Speakeasy-style bar to open in Cow Lane

Chase Bickerton (left) and Gregor Leckie in building mode behind the bar of Queenstown's latest...
Chase Bickerton (left) and Gregor Leckie in building mode behind the bar of Queenstown's latest liquor establishment, The Naughty Penguin, which is due to open just before Christmas. Photo by Joe Dodgeshun.
A "speakeasy-style" lounge bar will be launched in Cow Lane this month, designed to deliver an alternative cocktail and liquor experience for customers.

Destined to be named the Naughty Penguin, the cosy two-level establishment between Debajo and Tardis is set to open just before Christmas, said bar manager Chase Bickerton (27) who, along with right-hand man Gregor Leckie (24), is the driving force behind the project.

Speakeasys were establishments illegally selling alcoholic beverages during the United States prohibition from 1920 until 1933 and the new bar will be designed to reflect that period. The two were last week going "all-out" to get the Naughty Penguin up and running in time for the festive season, finishing last-minute painting, building and sourcing of bar accoutrements.

Both men arrived in Queenstown early this year, met working in Barmuda and joined forces to start pulling together an "innovative" bar to rival those in Auckland, Wellington and Sydney.

"It's all about trying something new," Mr Bickerton said.

"We don't want it to end up like a proper speakeasy with a man on the door, but want to make this really professional, fun and alternative so any person from any walk of life can walk in and enjoy themselves."


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