Citizen Park

A new bar and eatery crops up in Kingsland with a distinct Southern Californian flavour.

There’s been a new addition to the neighbourhood of Kingsland and it’s in the form of Citizen Park, a breezy garden bar located prominently on the ever-changing New North Road strip.

Inspired by the happy-go-lucky charm so prevalent in the beer gardens and inner city bars of New York, owners Darren Tolley and Dean Lodge set out to bring this relaxed vibe back home.

Housed in what was previously a motorcycle store, the bar and eatery has taken over an expansive space, allowing room for both an indoor bar area with high tables and stools as well as an outside bar that boasts a west facing corner to make the most of the setting sun.

Working alongside architect Chris Stevens from ctrl-SPACE and Rachael Lovelace from Lovelace & Co, Darren and Dean have succeeded creating a laid back atmosphere that’s perfect for meeting friends –  you can even bring the little ones along as they’re welcomed too. Walking through the double doors you immediately take in steel frame shelving reaching up to the ceiling, brick walls and hanging lamps with exposed filament bulbs, all of which add to the distinctly industrial aesthetic. American paraphernalia is peppered everywhere – from roller skates and American football helmets to aged fold out wooden chairs with old Coca Cola logos printed on their backs. One thing is for sure, you certainly don’t feel as if you’ve stepped off the streets of Auckland.

This is not just a bon vivant’s hang out however, the gastronomic offerings are just as appealing too. Head chef Jake Morrissey has focused on quintessential Southern Californian cuisine. There’s the hickory smoked steak tacos with pickled onions and chipotle cheese, and the pork and scallop sliders, which are an ideal ordering option if you’re looking for plates to share with friends. We also loved the shrimp taco, topped with with pineapple salsa and red jalapeño for a spicy kick. If you’re in the mood for something meatier, plates of good old-fashioned hickory ribs are also on offer and they’ve even included iconic American dishes such as Meatloaf Hoagie and a Crab Po Boy, which are sure to delight true red, white and blue enthusiasts.

Welcoming and utterly conducive to winding down after a hard day, we suspect many a Kingsland local and those further afield will be traipsing into this brand new neighbourhood haunt.

Citizen Park

422 New North Road

(09) 846 4964

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