Psst! Listen carefully because we’re about to let you in on a secret: there’s a quirky hidden bar tucked away off K’ Road. Introducing Lovebucket (aka your new fave watering hole).
As one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” places, you need to be in the know to find this bar. Venture through the newly open Food Workshop (home of Moustache and El Sizzling Lomito) and you’ll stumble upon Lovebucket hiding at the back.
Taking inspo from classic European taverns, you’ll feel as though you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole. Retro speakers hang from the walls, intimate booths are draped with sheepskin hides and pops of flourishing greenery grow from golden pots. At the back, the sun streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows, lighting up the otherwise moody space.
Lovebucket is a breath of fresh air in Auckland’s bar scene. It’s relaxed, it’s comfortable and faaar from being pretentious and stiff. Rest assured, the friendly folk are serious about all things alcohol (we can relate). A huge amount of time and effort is put into what’s available for the
Pick up a wooden stool at the bar and let the bartender talk you through the drinks menu. There’s an abundance of rum and gin (they even make their very own house gin!) with cocktails inspired by colonial exploration.
Yep, Lovebucket takes inspo from times gone by where trade routes enabled bartenders to up their cocktail game. Ingredients such as rum, lime and pineapple made its way from the Caribbean to London, and—voilà!—epic cocktails were born. They also take inspo from old sailor’s medicine, such as bitters to treat seasickness. Alcohol cures, y’know?
While the colonial-esque drinks change on the regular, there’s a quirky concoction—with an equally quirky name—for everyone. The press gang is like an adult chocolate milkshake, pairing heavy rum with coffee, chocolate and herbal notes. Alternatively, the storm de banane is a fruity take on a dark and stormy—it tastes like spiced banana bread.
What’s more, Lovebucket serves bespoke cocktails on tap. Yes, you read right. Cocktails. on. tap. They’re handcrafted on site in small batches using only the best ingredients—allowing the team to whip up interesting, original drinks in a fraction of the time.
Poured fresh into a glass (or carafe, if you desire), you’ll find a spiced tamarillo-infused jerry cola, as well as a fragrant LBG&T with yuzu citrus, grapefruit, mandarin and pink peppercorn. Pro tip: Lovebucket’s tap cocktails can be bottled to take home.
Tap cocktails are just the beginning at Lovebucket. You’ll also find tap wine (it’s better this way) and craft beer on tap. There are also bottles and cans of innovative beers—all of which are barrel-aged or sour. But you’ll have to be in quick—Lovebucket only gets a handful of each with the beer list literally changing every few days.
The extensive wine list is equally special with offerings from all four corners of the globe. The bar’s sommelier Meg Abbott-Walker (of Masu) takes pride in sourcing natural wines with minimum intervention production so you know you’re in for a quality vino!
Keeping with the tavern theme, the bar menu is all about cured meats, cheese and all things pickled (FYI pickled mushrooms are a thing). If you’re after something heartier, you’ll also find a dedicated toasties menu and comforting winter stew.
The secret’s out on K Road’s hidden gem. We have a feeling you’ll love (pun intended) everything about Lovebucket!
Image credit: Kellie Blizard