The exciting new space Hoppers Garden Bar created in Ponsonby celebrated its opening on 23 August.

Sisters Bronwyn and Jessica Payne opened the bar with the help of their creative parents and partners and describe themselves as a small, hands-on team that enjoy creating spaces inviting escapism.

Hoppers was born with the adventurous in mind, for those a little outside of the ordinary who enjoy discovering new things and like to share these discoveries with friends.

In their project, hopped beer in a peculiar garden, the team aspired to be more than just a garden bar by developing a space that is creative, quirky, and intriguing, with an important focus on top quality craft beers and liquor.

Consistent in past designs and projects, 19th-century etchings, portraits and trinkets have always been a motif for the Payne sisters. “We designed Hoppers as a peculiar botanical paradise, surrounded by greenery as well as other oddities in an authentic turn-of-the-century style.”

As a free-house, the team at Hoppers Garden Bar have long believed in the concept as it has provided them with the freedom to be creative in every aspect; from beverages, to fit out.

“We have largely focused on craft beer at Hoppers, something we are extremely passionate about and felt we should showcase the wonderful standard and quality of Craft Beers this country offers.”

The bar has also unveiled its 'The Encyclopedia Gintonica' menu, featuring gins from both local and international distillers. The gins will be accompanied with fresh botanical ingredients and tonic combinations. Alongside a refined, diverse selection of sharing plates with an Asian-fusion influence, a variety of Biodynamic and organic wines will also be featured.

Head chef at Hoppers, Mayra Vergne, has been in the industry for seven years and has been working for large companies since graduating in Culinary Arts in Brazil. Vergne has a background in European and Asian-fusion food – reflected in the bar’s food menu. Ever changing to keep things exciting and new, the menu is seasonal and features items such as soft-shell crab dumplings, Chinese hoisin pork ribs, fresh dumplings, and banana leaf salmon.

“There will most definitely be an entertainment element at Hoppers, and we invite all to be a part of this iconic space that has previously housed so many varieties of entertainment.”