This post is very special. Not because I’m the world’s biggest cocktail in a teapot drinker, or I like a good backpacker night out, or even because I went to the World Bar ‘back in the day’. (I actually did though) but because there is a real heart beating at the centre of this piece.
There was tears, there was booze and pyjamas and then there was a call to action.
1996. I was 17. I wore Dr Martins (the first time, there has been renewal). I loved Stone Temple Pilots. I was in a little place called England. And on the other side of the World literally, the World Bar was opened.
2008. I arrived in Queenstown and the first night I was taken toThe World Bar. I had a teapot. I may have fallen over. I may have danced to Vanilla Ice. (Im saying ‘may’ a lot and you know I’m lying)
I felt 17 again and I loved it.
Then on 23rd May 2013. The World Bar burned. And many many people across the world shed a tear.
That was a friday. Then there was tears, there was booze and in pyjamas a decision was made to resurrect (and also create an amazeballs pop up bar on the side) This is that story,
I need Terminator two music at this point. Imagine it.
Meeting with Chris (manager of The Find) on a Wednesday afternoon, The Find is well into it’s $2 taco evening, there is a buzz even so early. People want to be here. They love it. From the images flickering on the wall, to the painting of the hallowed Bill Murray and fresh flowers as you walk in. This really is a ‘find’ in Queenstown. When I mentioned to Chris I could remember where I was when I heard the news (at work eating my favourite sandwich for lunch- Ham and cheese if you must know) he laughed and replied that many people could also do the same thing, like the day we landed on the moon or JFK got shot. Only obviously not as harrowing.
While inspections and paperwork were being sort for The World Bar, the family of the bar decided they could be one of two things- people waiting for news on what was happening or set something else up and get on with it.
They chose the latter.
The Find, set up in 11 days (11 days people. I can’t get out of bed early to run in 11 days), encompasses all the things The World Bar had- teapots, music, great space but this was different. People got together and worked hard to build something from the ground up.
A slightly more grown up feeling, more heart, more vision.
In Chris’s word’s “an experiment that continued”. I replied “isn’t everything an experiment?” Chris was nodding and agreeing and looking round the space in glee at what had been created. Revelling in the fact people were eating, laughing, drinking wine in a space he had been part of creating and he loved it. There is real heart to this man and that is why there is real heart in The Find.
“You think you know and then it surprises you”. Chris muses about what he thought The Find might be and what is to come.
The big gap in Shotover street where The World Bar was will be filled before long. It will serve the hungry drinkers and dancers of Queenstown once again. It will be The World Bar. The two spaces are and should be very different, whether that was intended or not. Both awesome and both unique.
Both offering difference, inspiration and creativity, both with heart buried deep.
Before I left, I asked the question “why rebuild?”
Chris replied “we have to. It’s an institution. The teapots, the world bar. People want us back”
And he’s right.
Upstairs at 53 Shotover Street
Open 12pm-4am every darn day