Have you visited the latest bar from the team behind Caretaker and Deadshot? Meet Rocketman

Opened by the seasoned duo of Alastair Walker and Heather Garland, whose combined expertise in mixology and hospitality spans over three decades, and whose other venues include Caretaker and Deadshot (two of the most popular bars in Auckland), Rocketman is more than just an interesting place to grab a drink — it’s an immersive journey into a world where nostalgia meets innovation.

“When the space upstairs from Caretaker became available, we knew we had to take it,” Garland tells me, “but we wanted to create something that felt very different to Caretaker.” Drawing inspiration from their fondest memories of convivial bar nights, where spontaneous revelry and dancing would collide to create something magical, Garland and Walker envisioned a space where patrons could unwind, let loose and partake in a bit of mischief, all while savouring a range of expertly crafted libations. At Rocketman, the boundaries between reality and whimsy blur, where retro-futurist aesthetics meld seamlessly with playful touches; the back bar is made of a replica aeroplane fuselage and sumptuous velvet-clad walls create an ambience that is both enchanting and inviting. “It’s a bit of a mad place,” Garland laughs, “but we wanted people to get caught up in the madness and forget their worries.”

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Of course, given the experience of Garland and Walker, it’s hardly surprising that at Rocketman, a well-crafted drinks list is the hero. From seasonal cocktails showcasing the finest spirits and ingredients sourced locally (including citrus from the owners’ own citrus farm) to a carefully curated wine list featuring local gems handpicked by esteemed sommelier Camilo Deichler, there’s something to satisfy every palate. And for those who prefer hops to grapes, Rocketman’s Manager (and resident beer aficionado), Lennox is always at the ready to guide guests through an impressive array of local brews.

But Rocketman isn’t just about the drinks — it’s about the entire experience. Chef Chino Salazar’s concise but hearty menu of bar classics with a modern twist provides the perfect accompaniment to the libations, ensuring that every craving is met with culinary finesse and flair. And hidden behind a discreet cupboard door lies Kitty’s Karaoke Parlour, a secret enclave where patrons can unleash their inner rockstar amidst a backdrop of pink ruffles and neon lights.

More than a typical bar, Rocketman is a destination. Whether you’re seeking a night of revelry with friends or a unique venue for a special event, its eclectic interiors, tasty cocktails and friendly service promise an experience that is as unlike anything else in this city. If you haven’t tried it yet, consider this your sign to.


10 Roukai Lane


Image credit: Sam Hartnett


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