Finally, Fine Wine in Fitzroy 

Words by Victoria Matsunuma
Roger Richardson Roger Richardson

Nestled in the Fitzroy Village Arcade courtyard is the charming new ‘Vin Bar’, a boutique intimate venue offering fine wines, craft beers and international ambience. 

“Old friends and Vin Bar owners, Antoniah Snooks, Mette Kirchheiner and Byron O’Neill had talked for years with their Fitzroy neighbours about the wish for a centrally located wine bar in the heart of the village – somewhere to enjoy quality wine and company just a short walk from home.  

In the end, the trio decided to open a bar themselves.

“Everyone was talking about the fact that there was nowhere to go,” Denmark-born Mette says. “We wanted to create an atmosphere in the tradition of European wine bars, where people come to meet for a drink on their way home, where everyone is welcome.” 

In keeping with the international theme and Mette’s Danish heritage, they called the bar Vin Bar, pronounced Veen Bar. 

The trio has personally curated a wine list showcasing a range of wine varieties from around the globe and New Zealand. Vin Bar also serves craft beers, top-shelf spirits, sangria in the summer and mulled wine in winter. 

In the wine range, the stars are the Lake Hayes pinot noir from Central Otago, the Grant Burge Barossa Ink shiraz from Australia, the Villa Maria Reserve sauvignon blanc from Wairau Valley, and Man’O’War Exiled pinot gris from Waiheke Island, described as “sunshine in a glass”. 

“We weren’t originally intending to make cocktails, but it turns out our bar manager is a superb cocktail mixer and has won awards for that! We have a very classic selection of cocktails,” Mette says. 

Their simple menu of sharing platters features a selection of breads, cheeses, cured meats, and vegetarian options. Vin Bar shares the courtyard with café The Hub.

Antoniah and Mette are proficient in making things beautiful – Antoniah is an architectural designer and Mette, an interior stylist and owner of Scandinavian design store Home Love Mette K. The pair have combined their talents to create a relaxed warmth in the small bar while the courtyard is decorated with new furniture, festoon lighting and cocooned in lush foliage. 

Vin Bar is part of the Fitzroy Village Arcade which was designed by Terry Boon in the 1970s. Antoniah integrated parts of the original charm when drawing the plans for the bar fit-out. 

“The potential of the place is huge. It’s very quirky, but we tried to stay true to the building while giving it a bit of TLC without modernising it too much by keeping original features, like the leadlight,” Antoniah explains. 

Mette, Antoniah and Byron are thrilled to share the space with new customers and invite the community to come, enjoy a wine and make Vin Bar their own.

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