New Ponsonby bar Deadshot on target to be an authentic speakeasy

by Kate Milliken / 04 May, 2018

Help us find and write the stories Kiwis need to read

Photos by Rebekkah Robinson.

The owners of Deadshot are serious about alcohol.

Having opened Britomart’s beloved Caretaker in 2016, Heather Garland and Alastair Walker are capitalising on the success and popularity of their flagship bar with new Ponsonby opening Deadshot. There is nearly always a long waiting list to get a table at their Britomart bar, so thankfully this new opening will essentially double their seating capacity.

Deadshot borrows some of the quirks which make Caretaker special: A moody fit-out, tables for six or less only, and no menu to speak of – they’ll make a drink to suit you based entirely on a list of taste descriptors.

RelatedArticlesModule - bars

Semi-secret Deadshot is tucked away behind an old wooden door beside the Freeman and Grey pub. Under low-lit lights, wait staff will sit down with you and ask questions about your drink preference; the bartenders then craft you a bespoke drink. The décor is full of vintage antiques, such as a large corner mirror imported from Prague, old cinema chairs that create booths along one of the walls, and a functional gramophone. The vision was to create a true speakeasy bar focused on classic cocktails, and it's serious about alcohol. In keeping with this vision, the cocktails are suitably strong; the name Deadshot is an old western slang term for strong liquor.

The couple’s passion for this style of establishment stems from their time working for a similar full-service cocktail bar The Everleigh in Melbourne. However, they say their ultimate hospitality inspiration dates back to New York’s legendary secretive speakeasy bar Milk & Honey, founded by the late Sasha Petraske in 1999. During his lifetime, Petraske was credited with reinventing modern cocktail culture, which Garland and Walker are now working hard to preserve. Deadshot currently has a licence until 2am, which may extend, and the couple is also investigating hosting live jazz some evenings something which has proved a real drawcard at Caretaker.

With some of the bar's recipes dating back to the 1800s, you won’t find any recent cocktail inventions being served here – the espresso martini, for example, is not on the menu. But the bar staff’s skill for transforming classics with small and simple tweaks makes Deadshot the place to sample old-school drinks with a twist, and maybe discover a new favourite. 

Deadshot
45 Ponsonby Rd
Ponsonby

LatestDiningArticlesWidget - Latest Dining Articles with RestaurantHub
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

As a young reporter, I went undercover to expose the Ku Klux Klan
95069 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z History

As a young reporter, I went undercover to expose t…

by Dick Lehr

How a young reporter infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan - and discovered the truth about its conman leader David Duke.

Read more
The EV battery scare shows the urgent need to support green technology
95080 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Environment

The EV battery scare shows the urgent need to supp…

by The Listener

With nearly half of New Zealanders considering buying an EV in the next two years, the results could be electrifying.

Read more
Limits don't apply to dancer Aloalii Tapu's work
93844 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Arts

Limits don't apply to dancer Aloalii Tapu's work

by Kate Richards

Otara-raised Aloalii Tapu uses a myriad of dance influences to express his ideas about manhood, suicide and post-colonialism.

Read more
The artist and poet who refused to play by the narrow rules of NZ art
94118 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Arts

The artist and poet who refused to play by the nar…

by Sally Blundell

Decades in France have made Douglas MacDiarmid an elusive figure in NZ art history. A new biography delivers a vital portrait of the 96-year-old.

Read more
12 of the best op shops in Auckland
95053 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Where to go in Auckland

12 of the best op shops in Auckland

by Vomle Springford

With Auckland’s high cost of living, it can be hard to fork out for new clothes, or new anything really. But op shops are plentiful here.

Read more
How virtual reality can help us understand how we think
95019 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Psychology

How virtual reality can help us understand how we …

by Marc Wilson

When you're flying through the air like superman in virtual reality, chances are you'll brace for impact at landing.

Read more
Where to eat this ski season
94882 2018-08-17 00:00:00Z Food

Where to eat this ski season

by Kate Richards

A trip to the snow doesn’t have to mean a diet of hot chips and sad hotdogs.

Read more
Simon Bridges' spending leak: Hunt for leaker begins
95064 2018-08-16 10:38:12Z Politics

Simon Bridges' spending leak: Hunt for leaker begi…

by Jo Moir

All eyes are on National Party MPs, the office of the Speaker and Parliamentary Service now the hunt for the leaker has begun.

Read more