One of Auckland’s most well-known bars has been reinvented with a new name and a $2 million make-over just in time for the Rugby World Cup.
The old Northern Steamship Co, located in the heart of Britomart in the historically significant building of the same name, has undergone a major renovation and has now re-opened as social hall The Brit.
Owned by the Nourish Group, the concept is the brainchild of director and founder Richard Sigley whose hospitality group runs a further six successful venues in the surrounding Auckland waterfront precinct alone.
Named after the area’s namesake, The Brit delivers a gastro-pub inspired by this ‘social hall’ notion to the precinct, complete with six big screens and a projector for live sports, pool tables and an extensive food and beverage menu within its rebooted 440 square metre interior.
Richard’s vision has been brought to life by design studio CTRL Space and building company Well Constructed Limited, with a central bar and many nooks, crannies and wide spaces for different groups in mind.
Over the last 20 years, Nourish Group has evolved as a leader in the New Zealand hospitality industry and now owns and operates 13 venues throughout the country including Soul, the Jervois Steak Houses and Euro.
With extensive experience in hospitality and creating beautiful spaces, the team have all played a role in shaping some of Auckland’s most popular eateries and are hoping to do the same with The Brit.
“Downtown Auckland is thriving but we felt it lacked a pub venue where people can come together, in small or large groups, to enjoy great drinks and food in a relaxed and modern space. We really wanted to own that with The Brit,” says Richard.
“It’s been built around the notion of sociability. Whether you’re having drinks with colleagues after work, watching the game with friends or grabbing a bite to eat before a concert, it’s the perfect place for people to get together.”
The Brit menu has been created by Nourish Group executive chef Gareth Stewart – a highly acclaimed chef renowned for his ‘no nonsense’ approach to food, with a focus on flavours and simplicity.
The resulting grub focuses on stone-baked pizzas, fresh produce bowls, loaded sandwiches and a more considered menu of pub favourites like chicken schnitzel and wagyu beef burgers, alongside fresh seafood in many forms.
CTRL Space director Chris Stevens says there’s been a commitment to the idea of sociability from the very beginning.
“We wanted the vibe to be relaxed and the design not overly complicated. The main bar is the focal point as it’s interestingly situated in the middle of the venue. It acts somewhat as a partition between two distinct areas, both of which have a number of break out spaces to encourage group gatherings.
“We’ve utilised robust and noble materials including natural timber, terracotta tiles and marble counter tops in the build, while embracing the heritage of the building with interesting accents and the exterior signage. The result is a light, bright venue that hugely complements the surrounding architecture.”
Nourish Group worked closely and collaboratively with the Britomart Group and Auckland City Council to plan for The Brit, ensuring alignment of the site’s vision between all parties.
“The result is a great pub that we hope Aucklanders and visitors to the city will come to know and love,” says Richard.
The Brit is located at 122 Quay St, Britomart, Auckland.