In the heart of the Capital, you will find a good dose of beer, fine food and healthy socialising – just what the doctor ordered.
Located on the corner of Willis and Boulcott Streets, The General Practitioner has become a household favourite for Friday night drinkers. Established in 2002, the GP was originally built for Doctor Henry Pollen in 1902. Dr Pollen held consultations and surgeries on the ground floor while his family lived above. But today, the GP’s warmly lit wooden interior and homely vibe is as far from a sterile Doctor’s waiting room as you can get, though don’t be surprised if you spot syringes and odd medical memorabilia in glass cabinets scattered around the bar – it’s all part of the look.
The GP provides three separate cosy spaces. The outside area is a favourite if you are passing by for a quick bevvy, but walk inside and you’ll find the warm wooden bar a fit for some intimate Friday night gossip, or walk out the back or upstairs if you are after a sit-down meal.
The GP is well regarded by students on a budget. The place is hectic between 7-9 everyday, as the crowds line up for on tap beer and cider jugs for just $10. Share a $10 jug of Old Mout Passionfruit and cider or Old Mout Feijoa and cider, ($6.50 small $9.50 large) or go for Monteiths Original Ale ($4.50 small $8.00 large).
If you are after bar food the GP offers a range of polished nibbles and deep-fried treats to go with your jug. But if you have the time to rug up warm and spend a little more, try out the GP’s regularly updated lunch and dinner menus.
If you want a long lazy lunch, try The Doctors Dagwood Sandwich, filling changes daily, served with shoestring fries ($15) or the Beef bavette on bacon and spring onion smashed potatoes with chive sour cream ($23). Food is simple, elegantly presented and always fresh – just like mum’s home cooking but better.
The GP evening menu is written daily, so expect to see three to four dishes change every night.
But the location of the GP has got to be its draw card. The GP sits on the fringe of the business district and the beginning of the Cuba nightlife. It is the perfect spot to grab a drink or a bite to eat before walking down to the Embassy Theatre on Kent Terrace, or take the back roads to a concert at the Michael Fowler Centre on Wakefield Street.
General Practitioner staff are as warm as the building, and make sure you join the GP loyalty club for special discounts (or just to increase your cool factor).
For me, the GP signifies a dark and cold Wellington night lit up by good beer, friends, and a bowl of fries – so go on, make an appointment to see the best doctor in town.