Golden Dawn


134 Ponsonby Road (entrance off Richmond Road)
(09) 376 9929


Wednesday - Sunday
4pm - 2am

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It started as a pop-up bar in 2010 and proved so popular that it simply couldn’t close. Converted from a retail store, this bar feels like a secret, although it’s fair to say the secret has been out for a long time now. The windows are covered in newspaper and there is no signage, just a green door, so if you don’t know about it, well, you probably won’t find out.

It’s a simple concept, a bare brick-walled interior with small bar tables, soft candlelight, and a long bar to the left with a great wine and cocktail selection. Out the back there’s a buzzing courtyard with a second bar for busy nights.

The loveliest things about Golden Dawn have always been, the wine list, surprising, delightful and accessible. The menu, so different from your average bar fare, but offering the same degree of comfort, crunch, cheesiness. The live music, impeded ever-so-slightly of late by annoying neighbours, part-owner Matthew Crawley ensures there is often live jazz, DJs, and gigs here.

You can come any night that it’s open, and you never quite know what will happen or who will be here. You might be served by an artist, or an actor you saw in a play at The Basement the week before, you might discover your new favourite band, or walk straight into a fashion show. It’s always a spontaneous, casual good time, and it the vibe seems to get better with every visit.