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High living and low life in the hospitality capital - brought to you by Stella Artois, "serving rogues and knaves since 1366"

Visit the Stella website at You'll need Netscape, Shockwave, Flash and a good command of the French or Dutch language.

Alternatively, check out - the international site for beer.

17 April 2000


Juice on the Loose
Letter Thieves
Be a Con?
New faces, new places
Events this week


Freshly squeezed fruit juice is the new coffee. We've said it before, and now there's hard evidence. The movement is building, with word of eight, that's right, EIGHT new juice bars about to hit town. Sites for the first two are Featherston Street (courtesy Steve Jinks, ex-Bar Bodega), and Fast Food Alley aka Manners Mall, in the site where Mar's Pies gasped and died. Expect lots of chrome, apparently...

Hospitality venues with classy lettered signs on their frontage must be thinking twice with a rash of letter theft becoming endemic. Courtenay Place's Liquid lost the "L" from its sign about a month ago, then the rest of the letters in quick succession. Latest victim is LOOP's local cafe, Felix, which has not changed its name to "LI" - some hooligans stole the large "F", "E" and "X" a couple of weekends back. Okay, there could be some connection with the recent concert by touring US skatepunk band NOFX. That would explain two of the letters (no FX hur hur), but why would the miscreants take the E?

Speaking of E, the chemical variety should be to the fore again this week as the two individuals arrested a couple of weeks back at Beacon (should that read Be A Con?) are scheduled for court appearances. The police are charging conspiracy and intent to supply after the restaurant/bar was raided about a month ago. Patrons received a polite but thorough searching - the police even searched the musical instruments that the band were playing at the time!

More fast food for Courtenay Place: the Chicken Palace will open soon between the Grand and the St James where the ANZ bank used to be.

Coming in to the too-long-abandoned Casper's space in the Edward Street enclave will be the "Latino Americano" venue Cha Cha Cha.

The new owners for the Aro Street Cafe (there's an Olive connection) have brought in what we at LOOP have been waiting for: modular breakfast. Rather than chose from a set dish, or try to get the wait staff to modify it, you can just choose your combination of eggs, toast, mushrooms, etc from the items on the menu. Great idea.

Corporate breakfasters on the Terrace should check out recent eateries Toast and Atlanta.

And Plum Cafe in Cuba Mall has secured a liquor license - congrats!

Also new on the bar scene is the revamped and extended Bats Theatre bar, very stylish, very small, and as yet unnamed. Suggested titles include the Buffalo Lounge or Bison Bar, in honour of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes who own the building and have their social rooms upstairs. On seeing the EXIT sign silhouetted in reverse in the window, we suggest the Tixe Lounge (pronounced "teej", "teeshay" or "tick-see"). Check it out anyway, while waiting for the fine BATS show, F'all.

Event highlights this week include Wednesday's world premiere of Wellington film Hopeless at the Embassy (it's a charity fundraiser for the Embassy Theatre Trust), and the opening night soiree at the Rialto on Thursday for Buena Vista Social Club. This premiere of the excellent doco about Cuban musicians is brought to you by LOOP, Radio Active 89FM and Havana Coffee Works.



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