The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Spotlight on a local: Little Blackwood

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 Queenstown cocktail bar – Little Blackwood.

How has business been going during this tough year?  

We’d be lying if we said business hadn’t been challenging for us hospitality folk this year. Without our lovely international visitors and Auckland friends, we’re reliant on a local crowd to keep us ticking along. However, being a small town there’s a real sense of community and we’ve all come together to support each other and weather the storm – that alone makes us proud to be operating in this little slice of paradise. We’ve also come away with many valuable lessons and we’ve learnt to adapt quickly, for example, we’re loving our new seated-service model, so it’s here to stay. 

Sip & Paint

What have you been doing to encourage customers to come back to your local? 
We’ve been having fun trialling new events to see what resonates with our local crowd. We’ve run three sold-out Sip & Paint events (essentially painting with a brush in one hand and a wine glass in the other) which we’ll now be rolling out monthly! We’ve also hosted two sold-out shows with comedian, Brendhan Lovegrove, and we sold out another two shows with Ben Hurley (which were postponed due to the latest lockdown). If you don’t try, you never succeed, right?  

How would you describe the atmosphere of Little Blackwood? 
Our atmosphere is warm, social and fun. We’re an intimate venue, so our atmosphere is always buzzing, and it’s the perfect space for live-music – we have local guitarists, solos and duos every night of the week. We also host plenty of private functions, from birthdays to celebrations and pre and post-wedding get-togethers, the intimacy of the venue really makes each and every event one to remember.

Meet Me Here martini

What is your signature drink? 
Our “Meet Me Here” espresso martini for sure. It’s classic, delicious and you really can’t beat it. We’ve also got a dedicated espresso martini list, which shakes up the classic with a range of delicious flavours – think orange-choc, salted caramel and tiramisu.  

Why do you think your local stands out from the crowd? 
For a start, we’ve got Queenstown’s best cocktails…apparently! We’re a classic cocktail bar with a modern twist, and being the closest bar to Lake Wakatipu our stunning lakefront location speaks for itself. We’re also a dynamic little space, in winter we serve up mulled wine by the fireplace and in summer cocktails on the lakefront. Lastly, our staff are super knowledgeable and passionate – they can craft any cocktail you desire, just tell them how you like it; sweet or sour? Tall or short?  

What are your 3 top tips for being a great bartender? 

  1. Our top one would have to be customer service. Be friendly, approachable and genuinely care about the experience you are providing to the customer.
  2. A close runner-up is to never stop learning. There is always a new technique, a new flavour or new alcohol to learn about. This step goes hand in hand with the above and being able to give the customer the best experience possible.  
  3. At Little Blackwood, we want to work with people that are genuinely passionate about hospitality and love their craft. So passion is a big one and will take you a long way.  

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

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