Address: 147 Ponsonby Rd (corner of Anglesea St)
Ph: 09 360 4528
Open: Thursday-Sunday noon till late, Mon-Wed 3pm till late.
I'll make an admission here - I have never been cool. So you can imagine my trepidation when I turned up at Chapel on a Sunday to see a bar besieged by hordes of the self-elected elite drinking and laughing raucously outside, as there was no room at all indoors.
The popularity of Chapel - especially on Sundays - is a mystery to other bar operators in Ponsonby. They can't work out why such vast crowds are attracted to it.
What attracts people to Chapel is simple. The product is seamless and complete: good food, an atmosphere that feels comfortable and the vague impression you're cool if you drink there.
For me that's a minus. - I don't claim to be anything special, but I do spend a lot of time and money in bars and I really don't like having to queue for what seems like forever to get a drink.
The crowd is something else again - the well-fed, impeccably groomed Ponsonby set drenched in cologne and perfume, so the ambience is something of an acquired taste. If that's your bag then this is the spot for you.
The drinks selection is fine; there isn't much to excite beer lovers, but the cocktails look good and the wine list is full of big names. The toilets are well-appointed and the decor is pretty cool.
A place to be seen, no doubt, although I think I'll leave it to the frenetically hip and with-it mob that is already queuing up to get into the place.