Address: 25 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden
Hours: open from 4pm Monday-Friday and from 5pm-late Saturday/Sunday
Ph: (09) 379 5099
I was catching up with someone I hadn't seen for a while recently and he suggested we meet at the Corner Store, a bar I've long enjoyed and which was one of the first I reviewed for this column.
Then I realised I hadn't been there for more than a year. I started wondering whether this fine bar had changed much in the interim. I knew they had had staff changes, so I wondered what effect that would have on how the place was run.
I needn't have worried. The staff, although new to me, certainly made me feel at home and gave me ample time to examine the selection. They even made a few suggestions, which I always like because it tells me the staff are familiar with the drinks list and have enough confidence to recommend something.
The selection does take some getting through. The wine list is great, with plenty of glass-pour options and the beer list has expanded since my last visit. A few more tasty craft beers have joined the perfectly acceptable tap Asahi. But it's really on the spirit side that this bar wins you over. The cocktails are excellent, well designed, well made and well presented; but then, given the bartenders the bar has played host to over the years, that's hardly surprising.
The spirit selection is extensive, to the point where Edradour - Scotland's smallest distillery - has three variants behind the bar, something that will always make one gasp a little. The malt selection is strong, as are bourbon and rye and there are even a few Japanese whiskies.
The food is great, with a nice selection of small plates at sharp prices, so you won't feel hungry or ripped off, which is often the either/or choice for food in bars.
Overall, the Corner Store looks good, feels good and is good. From the friendly front bar, with its high stools and towering bar shelves to the cosy intimacy of the Store Room and the outdoor area, it's clean, comfy and chilled out. It's been a while, old friend, but it won't be as long before we meet again.