Hot dogs, vinyl and good times are all on offer at this newly appointed K'Rd haunt.

K Road’s renaissance is upon us, people. Blame who you like, but our renewed fervour for the wicked ways of Auckland’s most diverse and characterful street has only been growing over the past 12 months thanks to an onslaught of cafes, eateries and late-night cabaret haunts. Now, there’s yet another locale luring us in — especially during the evening hours.

The newly christened cocktail lounge goes by the dare-we-ask name of ’69’ and hugs the right-hand-side of Hopetoun Bridge if you’re looking out to the harbour. This affords it an excellent — albeit not traditionally scenic — view from its balcony, with sweeping upper city views of the motorway as well as the waterways beyond. It could fairly be considered a true K Road vista, and if you install yourself early enough in the afternoon, it’s even quite romantic. When we asked owner Sabastion Charles Smith about the Izzard-executed interior and the bar’s overall vibe, he describes it as very local indeed. “It’s all about K Road” he explains, which goes some way in explaining the eclectic decor. “There are no bookings, no functions and no door list” he goes on to say — all factors that allude to this being a bar for the people.

The team running the place includes Kamal Haggarty who manages the menu’s provenance (they have a 50-acre farm up in Sandy Bay which is home to their meat and most of their produce) amongst other things, chef Marcus Newton is responsible for dishes such as the fresh Kokoda (a pacific kind of ceviche with added coconut cream) and the ‘Hot Classic’ cheese Kransky wrapped up in one of Il Forno’s glossy potato brioches. Behind the bar is where head bartender Nicolai Gaudriller-Becker mixes up an endless list of cocktails including the Tony Seppuku (pictured), a variation of the traditional Japanese blood and sand.

Combined with a different DJ every night of the week (there’s only one rule to adhere to — vinyl only), 69 is offering all the makings for a rollicking good time. Reluctant to overcomplicate things, you can tell that Smith (who has ample experience working alongside Mark Wallbank at his various restaurants) knows what’ll work on K Road. And having set our sights upon this new cocktail lounge, we can’t wait to get along and have a few drinks ourselves.

Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday: 3pm-3am
Sundays: Closed


375 Karangahape Road
Auckland City

(09) 394 1555

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