Meet 186: the specialty drinks bar from the duo behind Williams Eatery

Gone are the days when drinks were merely an afterthought on a menu; a simple coffee offering and perhaps a can of fizzy drink. Nowadays, entire menus are designed around beverages, and as such, one new specialty drinks bar has captured the attention of those in the know.

186 Specialty Drinks Bar is the brainchild of brothers Charles and Patrick Williams, of Auckland’s Williams Eatery notoriety. Devised in collaboration with Les Mills to extend the Victoria Street gym’s wellbeing offering, 186 is a sleek operation that retains nourishment as its core ethos. As the name suggests, specialty drinks comprise the menu, and the team have taken the arduous task of making smoothies inspired and intriguing, giving us something to talk about.

Left: 186 Smoothies. Right: Space designed by Rufus Knight.

On the menu alongside freshly brewed Flight Coffee, Patrick has put together a refined, mindful offering of smoothies, sodas and tonics, with an option to add locally-made protein, mushroom and matcha powders. There are even rumours of a bone broth smoothie, should you be courageous enough to try this concoction. With a grab-and-go fridge stacked with the likes of Ārepa and other performance-boosting tonics, it is more of a holistic offering than the gym juice bars of the past. And 186’s totally convenient inner-city location means it is not restricted to Les Mills members either; anyone is welcome to a refreshing smoothie come lunchtime.

Left: Ārepa Neuroberry, Blueberry, Passionfruit and Oat Smoothie. Right: Flight Coffee.

Rufus Knight’s design is the essence of minimalism, setting an exciting precedent for what’s to come in Les Mills’ iconic Victoria Street foyer. Part of a bigger plan, you can soon expect the entire Les Mills foyer space to offer high ceilings, heritage windows teaming with daylight, and hotel lobby-inspired seating for a myriad of purposes. Charles tells me it will provide a suitable space for dining, meetings, and gym consultations, all under one roof.

Left: Matakana Supergreens, Mango, Kale, Passionfruit and Oat smoothie.

With Williams Eatery a testament to the owners’ culinary successes, we’re sure that 186 is a place people will adore, and we’ve heard whisperings that a refined specialty food offering will be made available in the new year to continue the Williams food legacy. One that is designed as much for those seeking a post-workout pick-me-up as it is for anyone craving something wholesome to eat. In the interim, whenever we’re craving a summery smoothie, you’ll know where to find us.

Opening hours:
Monday — Friday, 6.30am until 2pm.
Saturday — Sunday, 7.30am until 2pm.

186 Specialty Drinks Bar

186 Victoria Street West,
Auckland CBD

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