Pineapple on Parnell
Highlights include a fluorescent-red whiskey cocktail encased in an ice sphere and a concoction of olive brine and absinth.
Half way up the hill in a suburb that's become just a little sleepy in recent times, you'll spot a brass pineapple doorknocker against a black door (but only if you're looking for it). The windows are stained in a way reminiscent of a 1930s speakeasy, a golden leaner jutting out from underneath them.
For the entire opening week velvet ropes hung outside the windows while drinkers and smokers flocked in and out of this new establishment. It's bought a little life to Parnell, a place that I'm told was once the most exciting night spot in Auckland — but can now sadly be boiled down to a lone Burgerfuel and Woodpecker Hill after 10pm.
Pineapple's interior is a lavish and loud affair featuring dark green walls, a floor to ceiling mural of the country side, and a flock of cashed up Parnell locals. A live jazz pianist enlivens the room, creating an atmosphere unlike any in Auckland, in surroundings deserving of such an extravagance.
The drinks list is a succinct selection of the best New Zealand has to offer. Garage Project beer in the can, a range of premium Kiwi wines, French champagne and of course the cocktails. These babies are on a higher plane compared to most in Auckland. Two bearded bartenders donning waistcoats and ties combine all manner of premium ingredients, and techniques to create beverage experiences that look, taste and smell phenomenal.
Highlights include a fluorescent-red whiskey cocktail encased in an ice sphere. The bartender will place this little beauty on your table on a silver coaster and calmly crack it open with a single tap of a tiny rubber hammer. Alternatively go for the absinth and olive brine cocktail— a salty and punchy masterpiece for those looking for something a little different to kick the night off.
If you're lucky you'll meet a bright boofy haired fellow named Christopher Richwhite who seems to be forever mingling with the punters here (and whose name ironically seems to describe his bar's clientele). He's the son of rich-listed investor David White, a bass guitarist in a London-based band and an entrepreneur taking his first foray into hospitality with Pineapple. With his very first bar he's birthed a truly special drinking experience, unlike anything in Auckland.