Auckland's London Bar shuts, but hopes high for revival

By Stuart Dye

A central-city jazz bar that has stood for years as an Auckland icon has shut its doors - but the owner promises it will return.

The London Bar at the corner of Wellesley and Queen Sts turned the lights out on Monday, after years as a haven for jazz musicians and fans.

The three-storey building also houses Murphy's Irish Bar and The Underground Bar, which opened only in March. Both had their doors locked yesterday.

Manager Tony Herbert, who is also the manager of The Muddy Farmer, had been in charge for about a year. He refused to comment on the reasons for the surprise closure.

However, Paul Carmine, director of BFM Ltd, which owns the lease to the building, insisted it would not stay closed for long.

"I remember going there when I was a teenager and I'm now 48, so it's certainly an icon. I have the job of getting the doors back open again."

Mr Carmine was unclear on the reasons for the abrupt departure of the management, which had been in possession since before he took over as director of BFM.

But he said he had been in talks with new potential managers yesterday and hoped to reopen within a fortnight.

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