Best DJ Bars
Booze to the Beat
Whatever kind of music you're into there's bound to be a bar in this fair city to suit your tastes.
The following are great spots for catching up with friends, catching up on new music, and if the mood takes you, dancing the night away.
The Golden Dawn
Given its blacked-out windows, very discreet entrance off Ponsonby Road and name derived from a 19th century magical order, you would expect something a bit different from The Golden Dawn. Its music policy is as recherché as its drinks list which runs the gamut from unusual brightly coloured cocktails to a range of refreshing craft beers such as Tuatara and Hallertau. If you’re after an alternative to mainstream radio pop come and take a listen to the DJs here spin an eclectic mix of left-of-centre sounds including UK punk circa 1977, post-punk, shoegaze, new wave and alt country. Live bands are also a regular fixture.
Britomart Country Club
A relative newcomer on the Britomart bar scene, the Britomart Country Club is the place to be and be seen. One of the reasons for this is an eclectic music selection encompassing well known and up-and-coming local bands and popular kiwi and international DJs. BCC music takes in a range of genres, from dub and reggae to techno, electronic and indie pop. The picket fences, club house and golfing memorabilia are a great complement to the music and all contribute to the sophisticated vibe of the place.
D.O.C. (Department of Conversation)
D.O.C is my favourite watering hole amongst the many lining the infamous strip of K Road. Its cool lo-fi style feels genuine and extends to every aspect of the establishment – from the modest wooden bar to cute animal paintings on the wall and the beer, which comes in big brown bottles. What really grabs me though is the music. It is distinctly retro, in terms of both playlist – Led Zeppelin and Roxy Music for example – and format – crackly vinyl rather than i-Tunes.
Ponsonby Social Club
Ponsonby Social Club has a Tuesday night DJ session called Beats & Eats which pretty neatly captures the essence of this bar. It has an impressive drinks list, and in the summer staff fire up the BBQ in the courtyard while some of the country’s best DJs play the choicest cuts. The Conch Sunday Grill is a great way to finish the week – Cian and Bobby from specialist music shop Conch, across the road, play their favourite new tunes while tasty treats cook on the grill.
Editorial by Nicholas Chidley