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Golding's Free Dive bar opens in Wellington

Golding's Free Dive bar opens in Wellington

The dramatic transformation of Wellington’s drinking scene, for discerning beer drinkers at least, continues today with the opening of another craft beer-focused, independent bar.

Golding’s Free Dive is the result of several years of planning by designer and artist Sean Golding. Its décor reflects European and North American traditions of thoroughly lived-in, unpretentious neighbourhood bars. The “Dive” part of the name is an evocation of the quintessential lo-fi, well-worn American “dive bar”. The bar features fittings and furniture made from repurposed materials, colourful murals and stools brazenly chosen for comfort over fashion.

Golding’s Free Dive is located at 14 Leads St, in the ground floor of the Hannah’s Building, now an apartment complex. Being in the midst of a residential enclave has helped shape the bar’s operations. The bar’s outdoor area will be smoke-free as a courtesy to apartment dwellers, and customers will be asked to return inside by 9.30pm. Golding says “we’re looking forward to offering Wellington’s first outdoor, unpolluted drinking area.”

Golding’s Free Dive is also unapologetically “free” of contractual ties to any brewery. This means that there is neither an exclusive supply contract with one brewery, nor tap-by-tap deals with multiple breweries. All drinks served will be chosen and rotated according to the judgment of the bar’s management. Proprietor Sean Golding says that the only selection criterion for the bar’s beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages will be quality.

Beer is Love!


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