Spy: Auckland’s new A-List bar with a ‘No whispers, No phones’ policy

Leading Auckland A-Listers attended experimental new members’ bar Thursday at 224 Symonds St on Thursday night.

The new playful haven for creative individuals and their friends, included former All Black Dan Carter, actress Grace Palmer, fashion designer Ingrid Starnes, DJ extraordinaires Sweet Mix Kids, event promoter Hamish Pinkham, celebrity agent Liz Delaney and the man famous for Auckland’s former members’ bar, Seafarers, Vinci Gin-Nen.

The bar has a “No whispers” policy – no phones or photos. The rules also suggest If you see a celebrity, be cool. They probably don’t want a picture with you.

Membership of Thursday is free, with only 200 members allowed at any time, and a strict engagement policy that means if a member fails to come to the bar for two straight months, their membership is revoked.

The bar is named for the day it is open to members. The new underground playground is the brainchild of Daniel Hopkirk and Hadleigh Averill, partners of creative agency Crave Global and is underneath their offices. Their combined experience in hospitality and creative, gave them the idea to set up the new experimental concept.

Prior to starting Crave Global, Hopkirk was a director of Australia’s largest hospitality group, Urban Purveyor Group (now Rockpool Dining Group).

He and Averill have looked at what’s worked in the past and created a space that is an addition to the events they have done in New Zealand and Australia. Averill was a contemporary and performance artist and has drawn on such to map the guest experience and how they can be entertained in the venue.

Anyone can apply for membership – but each applicant is asked to respond to a playful creative task that changes each month.

The opening creativity came in the form of a naked male cellist, alone in a dark room and a dominatrix with whip at the door. Once downstairs, we cannot tell you anymore.

Members gain access codes to the bar, which offers a full concierge service and have first dibs at booking the bar as a venue any other night of the week.

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