Part store, part gallery, Public Record presents art and craft from makers in Aotearoa and Japan. Owner Yuka O’Shannessy explains the shop’s recent move a few doors down Ponsonby Road.
"I always wanted to move onto this block – it’s the only place I can imagine having a space. We’ve been working for the past four or five months on the store, and now the door is open, and the place will evolve as we get new collections. We don’t have many places in Auckland that do these things – it’s something we see in Tokyo, but not often here.
"We had so many ideas, we needed more space. We started looking at different places, but I can’t afford to move into something flash! And this is home for us – we love the community. I was curious about this building, but I was so emotional to leave the old store because I really liked all the detail.
"We are creative, but working in the industry I love supporting other people more than doing my own stuff. But I did miss working for myself, and my husband Tristan and I felt like a project. We’re doing a big renovation at home, too, and Tristan said, “I want the shop to be better than the house.” We were conscious of the history of the building and respectful to that, but wanted to give it a new take and inject our aesthetic and craft values into the space.
"Upstairs the bones are 1890s. It has a kind of French feeling. I painted the exhibition room. It’s not white exactly, it’s a clay colour. It feels soft and textural. Downstairs is similar to what we had in the old shop and what we love – the walls are dark. We have so many rooms now, and such different feeling in each – it feels like it might be drawn to other people and projects."
82 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
Just like its namesake, this Tāmaki Makaurau venue has good bones and a star-studded history.
Brad’s is a new event space in central Tāmaki Makaurau where we were lucky enough to hold the Here Awards this year. Housed in an 1861 bluestone warehouse, the venue has rehabilitated one of the city’s most lovely old buildings. It’s named – yes – after Brad Pitt. “I drew out a rough sketch of a logo, using Brad’s as a starting point, because why not?” says creative director Sarah Jayne Kavali. “It felt right, like the name would reignite this building with a new energy, new conversation. Also, who doesn’t love Brad Pitt?”
Here: Tell us about the history.
Sarah Jayne Kavali: This is New Zealand’s oldest remaining commercial building. Its heyday as a music venue was in the 1960s and 70s and at one point there was a private club called Granpa’s upstairs, where visiting musicians would be taken. While we don’t like to namedrop, the likes of the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Led Zeppelin have walked these rooms.
H: Why did you think it would work?
SJK: Central city location, a private hidden gem. A wide expansive space, over two levels, with all delicious light that filters throughout. And of course, the bathrooms are nice. There’s space to cater from, a chiller to keep all the drinks cool, and easy parking. It just ticked so many boxes. And a rich history. We love it.
H: What makes a good event space?
SJK: Good bones, good history, great energy and great people.
H: How did you approach the design?
SJK: It was all about restoration and revival. We were delicate with the heritage bones, pairing these gently with modern, clean amenities that do their job, quietly, without any fuss.
9-11 Durham Lane, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
A cosy and casual wine bar opens up in St Kevin’s Arcade.
Tappo is a new bar next door to the cult pasta shop Pici, in St Kevin’s Arcade on Tāmaki Makaurau’s Karangahape Road. Until now, it functioned as Pici’s prep kitchen – and, in fact, it still does during the day, as Pici’s chefs make all the pasta needed for the restaurant next door.
Come 4pm from Wednesday to Saturday, however, the kitchen staff move out and a little wine bar takes over, centred around a large square table in the middle with a handful of stools, and walls lined with bottles. It’s incredibly simple, yet incredibly right. There’s a short menu of snacks – popcorn, olives, cheese, paté – and an excellent list of natural and organic wines by the glass. (You can also buy a bottle at retail prices and pay a $25 corkage fee.)
Owners Gemma Hareb and Jonathan Thevenard designed and built the furniture themselves. There’s a rustic kind of taverna feel – tins of tomatoes on shelves, bottles of wine – and no proper counter. Instead, the staff just meander over with an iPad when it’s your turn to pay up and reluctantly leave.
Shop 23, 183 Karangahape Road, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland