Next Door: A new, neon-lit cocktail bar opens in Kingsland

by Alex Blackwood / 28 August, 2018
Photography by Rebekah Robinson.

Next Door.

Kingsland's Umu Pizza expands with new cocktail bar Next Door, that is – as the name suggests – right next door.

If you’ve spent even 10 minutes queuing outside for one of Umu’s wood-fired pies this winter, you’ll be as excited as the restaurant’s owner Simon Murphy is about their expansion. The New North Road pizza joint has recently removed the tiny bar they used to have, added an extra table, and knocked through the left hand wall to open Next Door – a 25-seater, neon-lit cocktail bar.

Stocked with several varieties of most standard spirits (with special attention to Murphy’s favourite, whisky), the bar has carried on Umu’s basic philosophy ofdo one thing and do it well. It’s an informal, wood-clad space with good glassware, quality ice, and decent booze. Bar manager Kevin Parker has created eight unique cocktails – a number that complements Umu’s eight-long pizza menu.

Read more: The best bars in Auckland | 12 places to find great fried chicken | A refreshing new hangout spot in the CBD

Because Next Door’s focus is on crafted cocktails, which take some time to make, it’s been designed with functionality in mind – large enough for the two bartenders to move around freely, but small enough so they don’t get overrun with customers. Ample bench seating around the edge of the room and under the window has been left un-cushioned, so that later in the night it might be danced on.

Neon lights in the shape of a cocktail and a slice of pizza respectively act as labels for the purpose of each room. Both Umu and Next Door are open seven days, with the bar serving booze as long as the restaurant’s serving pizza. That could be at late as 2am some nights.

There’s barely been time to dirty the glassware, but Murphy is already enthusing about his next renovation: This summer, Umu will be extending again, adding a deck out the back for a beers-in-the-sun scenario – as if his current offerings weren’t temptation enough already.

Next Door
469 New North Road
Kingsland
@nextdoorkingsland

Latest

Give Kate A Voice: Bringing Kate Sheppard's speeches to life
96352 2018-09-19 00:00:00Z History

Give Kate A Voice: Bringing Kate Sheppard's speech…

by Noted

Famous Kiwi women read the powerful words of Kate Sheppard, who fought for the right for women to vote.

Read more
Fémmina: The story of NZ's unsung suffrage provocateur Mary Ann Müller
96479 2018-09-19 00:00:00Z History

Fémmina: The story of NZ's unsung suffrage provoca…

by Cathie Bell

Mary Ann Müller was fighting for women’s rights before Kate Sheppard even arrived here, but her pioneering contribution to the cause is little known.

Read more
Ian McKellen charms his way through a documentary about his life
96472 2018-09-19 00:00:00Z Movies

Ian McKellen charms his way through a documentary …

by James Robins

Joe Stephenson’s tender documentary Playing the Part looks at McKellen's life as an actor, activist and perpetual wizard.

Read more
The case for closing prisons
96403 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Social issues

The case for closing prisons

by Paul Little

If we want a prison system that does a better job than the current one, alternatives aren’t hard to find.

Read more
Jennifer Curtin: The feminist political scientist mixing rugby with politics
96422 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Profiles

Jennifer Curtin: The feminist political scientist …

by Clare de Lore

Australian-New Zealander Jennifer Curtin says the lopsided nature of the Bledisloe Cup pales in comparison to the slump in transtasman relations.

Read more
Don McGlashan is out of the attic and taking flight
96439 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Music

Don McGlashan is out of the attic and taking fligh…

by James Belfield

Don McGlashan is taking some old unloved songs on his New Zealand tour.

Read more
Are We There Yet? is the exhibition marking 125 years of women's suffrage in NZ
95961 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Arts

Are We There Yet? is the exhibition marking 125 ye…

by Linda Herrick

The exhibition at Auckland Museum shows there is still ground to make up.

Read more
Mr Wiki: Mike Dickison is NZ's first Wikipedian at large
96030 2018-09-18 00:00:00Z Tech

Mr Wiki: Mike Dickison is NZ's first Wikipedian at…

by Elisabeth Easther

The entomologist will work on outreach programmes and recruiting editors to improve the sparse coverage of New Zealand topics.

Read more