunk than to get drunk. Great for nights when you've hit it a little too hard a little too early: turn up with a friend, play five frames of pool, then go to Hadi Gari for the excellent kebabs. If the night still be young, start again, if not, go home knowing that you've had a decent if unspectacular time.
    Remember that it is not necessary to win every game, but you must sink at least something if you wish to maintain your pride.
Honourable Mentions
  • Manners Street Burger King (Map)
    Nominated by: Brendan, Geoffrey
    Manners Street Burger King is going to be somewhere along the route home for almost everyone. It has bright lights and cheap, greasy food. It gives you what you need, right when you need it. Also open until around 3-4am on most Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Kitty O'Shea's (Map)
    Nominated by: Superblaise
    Because there isn't an Irish pub on our list, and there really should be. Of Wellington's three major Irish pubs (Murphy's , Molly's, and Kitty's), this is the roughest and the best. Contrary to popular mythology, it is possible to get turned away at the door. Drink on the balcony during summer for a slow-burning night.
  • Curve (Map)
    Nominated by: Ida
    Small, out of the way, is frequently dead. BUT it has regular dance gigs (expect to pay anywhere between $5-$20 to get in, though) and when this happens, the bar closes at 6. YAY! Party till the sun comes up, and the sound of chirping birds makes you feel slightly guilty. The bartenders are great and easy to talk to. Beware the Bhangra Nights, for there will be many angry, drunk, disgusting men who will grope you. Unless you actually enjoy this, in which case, you should go to Shooters.
  • Mighty Mighty (Map)
    Nominated by: Ida
    For it is cool. Go now, before it stops being cool. Nice cocktails. Lovely clientele. Full of kitsch goodness. There can be many hipsters, but they come in waves. Still, go check it out, even if you are wary of hipsters. I also heart the music. Go listen to the music!
Dishonourable Mentions
  • Shooters (Map)
    Nominated by: Mealz
    Mocked by: Everyone else (sorry Mealz)
    Where freedom-crazed Supré-shopping first-year girls go to be preyed upon by lecherous middle-aged men. Does have decent drinks prices at the bar downstairs on a Wednesday night.


Ida said...

But i still had places to recommend! Like b4 and Hells. Oh well, he'll find them. I don't see why Vivian St didn't make it. That's a fun place to be if you're a drunk first-year guy...

Otherwise, great list. It must have been an effort to narrow them down.


Tina said...

Yeah, but it wasn't supposed to be entirely for a first-year guy. :)

Besides, I have already started the next coffee-related post, and I'm sure we can do a takeaways / restaurants one as well. :)

Ellena said...

this is awesome guys! thanks again for all the input! ill personally make sure that your words of wisdom dont go to waste =P (i cant believe there are even maps! "MEAN!")

Geoffrey said...

does that post kinda make you a little homesick?

Anonymous said...

I feel like I have a lot more to see in Wellington now...*gg* I'm really looking forward to the coffee and restaurant related post, I might know more places there. =)

Oh, and Hell rocks! So he's gonna find it no matter what.

Love Nina

amelia said...

FYI Meals did not nominate Shooters!!! Meals likes other places that make her a Happy Meals... apart from McDonalds.

On a more serious note I am pleased to see that Red Square was one of the top 6.