Rotorua police are asking for the public's help to find two men who allegedly robbed Mo's Bar on Tutanekai St at gunpoint on Sunday.
One of the men demanded money from the duty manager while pointing a firearm at her.
The men got away with an undisclosed amount of money and left the premises.
The duty manager was not harmed.
The robbers left the scene in a light metallic green Hyundai Accent. Rotorua police Detective Sergeant John Wilson said police had since found the car on an empty section in Glenholme.
The men are described as male Maori and were wearing blue bandannas that covered their faces.
Anyone with information regarding the robbery is asked to contact Rotorua police on (07) 348 0099. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on (0800) 555 111.
Two masked offenders armed with a gun demanded money from a central city bar in daylight in front of startled onlookers.
The pair struck Mo's Bar and Casino on Tutanekai St yesterday at 1pm - and witnesses described it as like watching a scene from a movie.
The brazen daylight raid happened at the bar and gaming venue in front of a number of restaurants, including Nando's and The Thai Restaurant, on Tutanekai St between Arawa and Pukaki Sts, where people were enjoying lunch.
Rotorua police Senior Sergeant Mike Membery said bar staff and a member of the public called police.
Mr Membery said police were still looking for the two people wearing balaclavas who left the scene in a green car.
Police believe they have recovered the car and Rotorua CIB is investigating. Mr Membery said one of the raiders had a "firearm of some description".
He said police were checking security camera footage of the area to confirm their descriptions. A witness, who spoke to the Rotorua Daily Post on condition of anonymity, said he watched the two people leave the bar with masks on the lower half of their faces - similar to a scene from a Wild West movie.
"I thought it looked weird them walking down the street really fast with masks on. They had stuff in their hands. I did not see a gun or anything like that.
"They jumped into a car and left."
Another witness said they could not believe what they were watching while eating their lunch.
"It was like a scene in a movie. It all happened really fast but you could tell something was wrong.
"We didn't see any weapons but they were carrying something. They didn't run away, it was like a really fast walk. They got into a car and took off."
Senior Sergeant Malcolm Collins said police believed they had found the getaway car, which was left on an empty section.
"It is not known to me at this stage if they got away with anything," he said.