Grace Bar

A picture of two beers and a menu on a table. Grace is an update of an old dive. What used to be the Dispensary up on Hobson has had a coat of paint and a change of ownership.

I visited on a weeknight, and was one of the very few customers in the place. The staff were almost too attentive – fetching me beers to the table (there’s Moa on tap), and making recommendations from the rather delightful menu. Toasted sandwiches! Ice cream of the day!

There’s mixtures of seating – long low tables and benches for groups of friends, taller tables for drinks or dates, and private rooms upstairs, which are usually only opened on the weekend, but we got a sneak peak at the Disgrace room, which features taxidermied ducks and deer heads on the walls, and bars over the windows (to keep people in, or keep people out?).

Taxidermy ducks mounted on the wall.Taxidermy deer head mounted on the wall. It is wearing crocheted antler warmers.

The location is technically right in the centre of town, although it’s about a million miles from oh-so-fashionable Britomart. It’s enough to make you worry about that this place will shut down like my dear, departed Library Bar – until you see their Facebook page. Grace is too cool to have a website, but their Facies is as filled with drunken bar snaps as any undergrad’s.

Somethings change, and somethings stay the same: the old Dispensary is hanging on to its party-dive reputation on a weekend. On a weeknight though, it’s a reasonably priced, centrally located place to have a drink and a toasted sammie.

Grace Restaurant and Bar: 103 Victoria street (Corner of Victoria & Hobson), Facebook page.