Some would say that Parnell has had its heyday. While inner-city Auckland has welcomed many a new bar and eatery to its fold over the past few years, the suburb hasn’t received so much of the attention. Until now that is. Standing proudly at the entrance of York Street, just behind the tip of Parnell Rise, you’ll find the brand new bar 46 & York. At the helm of this promising new joint are business partners Dana Johnston and JP Schmidt, who’ve set about creating a new and lively local for Parnell dwellers and visitors alike.
The bar is housed in one of the area’s most historic buildings, a brick 1920s landmark bordering Parnell’s Fraser Park, and now it’s finally inhabited by something worthy of its charm. The building has been given a new lease on life thanks to interior designer Virginia Fisher, who deftly retained the original structure’s heritage with a classic yet crisp take. Attention to the treatment of detail is highlighted by the site’s distinctly sunny disposition, and light floods through the various spaces all day long. Upon entry, you’ll pass a scattering of street-side tables, before stepping up into the spacious, white-walled bar area, which features a large communal table framed by stools and an inviting leather corner booth. Wander around the corner and you’ll find window seating suitable for two, leading back towards a cosy snug, complete with banquette seating and a fireplace – ideal for when the weather isn’t playing nice. And if you’d prefer a quiet place to enjoy a few drinks, their narrow sunlit inner courtyard fits the bill admirably.
The bar serves up a mix of old favourites and intriguing new cocktails; after all, what else can you expect from your new local. Thankfully for grazers, the offerings don’t stop here and a specially designed menu of delicious sharing plates are on hand. Divided into four sections; Paddock, Ocean, Garden and Sweet & Cheese, there’s plenty to choose from. Of particular note there’s the coconut kokoda, served bite sized in baby cos lettuce cups with sweet potato, and the chilled prawns are also a great option for sharing with friends, served atop a pail of fresh ice alongside the tangy house dip, chunks of lemon and tabasco sauce.
We’re envisioning a raft of social gatherings at this new Parnell hotspot, it’s the type of place that you would be happy to wile away a few hours, from lunch through to the late evening. And why wouldn’t you? After all, that’s precisely what local watering holes are made for.