The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Spotlight on a local: Elmo’s

Each week we will be featuring a local bar, pub or club to help boost the Kiwi hospitality industry and encourage customers to get out and explore!

This week we get an insight into super-stylish Ponsonby Italian pizza bar – Elmo’s.

How has business been going during this tough year?
This year has been more challenging than we could have ever imagined. The fear of not knowing what the initial outcome was going to eventuate into, perhaps the loss of everything we have worked so hard for, along with the mental stress of being forced to close and recluse ourselves has been difficult to say the least.

We know our industry is not out of the woods yet and many venues will continue to face the reality of closure. All we can do is hope Auckland will continue to support small businesses and the New Zealand economy gets back on its feet allowing us to continue to support local jobs and suppliers.

We had written the below quote on a sign outside Elmo’s and we felt it was fitting considering the situation hospitality finds itself in, whilst also making light of it.
“If you would like to know how it feels to be in hospitality during this COVID pandemic? Remember when the Titanic was sinking and the band continued to play? Well, we’re the band.”

What have you been doing to encourage customers to come back to your local?
We are continuing to keep the good vibes rolling, with live music, and fun events. As well as creating new and exciting concepts such as our Elmo’s Fresh Food Boxes – fresh artisan DIY food boxes you can make at home.

We have also largely focused on connecting and interacting with our customers online through social channels, and a monthly newsletter which is emailed out to our many subscribers. Interacting and responding to our audience thoughts and ideas online, has enabled us to build that trust that has kept our customers returning.

How would you describe the atmosphere of your Elmo’s?
Elmo’s has an intoxicatingly cheeky atmosphere. We wanted to create a space that transports you to Europe – quirky and cheery paintings adorn the walls, statue heads, fairy lights. The high leaners make for a casual setting, inviting friends to mix and mingle over pizza and cocktails. It becomes funky at night, with house made playlists and live DJs.

Elmo’s Who Shot The President? cocktail

What is your signature drink?
Our in-house mixologist Joel has created a killer cocktail menu, which makes it difficult to choose one. Our cocktail ‘Who Shot The President?’ is served in a ceramic mug shaped as President George Washington. It is cheeky and delicious. And is made with Skipper Dark Rum, Plantation 3 star rum, Disaronno, fresh coconut, fresh lime, pineapple, tiki bitters. Our classic Espresso Martini topped with coconut and Amaretto cream is also a winner. And an emerging favourite, MISO HONI a Miso white chocolate Martini – salty and sweet.

Why do you think your local stands out from the crowd?
I don’t believe there’s anything quite like Elmo’s in New Zealand. We wanted to have fun with this concept and not take ourselves too seriously whilst driven to provide the highest quality of food and beverage in a funky, casual environment. We truly enjoy creating immersive venues that caters for a mature crowd and that can transport guests to another place, or time.

What are your 3 top tips for being a great bartender?
1. Confidence to experiment with new creative ideas and encourage customers to step outside their comfort zone to experience something new.

2. Be efficient, whether it be for drinks, service or acknowledgement, efficiency is key Remember you have two hands and don’t be afraid to make drinks in front of the guest whenever possible.

3. Always acknowledge guests and remember regulars names. Customers just want to know you see them, that they’re on your radar. Focus on smiling, maintaining eye contact, welcoming people when they arrive, bidding them goodbye when they leave.

To nominate a local to be featured, email or send us a message on social media @theshoutnz!

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