The first time I entered the Tyler Street Garage I thought I'd walked into an Irish police station. It was hectic, reeked of onions, and I couldn't get any service despite standing at the counter for ages.
In all fairness, it was a busy Friday lunchtime and the staff looked harried to say the least. I slipped away and came back when it wasn't so manic.
I'm glad I did, for a couple of reasons. This former garage looks fantastic.
The bar may be a bit low for my liking, but the space is well used and the upstairs rooftop bar has some of the best views in town. But it's not really the views people come for - at least not solely the views.
There's the usual selection of Lion beers on tap and the wine list is okay, if a bit run-of-the mill. The cocktails look good and taste good, too, although a bit of theatre in the making of them would go a long way. They're reasonably priced, though, which isn't always a strength of Britomart bars.
The food is another drawcard here. Platters, pizzas and small dishes abound and the prices aren't overly bandit-ish.
The service was a different story, or perhaps that should be an indifferent story. Certainly the staff weren't rude, but they did seem inattentive and almost exhausted beyond caring, as though they'd had a hard few nights.
Payment was received with a shrug and a sigh, rather than a "thank you, come again", which once again put me in mind of some large and largely inefficient arm of the public service. If they could serve their public with a bit more enthusiasm they'd be on to a winner.