The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Spotlight on a local: Toast Bar

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 Jamie Hughes from Dunedin’s Toast Bar shares some insights into this popular hotspot down south.

How has business been going post lockdown?
We have had amazing patronage from our locals and some new faces popping up and returning each weekend.

What have you been doing to encourage customers to come back to your local?
During lockdown we ran a ‘Build a Bloomfield’ cocktail promotion via Facebook. It encouraged people to vote for various components of the drink and it became a drink developed and finished by our patrons. Post lockdown we had an influx of people wanting to try it! And our amazing staff have provided an experience that people have been returning for weekend after weekend.

How would you describe the atmosphere of Toast?
Being a small bar, every night is shaped by our patrons – sometimes chilled, relaxed and sometimes a little…. energetic! Toast is designed with a prohibition era speakeasy in mind. 

What is your signature drink?
I would love to say it involved a small flower hand-picked from the Himalayan mountains but the truth is we are known for our variation of the espresso martini, using locally roasted coffee from Vanguard, Quick Brown Fox Liqueur and aged rum. Oh and the Flaming Lamborghini still haunts us. 

Why do you think your local stands out from the crowd?
Our staff. We are lucky to have people that have stuck with us for years and have some fun along the way. We are a unique bunch from many different walks of life.

What are your 3 top tips for being a great bartender?
1. Always acknowledge someone at the bar, no matter how busy you are.
2. Explore your bar, know your products and keep learning. 
3. Use a jigger.

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

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