It is with much anticipation that we have awaited the filling of the boots left by legendary Ponsonby watering hole, The Golden Dawn (Tavern of Power). The successor has finally shown itself; Hoppers, opening tomorrow, is a bar and eatery that marries some of GD’s quirky good-time traits with a whimsical theme we can’t quite put our finger on.
Owner-operators are sister duo Bronwyn and Jessica Payne have spruced the space up, playing on the concept of ‘hopped beer in a peculiar garden’. It resides in what was formerly the outdoor area while the interior is now home to Kate Sylvester’s new store. Covered by a permanent, semi-transparent roof, an abundance of greenery along with different coloured doorways and walls adorned with portraits of dapper Mr Animals add to the idea of this being a place to escape. A greenhouse of curiosities if you will.
Serving lunch and dinner every day, while Hoppers is a freehouse whose drinks menu is of utmost importance, their food, all seemingly with a fresh Asian bent, is a good enough reason in itself to head along for dinner (think bao buns, dumplings, sticky pork ribs, soft shell crab etc). Spanning the entirety of the back wall, the new bar gives way to 18 different types of craft beer, top quality liquor (we weren’t surprised to find out they had a penchant for gin), a variety of biodynamic and organic wines, and carefully crafted cocktails.
The team behind the operation appears to be passionate, hands-on and adept. Committed to the quality of the experience, they hope to one day start brewing their own beer and promise there will be an entertainment element at Hoppers. “We invite all to be a part of this iconic space that has previously housed so many varieties of entertainment,” the sisters say.
Positing themselves as the perfect spot for drinks and a casual dinner, and everything in between, Ponsonby has every reason to be intrigued about this distinctive new address.
134 Ponsonby Road