Chill out, cool place

The Press - Zest - - Reviews -

Ac­cord­ing to the Cargo Bar’s Twit­ter page, ‘‘Gen­er­a­tion Y need not ap­ply’’. No has­sle folks. I’m happy re­view­ing bars, not work­ing in them. But to be se­ri­ous for a mo­ment, this stance is rather con­fus­ing. As a gen­er­a­tion Y-er (on the cusp of my ter­ri­fy­ing third decade, ac­cord­ing to loose def­i­ni­tions on Wikipedia), I’m ask­ing my­self, does this mean I’m too old or too young for the Cargo Bar?

Is Christchurch’s ‘‘first pur­pose built Con­tainer Bar’’ as its Twit­ter page also yells out, keen on the mid­dle man­agers of Gen­er­a­tion X, or the grown-up­too-fast chil­dren of Gen­er­a­tion Z?

We have to re­mem­ber the Cargo Bar is the Lyme Bar re­born. Re­mem­ber that place? Back be­fore every­thing got all messy, the Lyme Bar was one of Christchurch’s favourite af­ter work hang­outs for peo­ple who like to wear nice shirts in pubs. Cargo Bar on my visit was packed with peo­ple young enough to be my silly 22-year-old younger sib­ling and old enough to be my dad.

With nowhere to sit be­cause of the gath­ered masses, I stood around, sat­is­fied about a good week’s work, sip­ping beer, and get­ting told off for wear­ing a sleeve­less jacket, which ev­ery­one seems to hate for some rea­son.

From the out­side, the Cargo Bar looks like a ship­ping con­tainer big enough for hu­man traf­fick­ers keen to move the en­tire pop­u­la­tion of In­ver­cargill away. In­side it looks like the in­dus­trial zone off Crys­tal Maze. But in a good way. The bar it­self is large, the ser­vice prompt and friendly and the drinks menu is in­ter­est­ing. ‘‘Jam jar’’ cock­tails (yes, cock­tails that come in mod­i­fied jam jars) are avail­able for $12, and the wine list con­tains the usual New Zealand and Aussie wines with noth­ing too ex­pen­sive. But like the now de­stroyed Lyme Bar, the place doesn’t have beer on tap. You juke­boxes. I even con­vinced two nice lit­tle strangers to join in our im­promptu crazy golf chal­lenge.

Its Twit­ter may not have been en­tirely wel­com­ing, but the Cargo Bar seems like a great op­tion for a Fri­day night. I do have con­cerns with the lack of beer on tap, an im­pos­si­ble to find men’s toi­let (if you don’t ask) and a chilly breeze in­side the place. It is nearly as big as a rugby pitch but it’s busy, imag­i­na­tive and cool.

Photo: KIRK HAR­G­REAVES/ FAIRFAX NZ

359B Lin­coln Rd, Ad­ding­ton Christchurch Imag­i­na­tive: It’s big, the ser­vice is friendly and the drinks in­ter­est­ing.

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