Where: 7 Fort Lane, Auckland
Opening Hours: IMPERIAL LANE: Mon – Fri 7:30am – Late Sat – Sun 8:30am – Late | EVERYBODY'S: Mon - Sat: 11.30 till late Sun: 11.30 to 01.00
Phone: +64 9 929 2701
Now, there’s nothing like adding a touch of class to any occasion. I saw the Will & Kate Wedding, I was jealous. Being regal, with pomp and ceremony is something that is often amiss in our fine town of Auckland. It’s not that we don’t have amazing places; it’s just that there’s a bit of a gap between the great, and the truly awesome on a global scale.
Which is why it is so cool to see Imperial, situated between Queen St and Fort Lane, and comprising four levels of a heritage-listed building, making a statement and upping the game of what is on offer. Untouched for 50 years after what I can only assume was a really shitty fire, the space has been reopened as ‘a unique hospitality precinct unlike anything Auckland has seen’. Which is completely true – I haven’t.
Everybody’s Bar & Bistro contrasts decayed glamour with remnants of its former glory highly visible in the ornate plaster ceilings and mouldings. With an elaborate mezzanine level, plush booths and a substantial open-air courtyard, this space has a more relaxed lounge atmosphere with great casual bistro eating.
And if that wasn’t enough, there’s the street level Imperial Lane. Carving out a thoroughfare at ground-level between Fort Lane and Queen St, the Lane takes its lead from the great cities of New York and Melbourne as one of the city’s first “shared spaces” – and thank god for it.
By day, Imperial Lane is home to a European patisserie and bakery Elske, with Danish-inspired European bakery and patisserie goods from Michelin-star pastry chef Kristina Jensen (also Sean Marshall’s partner), served alongside some seriously good coffee. And you must check out the new Imperial Lane Gourmet Hot Dog Stand.
But as day shifts to night, so too does the Lane, with small eats and great wine served well into the night. Whether it’s a coffee and croissant in Imperial Lane by day, or wine and snobby cheese by night, a casual bite at Everybody’s, there’s something for everybody at the Imperial. Except drunk co-workers that get bounced at the door. Like mine.
For more photos, check out Imperial Lane in our gallery here.
Good For Groups: