The building at 463 New North Rd, Kingsland has had its fair share of transformations in the past few years, housing several bars including The Fat Controller and The Ivy. In its current state, the building is home to a small and comfortable place called Portland Public House, where the drinks taste good and on any given night you're likely rub shoulders with a who's who of local musicians.
Beyond the large windows and accompanying venetian blinds you'll find a DIY wonderland. Retro couches surround quirky coffee tables, knick knacks of time past come displayed on the multi-shade timber walls and spirits are housed in swappa crates behind the bar - together creating an all encompassing lounge vibe. Only craft beer is available on tap, including Black Dog IPA and Golden Ale and the Monteiths' Brewer's Series. They all come served by the jam jar or by the larger glass. If your wallet is feeling a little lighter, mainstream beers are also available by the bottle and a good range of wine variations are displayed on the chalkboard. The kitchen must also be the only place in Auckland that serves a Maori-influenced menu. At a glance you could treat yourself to Maori cevechi, a classic mussel pot or a pulled pork sandwich.
Out the back you'll find a sun deck that would bode well as the ideal afternoon drinking spot. It also comes complete with a striking mural showcasing the wonders of the world, including everything from the Egyptian Pyramids to inner city Auckland's White Lady.
All that said, the major drawcard of PPH is its weekly programme of music events, all thrown together by Rodney Fisher who is best known for his role in prominent New Zealand band Goodshirt. The intimate setting provides the perfect space for acoustic acts right through to full bands, and any day of the week you're likely to be treated to anything from a ten-piece Motown tribute band to a gathering of the Kingsland Folk Club. There's even enough room to cut some shapes on the dance floor.
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