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Listen carefully because we’re about to reveal a little-known secret: there’s a quirky hidden bar off K’ Road that you’ve never heard of. (Your new favorite watering hole) Namely, Lovebucket is what it’s called.

It’s not easy to find. As one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” bars, you need to be up on all the latest happenings to discover this bar. Lovebucket is tucked away in the rear of the Food Workshop (home of Moustache and El Sizzling Lomito), which has just recently opened.

You’ll feel as though you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole when you enter. Retro speakers dangle from the walls, intimate booths are covered with sheepskin hides, and flourishing greenery bursts forth from golden vases. The bright space is illuminated at the back by the sunshine streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

With its laid-back atmosphere, Friendly Buckets is a breath of fresh air in Auckland’s bar scene. It’s relaxing, pleasant, and far from pretentious or stuffy. You may trust the cheerful folks to be serious about all things alcoholic (we can relate). What’s available for drinking is subjected to a significant amount of time and effort.

At the bar, pick up a wooden stool and listen to the bartender explain the drinks selection. With drinks influenced by colonial exploration, there’s a lot of rum and gin (they even make their own house gin!).

Yep, Lovebucket borrows ideas from the past, when trade routes enabled bartenders to improve their cocktail game. Ingredients such as rum, lime and pineapple traveled from the Caribbean to London, and—voila!—amazing cocktails resulted. They also take influence from old sea-dog’s medicine, like bitters for nausea. Isn’t it true that alcohol cures everything?

While the drinks are updated on a regular basis, there’s a distinctive beverage for everyone—complete with an unusual name—on offer. The press gang is made up of rum and coffee, chocolate, and herbal notes, much like an adult chocolate milkshake. Alternately, the storm de banane is a banana-flavored dark and stormy—it has a taste reminiscent of spiced banana bread.

Finally, the restaurant includes a number of unusual and exotic cocktails on tap. Lovebucket also offers bespoke cocktails made to order on tap. Yes, you read that correctly: handmade cocktails on tap. All of their drinks are crafted in small batches using only the finest ingredients, allowing them to create interesting, original beverages in a fraction of the time it takes other bars.

You’ll discover a spiced tamarillo-infused jerry cola, as well as a lovely LBG&T with yuzu citrus, grapefruit, mandarin, and pink peppercorn if you pour it fresh into a glass (or carafe if you choose). Pro tip: Lovebucket’s tap cocktails may be bottled to take home.

Lovebucket has it all. You’ll find tap wine (which is better this way) and craft beer on tap, as well as bottles and cans of creative brews that are barrel-aged or sour. However, you’ll have to move fast because the beer list is constantly updating.

The wine list is exceptional, with bottles from all four corners of the globe. The bar’s sommelier Meg Abbott-Walker (of Masu) takes pleasure in finding natural wines that are produced without too much intervention so you know you’re drinking good wine!

The bar menu, like the rest of the restaurant, is all about cured meats and pickled things. There’s also a hearty toasties section and a warming winter stew if you’re looking for something more substantial.

The secret has been revealed about Lovebucket’s hidden gem on K Road. We have a feeling you’ll enjoy everything about Lovebucket!