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