The Archive Bar and Bistro is a new addition to Mudbrick. As with all things at Mudbrick, these ideas start as a seed and seem to grow organically like the branches of a tree from there, as time and money allow, stemming from a thirst for more. The concept initally began as a more simple garden menu, an alternative to the Mudbrick Restaurant A La Carte menu. We started to serve simple vineyard platters for guests who really just wanted to come for drinks and nibbles and light bites. This proved very popular, but grew to bigger proportions than we could cope with. Our gardens have always been incredibly popular in the summer months when one can sit out side at a table in the garden, or on our outdoor couches and sip, enjoy and while away the afternoon.
Over the busy summer months we needed an outdoor bar to serve summer drinks to our customers. Us being us, this sort of thing is always an opportunity to create, rather than to simply furnish everybody with a functional and practical bar dispensing drinks. Robyn had been to “sculpture on the gulf” that past summer, and wandered along the track where artists had created beautiful sculptures to enjoy along the coast. One of the sculptures was by local artist Denis O’Connor, and was a wine bar, that he had called “The Archive Wine Bar.” He had created a fictious wine label, “372 Estate”, which takes its reference from the island’s telephone number prefix. He “released” his wine labels, an intermingling of the eclectic and eccentric. These works riffed on the language of wine culture: terroir; varietals, taste signifiers etc as a device to explore aspects of the regional history of the Hauraki Gulf.
Then Sculpture on the Gulf ended, Denis dismantled his sculpture…it got packed away, never to be seen again. Until now. We bought the “sculpture” from Denis and re-created it into our new Bar. Combine this with the need for some shade during those extreme summer months when the UV is ageing us uncontrollably, coupled with those days when we would all love to sit outside, because that is what we love to do here in New Zealand isnt it….but it’s just a bit chilly, perhaps a bit windy….voila! The Archive Bar and Bistro is the perfect seating space for you to be. How is it different to any other “room”? Well, we didn’t want to build another room. We wanted to cater to the feeling of being outside, because that’s where we really want to be. How do you do that? The closest you can get we thought, is to create a tent like structure that opens up during the sunny times, and closes when windy or wet. The Archive has a canvas roof, with solid hardwood beams supporting it. It has large wooden glass doors that show off the view, rain or shine. There is a beautiful stone fireplace that used to be outside that is now inside the tent, so if its chilly…no problem you can nestle by the fire with that glass of wine . Sitting by the fire with a glass of wine…its something people just never get sick of.
That was quite a lengthy explanation wasn’t it, I hope you enjoyed it. Better to come and see it for yourself of course, but in case you were wondering…thats how it all came to be.
The menu is more casual than at our flagship Mudbrick Restaurant. We take bookings but if we happen to be full, take a seat at the bar – or by the fire. We will come and get you when a table is ready.