Located just a short stroll from K'Road, and all the characters that come with it, Red Bar is in its own little world. It's in an area that we imagine wouldn't get a whole heap of foot traffic, and there is only a smallish sign outside to advertise it. The doors are closed much of the week with opening hours running Thursday-Saturday. This covert nature gives Red Bar a unique feel, quite removed from many other Auckland haunts.
We popped in on a Thursday night. Quite a special Thursday for the bar as they were revealing a very, very cool new paint job by local artist Cracked Ink. As part of the makeover, the walls are now covered in cheeky black and white characters getting up to all sorts. It's the kind of wall that you could happily stare at and go into your own cloud of cuckoo. If you come to Red Bar later in the year expect to see a completely different work of art covering the walls.
Red Bar has a small floor space with a bar running along the wall in the back corner, and a DJ spinning throwback hip hop tunes. The crowd is interesting, diverse, low key and super welcoming; dudes in hoodies, dudes in suits, many of them regulars and not an ego in sight. Bartender/manager Laura asks us what our favorite drinks are and comes back with two cocktails of her own creation. I advise you to ask her to do the same for you, they were quite spectacular. Chatting to Laura we find out that Red Bar hosts regular art shows, live music, and has an consistently revolving roster of DJs spinning whatever music they see fit. We would love to see an Auckland that had more spots like this one.