The crown jewel of K Road is St. Kevin’s Arcade which is packed with some of Auckland’s most popular bars, shops, and restaurants. The Arcade started out as a large estate, occupied by the Nathan family until 1918 and then demolished in 1920. Before the Nathan family vacated their city abode, they gifted a strip of land to serve as a passage from K’ Road to Myers Park, and this strip of land is where the famous St Kevin’s Arcade sits today.
The Arcade has grown since, after being extended in 1926, and with a thriving economy, K’road became one of Auckland’s premier shopping destination, often compared to Oxford Street in London. During this time of flourishment, St Kevin’s Arcade was home to the best of Auckland’s Tailors and Dressmakers, tea rooms and photography studios.
But with the introduction of the inner-city motorway and suburban malls in the 1960’s K’ Road and the surrounding area lost its appeal. But today, with more people living central, and the inner city reclaiming its vibrancy, St. Kevin’s arcade has become a staple for entertainment, food and shopping, especially for young people.
Shops in the arcade include the vintage denim bar, Stalgic Society, where you can choose from a large selection of on-trend vintage brands such as Calvin Klein, Gas, Wrangler, Tommy Hilfiger, GUESS and more. Then become your own designer and choose how store-owner Sarah will spice up your new love-worn threads with patches, crops, cuts, frays and other distressing techniques. If you are lucky you’ll catch Stalgic during one of their host guest artist’s sessions, to further personalise your jeans.
You can also book a nice Swedish relaxation and deep-tissue massage at Nicetouch, pick up a book from the hand-picked collection of quality second-hand books at The Green Dolphin, or pick-up a bouquet of flowers to brighten up your day from rose-tinted flowers.
If all that shopping works up an appetite, you’ll be spoilt for choice for food at St. Kevins, with highlights being Lord of the Fries, an ethical, fast food friend that specialises in Burgers, hot dogs, fries, sides, shakes and more. Dive into some Lebanese food at Gemmayze St with some local décor that matches the food, if you are on the go, pick up some tasty treats from Auckland’s favourite family-owned bakery Tart. If you want to dive into some eggy goodness, try the selection on offer at Egg and Spoon, an eatery solely dedicated to the humble egg – the brekkie burger is a local favourite.
The nightlife is also alive in this tiny nook, Both Whammy Bar and The Wine Cellar offer a range of local craft beers and wine, and usually, have local and international acts gracing their stage with a wide range of music.
So if you are heading into the city, be sure to find some time to check out this local favourite and find out why some of the best-kept secrets are worth finding.