Pub spy: Fort Street Union, Auckland CBD

By Don Kavanagh

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Address: Level 1, 16 Fort St, Auckland CBD
Phone: (09) 309 0315M

Great venue but service is a bit too casual.
Great venue but service is a bit too casual.

I love bars like this, usually. Tucked away in corners off slightly disreputable streets, they are rich in promise and, usually, in atmosphere.

What I like less is having to climb 40-odd stairs to get into the bar, but that's more a result of my size and dislike of exercise, so we'll let it pass.

What I can't let pass is casual service. If the girl behind this bar was any more laidback she'd be horizontal. Barely moving from her position leaning against the bar, she muttered "What'll it be, man?" with barely a flicker of life in her face. So deeply immersed was she in her own world that I can only be grateful she noticed I was a man, I suppose.

Anyway, harrumphing to myself I collected my beer and went out to the rooftop smoking bar. And what a fantastic little spot it is - the centre of the roof is open, allowing the smog to escape, while the roofed-in edges offer shelter from sun or rain.

It was also nice to hear so many accents. This being backpacker central, you could hear the pleasant burr of Scotland, the guttural croak of South Africa and the braying overconfidence of Home Counties England.

It's all very pleasant.

The beer isn't too bad, either. It's a DB bar, so Heineken, Tiger and Monteith's rule, but that's not a bad thing if you're looking for a few wets to lubricate a night out.

The menu is good, too, with cheap, plentiful plates served up quickly. Now if only they could find staff who didn't consider customers to be a chore, they'd be laughing.


Service: 1/5
Drink: 3.5/5
Food: 4/5
Atmosphere: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

- NZ Herald

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