Happy Hour: The Crest

By Scott Kara

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Herald rating ***
Address: Corner K Rd and Pitt St, Newton
Phone: 373 3409
Open: Daily from 11am until late

We arrive: For an after-work drink, or three, at about 4.30pm on a Friday. We're curious about what this pub has turned into after its previous existence as the Naval & Family - a decrepit old pub that used to open at 8am when regular patrons were already lining up.

Are served our first drinks: Pretty quickly considering there's only one polite, chatty, but not in-your-face barman on and there are a few people in already.

The decor is ... A far cry from the dirty dive it used to be. It's a mix of bar stools and high tables, window seats, and conventional tables and chairs. The only worry is the messy ceiling: how many lights, fans, and goodness knows what else can you fit up there?

... and the ambience: Bloody noisy because The Crest is right on the corner of one of Auckland's busiest intersections and rush hour is kicking in. You almost wish they'd crank up the air-conditioning and close all the windows. But it is summer.

The house chardonnay is: Bog standard, but reliable Montana Chardonnay at $6.50 a glass.

The beers on tap are: Steinlager, Speight's, Oranjeboom, and almost all the Mac's range, including Spring Tide, a low-carb that's popular with the girls, I'm told.

The toilets are: Pretty much brand new, so not a whiff of anything.

The music is: A little bit of Zero 7, but mostly traffic.

Why you should go: K Rd needed a pub you can pop into before going to a gig or on somewhere else.

Bottom line: A grand old corner pub site gets a badly needed makeover and the location is absolute convenience.

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