20° & CLOUDY ON THURSDAY 30 MARCH IN AUCKLAND
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This music venue, record store, bar hybrid flaunts one of the best espresso martinis you'll ever try.

Across the fairylit alleyway from Racket sits a space that's been underutlisied for quite some time. In an old Britomart character building, with hardwood floors, exposed brick walls and floor to ceiling windows that flood it with warm light.

Thankfully someone's stepped up to the plate to occupy this building, the tenant it deserves. That's RECREATION Records or REC— a live music venue, record store and bar— complete with free pool table, dart board, craft beer on tap and the best bloody espresso martini you'll ever try. The space is all teak coloured wood, waist high shelves filled with all manner of old school records and plush brown leather couches (which look like they'd be really hard to get out of after a few refreshments).

The bartender's a young English bloke who loves a yarn, and is happy to help out with recommendations from the simple but well-executed menu. It's mainly toasties and bar snacks, but I tried the pulled pork cubano and can confirm that it's bloody phenomenal; my lady friend went with the cheeseburger, which was a steal at $10, and in a similar vein to Better Burger.

There's a good drop of craft beer available too— from local brewers like Liberty and Behemoth all of which impressed my beer snob friend and myself. On the bartender's recommendation we also gave the espresso martini a whirl, and by jove was it good. Cold brewed coffee and creamy liqueurs combine to make an ultra smooth and strong cocktail that has a rather potent caffeine kick to it — perfect if you're an early starter on the weekends.

In addition to an A+ live music schedule, I'm also told there's live DJs at REC most weekends— a variety of local heroes and international acts purposed to appeal to the underground music lovers among us. This is a brilliant bar with plenty of personality. I'd definitely recommend it as a go-to in Britomart if you fancy a couple casual ales and a phenomenal toasted cubano, or a big night out featuring a little live entertainment.

Published on January 12, 2017 by Ben Tutty

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