Yes, that’s right – Havana Coffee, home to some of the best roasted beans and some of the choicest cuts of real estate too. The guys at Havana seem to have a handle on all their senses: a feel for what makes a great bar, a good eye for catchy graphics, a fine nose for roasting, and an ear out for some choice sites. Here’s three that we know of.
First up is the original, the former roasting shop in Wigan St, composed of two little dwellings that are now home to a good bar. While the street used to be full of a whole line of these little love shacks, it’s just a continuation of the low rent architecture that used to fill Haining St as well in its previous incantation as a China Town opium den. Long may these two shacks continue to thrive, and the bars within them. They’ve survived a building by the School of Design next door, and a planking by the Wellingtonian – they can survive a lot longer I’m sure.
If you were to wander from Wigan, along Haining, you’ll get to Tory St and Francis Place, with the new home of Havana’s roasting business. A fine old Studebaker truck outside, former ‘Childs Livestock’ farming logo only partially painted out, and an array of roasting equipment behind the upstairs windows in a luridly green Deco building, there’s a rumour going round that the whole Havana Bar will also be moving to Francis Place. Say it ain’t so Joe!
But there is a third great Havana site, although this one may belong more to the Havana Cruising Club, if there is such a thing. Over the hill by the edge of the sea in Evans Bay, there’s a jaunty boatshed with a catchy tarpaulin, and rail tracks leading up from the sea into the shed. Could it be that like Batman, the boys from Havana have a hidden bat boat ready to spring fully fledged from the Batshed? Or are the Havana hombres due to launch a new water-based coffee provisions to service the boaties? Tune in next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel….