The Coroglen Tavern is the Coromandel’s number one location for all things concert, food, and cold-beer related. A place already rich in history, owners Jed and Michelle Harper have been working there since 2013. “The Tavern has been on the current land site since 1946, the building which is now the old Backpackers, but it has been in the current building since the 1960s.” A popular destination for summer gigs, the Coroglen Inn continues to be a classic Kiwi icon.
A relatively isolated spot, Michelle details how the Coroglen retains customers and advertises nationally. “We go from one extreme to another. We have a pretty amazing following, though, considering we’re 20 odd minutes to the nearest town. There is a fabulous group of locals, strong Darts Club, the Whitianga Pig Hunters Club, and the many tourists that stop in on their way around the peninsula.”
Over the summer months, however, the Coroglen packs out regularly. “There have been so many sellout nights that we’ve experienced since we’ve been here. Shapeshifter, Katchafire, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Sticky Fingers, Shihad, Donavon Frankenreiter, Salmonella Dub, The Blackseeds, Six60, the list goes on. It’s amazing and an honour to have them all here.”
“We have a fabulous crew of 11 including ourselves. Most have been with us for years.” The Coroglen Tavern’s kitchen, a local favourite for years, is headed by five cooks with backgrounds in honest and freshly cooked food. “None of us has any formal training, but we love experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with our own twists to the foods we love.” Some of the Coroglen favourites include the mussel fritters and buffalo wings. According to Michelle, the scallop burger has been a local favourite since before they arrived. Not only does the kitchen draw in customers, but the bar is also world-famous in New Zealand. “Beer is bonza here. You can’t beat a well poured, cold Speights or Waikato. Although, now that Panhead has joined the family, they’re moving in on what’s on offer tap and bottle wise.”
“I wish we could claim responsibility for creating this amazing venue, but bands have been playing here for decades. The first band to play in a woodshed out the back and as each publican has taken over ownership they’ve added more and more to the venue to create something really unique and beautiful bringing bigger bands and more concerts.” In 2016, the Coroglen Tavern saw 1900 people show up for a Katchafire, Aaradhna, Kora and Sons of Zion concert. “There’s nothing like coming to a Coroglen Concert. It’s just a really rad spot that has grown as the crowds get bigger.”