American style dining has been on the Auckland scene for a while now – Miss Clawdy’s and Orleans have taken a fusion spin on an American (maybe latin American mixed) style dining experience, delivering generous experiences to the city of sails. However, the game has changed, thanks to Sweat Shop.
Dubbed the hardest working bar in Auckland, the fit out follows suit of an everyman's working-class bar set up. Oscar Wilde once said that “Working is the curse of the drinking class,” and I think that sums up how we should approach this place. It's down to earth, and generally just damn cool.
There’s no pretense. It's not about following 28 million precise steps to deliver a technically adequate service. It’s about good vibes, good banter, good beer, good food. You’re faced with a massive space the moment you walk in. Expansive indoor area stretching around the curved bar, reaching out onto an equally expansive outside deck area. Sprawling with high and low tables, it's very relaxed. The sun beams in through the afternoons and sets up the place perfectly if you’re looking for a few after work or weekend beers. Service is calm, they don’t oversell on being perfect – which I like. They’ll joke around with you, and make an effort to have you feel at home; perfect for the feel of the bar.
Following the American theme, the menu is centered around big hearty smoked meats, burgers, pizzas, and all-round great pub food. Their famous smokehouse menu is the way to go. Pulled pork or lamb, chimichurri steak or ribs – served up on a metal plate, nice setting, with mac 'n' cheese and beans and coleslaw, you can't go wrong. Of course, if you're not into your big smoky meats and comforting carbs, they dish out a few salads and smaller mains as well. The beer battered fish taco is moreish to say the least.
They have set the trend in terms of new American style dining. Big flavour, lots of hot sauce, great banter, good vibes. They're right on the corner of Sale Street above the Glengarry's - perfect on a sunny arvo.
Photo credit // Emma Shrubb