How to spend a Friday night at Willis Lane

Something’s been brewing beneath Willis Street and it’s finally open!

The old underground mall, which has sat empty for several years has had an extreme makeover, transforming into Wellington’s latest food and entertainment hotspot.

With 14 food vendors, bowling, mini-golf, and a chock-a-block arcade it’s ideal for families throughout the day, but after 8pm the precinct becomes an R18 zone, so big kids can eat, drink, and play the night away.

Go for a slap-up meal

Live out a Lady and the Tramp-style spaghetti moment at restaurant Corso Pastaria, created by the same clever minds that brought us Atlas and Astoria.
Another large restaurant is also in the works, and is set to open in the next year.

Or grab a quick feed

Feeling something more casual? Soul Shack owner Rick Unuia has decided to make everyday Philly cheese steak day with his new venture Rick’s Cheese Steaks. The rolls always sell out whenever they are on the menu at his Victoria Street chicken shop, so it’s high time they had a place of their own.

Waterfront hole-in-the-wall taco shop, Mexican QBT has got a huge new site in Willis Lane, called Hot Like a Mexican. There’s plenty of room to sit, grab a drink and eat all the taco’s you can manage.

And for dessert – the hugely popular Duck Island have opened their second Wellington space, serving up scoops of their wacky and wonderful ice cream.

Fill up your camera roll at Holey Moley’s mini golf

This mini golf course isn’t just a mini golf course – it’s a work of art.
Already a hit in Auckland and Christchurch the course has many of Holey Moley’s classic holes, including the famous Simpson’s living room. There’s also a bunch of new pun-derful designs, (check out the Kid in the Candy Store).

Enjoy a tipple at Churly’s

Behemoth brewery founders’ Wellingtonian Andrew Childs and meat expert Hannah Miller Childs (A Lady Butcher) have brought their famous Auckland bar to the windy city. Churly’s will serve up Behemoth beers, wine, delicious grub, as well as a big menu of cocktails and mocktails.

Roll up (roll up!) to Archie Brothers circus themed arcade

If bowling is up your alley check out the Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq. Play for prizes in the arcade or best your mates at ten-pin bowling. When you’re all tuckered out take a break, and enjoy a milkshake (or an alcoholic milkshake) at the circus themed bar.

Sing your heart out at karaoke

After a game and most likely one-too-many drinks, grab your friends and belt out your favourite tunes at one of the three karaoke booths in the arcade. Don’t worry – it’s soundproof.

Check out artwork by local artists

Round off your night with a little culture. The tunnels themselves are pretty impressive; inspired by Manhattan’s Grand Central Oyster Bar, Willis Lane’s brick, arched walls, and black and white harlequin floor give the impression of strolling through a New York subway station.
Willis Lane asked Wellington artists, Derek Cowie and Ed Bats to add their own special touch to the precinct. Their individual works can be found on the roller doors at either end of the precinct.

Willis Lane opens Thursday 27 July. Find out more here.


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