A much-loved Ponsonby pub was robbed last night by masked men armed with a gun and a machete.

Grand Central on Ponsonby Rd was holding an open mic night last night, with about five regulars and two bar staff still in the bar when three men came in just after 10pm, according to a witness.

The woman said she and her friend, both musicians, were approached by two men wearing sunglasses, black balaclavas and black hoodies. One held a black pistol, the other a large machete, she said.

A third man was also waiting in the shadows.


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"They asked us to drop our things on the floor, so we did. Then they pushed the bartender guy to the ground and threatened the other bartender, told him to give them all the cash."

The pair were loud, though not yelling, and were waving the gun and machete around, she said.

She described the men as of smaller build. One of the regulars said he had also seen a third man with them.

The woman had never been in such a situation before and was shocked that it had happened at Grand Central - a haven for music lovers that holds an open mic night every week. Everyone there was a musician and was a regular, she said.

"I was pretty shaken but my friend was very in control - she handled the situation very well. She put her stuff down on the ground and said 'I don't have any money, I've got two phones you can take if you want."

The men left the women's belongings untouched, taking the cash and fleeing down Mackelvie St.

Her friend and a bartender both called police, who arrived within 15 minutes. The owner had arrived and handed over CCTV footage.


Nobody had been hurt but all were shaken, she said.

Police confirmed there had been an aggravated robbery, involving three men entering the bar around 10.15pm.

A police spokeswoman said all three were wearing dark hoodies and masks - which police described as bandannas.

"While no one was injured during the incident, they are understandably very shaken and are receiving support," she said.

Police urged anyone who had seen the incident, or had information that could be useful, to come forward. They could call police on 105 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Grand Central declined to comment as police were investigating.