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“Great atmosphere, where's the beer?”

Emporium Eatery & Bar
Ranked #7 of 210 Restaurants in Napier
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $19
Cuisines: International, Bar, Gastropub, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Open 7 days from 7am to 11 pm Emporium is the award winning bar and restaurant at Art Deco Masonic Hotel, in buzzing inner city Napier. Emporium has a truly unique look and feel mixing the modern with the classic, to create a very special atmosphere in this iconic heritage building. Emporium isn’t just a bar, and it’s more than an exciting restaurant, it’s a meeting place. With a contemporary menu and the most extensive beverage list around, Emporium is just the spot to gather friends, family or colleagues to enjoy the finest in Hawke’s Bay hospitality. Ideal for functions, Emporium has optional group spaces available – including Poet’s Corner, a private space overlooking bustling Tennyson Street and picturesque Marine Parade. Enjoy long, leisurely breakfasts, lunches and dinners, or delicious all-day grazing with a glass of fine wine or a cocktail or beer from our impressive collection.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We stopped by for a drink in the late afternoon, but owing to the Good Friday, Easter Trading Restrictions we had to order food as well. It seems that, in an otherwise very secular New Zealand, one cannot sit and enjoy an alcoholic drink at a bar or restaurant on Good Friday unless it is part of a meal. For a moment I thought I was back in the Texas Bible Belt. Seems downright un-Kiwi-like.

We opted for the Hawke's Bay Seasonal Platter. At $40 it wasn't quite a bargain for two people who really only wanted a drink. However, it was tasty enough and carried us over until breakfast the next day. The menu looked promising but we did not make it back before heading back home on Sunday. Service was incredibly slow even though there were but a handful of customers; I'm sure the holiday pay leads management to cut the wait staff to the bare bones. I suspect that on a more typical day the service is better, maybe even great. One certainly gets a sense that such a grand place must do better than we experienced.

The bar is well decorated with appropriate art deco furnishings, brass, incredible wooden back bar, marble bar top, tile accents, and ceiling fans straight out of a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. It is a shame that a bar of this visual quality lacks any decent beers. Stella Artois, Steinlager Premium and a short list of exhausted mainstream beer certainly cannot be the best such an iconic hotel bar can muster.

We were warned of the Easter Trading issues by a prominent sign posted in the bar entrance. Additionally, there was a warning sign posted in the bar that, because it was a holiday, there would be a 15% surcharge. I understand that the religious observance was not the Emporium's doing. I also get the fact that New Zealand's bars, cafes and the lot are required to pay time-and-a-half to wait staff on national holidays. However, there should be a rule that warning signs should be limited to one per day. I would think that the Masonic Hotel could manage to either: 1) forgo the surcharge, 2) staff the bar sufficiently, or 3) close altogether as many do.

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Thank brownprop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CraigAH, Manager at Emporium Eatery & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded April 13, 2013

Thank you for review, I do understand your frustration with Easter trading laws, however this is not our doing, we are purely operating within the law. Staff wages are a concern on public holidays as on top of the time and a half you mentioned in your review we also are obliged to pay the staff a day in lieu, so essentially opening on public holidays we pay staff 2 and a half times their regular wage. We have looked at closing, however with all the other bars in town closing over this period, there would have been nowhere for anyone to go.
Our tap beer selection contains Steinlager Pure (first bar in NZ to have on tap), 2 Australian craft beers from James Squire, a wheat beer from Crafty Beggars, Stella Artois, a pale ale from Macs which aside from us is only released to the Macs Brew Bars around New Zealand, along with the main stream beers, Macs Gold and Isaac’s Cider. We also have around 30 beers from all over the world available in bottle. When you visit us next we will also be able offer Emerson’s Pilsner on tap as well as a selection of their seasonal release range.
Kind Regards Shaye Bird, Manager, Emporium Eatery and Bar, Napier.

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983 - 987 of 1,128 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2013

Napier is the centre of Art-Deco, and Emporium shows it. A great athmosphere with truly remarkable decoration and style.
The food is very tasty, a selection of good fish and meat dishes being available. The menu and the wine-list would gain by offering a greater variety.
Service is most friendly and competent.

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Thank pineapple_girl88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CraigAH, Manager at Emporium Eatery & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded April 13, 2013

Thank you for your review and we look forward to looking after you again so you can try some of the many other dishes on our menu, like us on Facebook to get the daily specials
Kind Regards Shaye Bird, Manager, Emporium Eatery and Bar, Napier.

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Reviewed March 23, 2013

Finally made it into the emporium after the renovations last year. The place looks great and goes hand in hand with the Masonic hotel that it's attached to. My fiancé and I went here for breakfast and we loved it. The service was warm and friendly and we were looked after well even though the place is massive. Our drink orders were taken fast as well as our food. I had the emporium breakfast which had a bit of everything and it was amazing, the usual items of a classic big breakfast but just different ways of presentation just made it that extra bit special. Compliments to the chefs, I will defiantly be back!

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Thank Shaun B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CraigAH, Manager at Emporium Eatery & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded April 13, 2013

Thank you for your review, we are glad you finally made it and we look forward to hosting you again soon, when we see you next, take the time to go through our extensive menu, from either the "all-day grazing" or our "something more substantial" menu, we are sure you will find it hard to pick one dish.
Kind Regards Shaye Bird, Manager, Emporium Eatery and Bar, Napier.

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Reviewed March 20, 2013

We popped in here for a quick dinner and left impressed! I feel like you never know what you're going to get when you stop into a place that is so centrally located for tourists, but our dinner was excellent. I ordered the fish and chips which turned out to be the best I'd had in all of New Zealand. My husband ordered a pizza that he enjoyed very much. The place has a neat ambiance. The dress is casual ( I was a little concerned we were underdressed initially but we fit right in). This place is worth a stop.

Thank DLK26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CraigAH, Manager at Emporium Eatery & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded March 24, 2013

Thank you for your recent review. This is the second review on tripadvisor recently that said we have the best Fish n Chips in New Zealand. Fresh is best as far as our food is concerned and we are glad to see its paying off. We are part of the Art Deco Masonic Hoteland have a very loyal local following who appreciate the fact that we are a home away from home where casual is OK. I can see from other reviews that you enjoyed our beautiful city and hope to see you again soon.
Kind Regards Shaye Bird - Manager, Emporium eatery and Bar, Napier.

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Reviewed March 16, 2013

During our recent holiday in Napier NZ, we dined at The Emporium - twice.
We thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and the decor - decorated with antiques and collectables in various display cases etc. The table layout was ideal, but we didn't get the best tables as the restaurant was very busy on both nights we dined there.
The menu offered was good and the meals were enjoyable - the wine list was very good.
As we were staying at The Country Hotel (also good) the restaurant was ideally located.
Overall - the experience was worth returning.
John / Sydney

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Thank phantomhq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CraigAH, Manager at Emporium Eatery & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Emporium was designed by one of New Zealand’s formast bar and restaurant designers. The memorabilia was collected over a long period and some of the antiques were original pieces from the Hotel when it first built. Thank you visiting us twice during your stay, with so many other restaurants within a our our location we know you are spoilt for choice, so we strive to deliver every time. Above Emporium is our recently renovated Art Deco Masonic Hotel with its big open courtyard which can be accessed directly from your room is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine with Marine Parade and ocean views.
Kind Regards Shaye Bird , Manager, Emporium Eatery and Bar, Napier.

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