1kg T-Bone Steak

Meet Queens — The vibrant new rooftop bar & eatery in the heart of the city

“Our overall goal is to create one of Australasia’s most iconic offerings,” says Callum O’Brien, co-founder of Queens Rooftop & Wineshop (or ‘Queens’), a landmark new restaurant and bar within the Commercial Bay precinct with 270-degree views of the Waitematā Harbour, “A rooftop site on the waterfront in the heart of New Zealand’s biggest city was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”

If the entrance is anything to go by, revellers can expect the unexpected at this future institution, which is accessed via Queens Wine Shop off Te Komititanga (the new public square at the harbour end of Queen Street). Past the towering shelves of hand-selected local and international wines sits a storeroom housing a private elevator, ready to transport guests up to the 21st floor. Doors open into the sprawling eatery and terrace beyond, with its unrivalled vantage point, and warm, elegant dining space that instantly immerses guests in a lively ambience.

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Right: Market Oysters

Conceived by hospitality veterans Callum O’Brien, Andrew Roborgh, and Kristian Lloydd (the trio who established Saint Alice and Dr Rudi’s at Viaduct Harbour), and new partners Reuben Ruscoe (Queens’ General Manager) and Maia Atvars (Queens’ Head Chef), Queens is starting on strong footing, with the clever cohort pooling their diverse experience to create something truly exceptional that is already proving a hotly-anticipated addition to Auckland’s diverse dining scene.

The thoughtful space was designed by Melbourne’s Techne Architects (the team behind the likes of Tonka, Garden State Hotel, and The Espy) with support from Warren and Mahoney, and it’s clear that the vision — to create something approachable yet worldly and sophisticated, has been realised to stunning effect. Here, unfussy polished wooden flooring meets textured walls, impeccably-crafted shelving, and simple but chic leaners and tables topped with a deep rust marble, complimented by light olive seating with a sculptural edge. The bar area is bedecked in a stunning teal panelling that curves upwards to wrap the ceiling, while a clever mix of materials (from striking marble, to cream tiles and slick panelled wooden shelving) creates a warm, elevated vibe.

Queens breathtaking view

When dining on the terrace, the view undoubtedly takes centre stage. “When you walk out on the rooftop, it’s breathtaking,” O’Brien tells us, “The terrace wraps right around the outside of the building, so there are uninterrupted views east to the Coromandel, to the north and the west to the Waitakere Ranges.” But the Queens team want to make clear that, while the outlook is undoubtedly magic, a striking vista isn’t the only thing on offer. “It was important to us to create a concept that was equally as impressive as the view,” O’Brien tells me, “We want Queens to be the best hospitality spot in New Zealand, and instead of relying on the view, we have gone all out to create a venue that is special in its own right.”

Left: Pork Belly ‘sando’

Housed within the recently completed high-rise which the InterContinental Auckland also calls home, Queens’ prime position makes it one of Auckland’s most convenient and central spots for every occasion, further adding to its allure. From breakfast meetings to long lunches, celebratory feasts and nightcaps, or simply a place to take in Auckland’s stunning surrounds, the all-day menu makes for a reliable go-to, right in the centre of the city. “We want everyone to feel welcome, relaxed and at home,” says O’Brien, “It’s a place you can book for a special occasion, but also a spot you can pop into for a quick beer and snack,” “We have tried to create an approachable space that can be enjoyed as much for formal occasions as it can for something more casual.” he continues.

Left to right: Calamari & Pork Belly, Negroni and Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters
Right: Rocket salad and Slow Cooked leeks

When it comes to the food, the menu is approachable yet refined, offering both worldly delights and local fare — often blending the two to stunning effect. Maia Atvars (ex-Depot, Saint Alice, Hotel Ponsonby) heads up the kitchen team, and has crafted a menu that screams contemporary European, and caters to not only every occasion, but every taste and proclivity too. Standouts include the duck breast confit leg with kumara hoisin, cucumber with cherry jus, and butter lettuce, and line-caught snapper schnitzel with peas and a caviar beurre blanc. There’s also calamari and smoked pork belly skewers with a tangy green olive and shallot dressing, Cloudy Bay popcorn clams with spicy salt, and a panko-crumbed pork belly milk bun sando with Japanese gravy (which is a favourite of O’Briens, alongside Maia’s take on pāua croquettes which are “incredible”). In addition, a raw bar will hero the freshest seafood from around Aotearoa, while The Seafood Tower is sure to become an instant cult favourite, featuring an array of freshly caught delicacies from oysters to crayfish, clams, kina, pāua, sashimi, and more. 

Calamari & pork belly

The drinks at both Queens Rooftop and Queens Wine Shop follow a similar ethos, calling on both local and international flavours to offer something unique. Reuben Ruscoe (ex-Dr. Rudi’s, Saint Alice) has developed an envelope-pushing drinks offering for both the bar and the wine shop. At Queens, creative cocktails draw inspiration from global trends whilst utilising contemporary techniques and fresh, seasonal New Zealand produce, while, when it comes to the beer and wine offering, you’ll find familiar favourites on tap alongside a host of local craft beers, and an extensive list of fine wines (including a selection of premium champagnes). Downstairs in the wine shop, you’ll find a diverse offering from heralded regions globally, O’Brien tells us, “Whether you’re interested in picking up some fine Champagne, floral Italian Fiano, or a robust Australian red, you’ll find it here, not to mention a great range of stalwart NZ producers that continually showcase what an amazing wine-growing region we have.”

Much-loved DJ Jono Bougen (aka Jon Boogie) is in charge of the entertainment, curating a roster of genre-pushing talent promising to set the musical scene throughout the week.

Two years in the making, with a notable team at the helm and one of the best spots in the city, Queens has all the makings of a future icon. In O’Brien’s words, “At Queens Rooftop and Wine Shop, you’ll find what we think is a pretty special venue, serving delicious eats and drinks with 270-degree views, a raw bar featuring the freshest kaimoana, and a rotation of local DJs spinning vinyl — all the ingredients of a place you want to spend hours at.” Watch this space.

Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday, 11am until late


Queens Rooftop & Wineshop

Level 21
1 Queen St
Auckland CBD
(Enter through Queens Wineshop, Level 1)


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