HIDE – WHAT A GREAT NAME FOR A BOOZER. To find Hide, you’ll need to shimmy down the alleyway by the Prince Avenue roundabout on The Mount Mainstreet. It opens out into a COURTYARD that feels like someone’s exceptionally well-appointed backyard. Walled in on every side, a ROARING FIRE is the centrepiece. There are built-in wooden booths for big GROUPS TO GATHER, FAMILY BARBEQUE STYLE, under a green living wall. A sunny strip of seating is tucked behind the fire (PERFECT FOR A HOT DATE), and A COSY NOOK inside overlooks the courtyard.
WORDS JENNY RUDD PHOTOS TRACIE HEASMAN
This place has been home to many things over the years: Lynx Hair Direction; an outlet store for Sisters & Co; and two restaurants – Mundo Mexicano and, more recently, Mr Miyagi. It is now completely unrecognisable. In a good way.
HIDE’S OWNERS, MATT AND KIMBERLY HAYWARD, ARE HOSPO ROYALTY IN TAURANGA, bringing with them the experience of running Winnies in Queenstown in the early 2000s, and owning De Bier Haus, which they turned into La Mexica on The Strand in Tauranga. The couple and their two girls, Mila and Liv, are now firmly rooted the other side of the bridge. They also own Mount Brewing Co, which is like the cheeky younger sister of, rough and tumble older brother, Hide.
“Kimberly’s role is to make sure everyone’s well fed. She grew up with foodies and fantastic cooks, as her family owned restaurants. It’s my job to make sure everyone has a good time.” Nice job descriptions. They do it well, too. The opening night had a feeling of goodwill and excitement that you just can’t buy.
UNO. HQ is a dangerously short walk to the green oasis. Our team went over on a Sunday afternoon for a pre-deadline, morale boosting break. We chose a couple of cold Moas and some plates to share; a standout was tender lamb ribs with sharp salsa verde. Halloumi fries were perfectly crisp on the outside with a creamy horopito dip. And we shared a ‘flounder with fennel mash’, which was fresh, lemony, buttery and light. Smooth beats from the deck with resident Sunday afternoon DJ, Sarah Bronte, and we really were transported a long way from the demands of the office.
“I want people to treat this like their own backyard. You can invite your mates round, light the fire, eat like you’re at a barbeque, listen to music, and have a few beers.”
Even better – no clearing up, and the service is way better than at my house.