Auckland, NZ was home to one of the greatest bars to exist. Golden Dawn, also coined the Tavern of Power, was a truly unique entertainment spot for a wide variety of people. It was a melting pot of people with diverse backgrounds, from rich to poor, young to old, no one was excluded from the excitement. In the golden age of “pop-up” bars, Golden Dawn was set out to last the typical life span of 3 months like others, however, they surpassed that and became iconic.

In December 2010, Golden Dawn: Tavern of Power opened its doors in New Zealand’s community of Ponsonby Central. With no advertising to announce its location, it was a true diamond in the rough scenario that required word of mouth to gain its customers. No one could have expected the bar to take off like it did, but it lasted a long 7 years.

What gave the Golden Dawn its edge was the commitment it had to the music industry. There were no barriers to who could perform and the bar encouraged newcomers to spread their wings. Every night was spent rocking out to known acts or up-and-coming musicians. The little spot grew into a largely known spot and was even visited by the likes of celebrities. Everyone wanted a taste of what the bar had to offer to the night scene. It was a best-kept secret that was highly desired with a speak-easy vibe from the outside.


While the bar was a treasure cove, all good things must come to end. The owners gave a heart-felt goodbye to their legacy on their Facebook page six months before the closure. They wanted to make sure the Golden Dawn’s crowd was well aware of the future of the bar, which ultimately gave everyone a chance to really pay tribute. The last six months was full of celebration and best-spent memories from its patrons.

The last night that the Golden Dawn was open was arguably its best. It was a send-off party to remember with attendance in high numbers. The music flowed more than usual with musicians paying their last respects to the place that fostered their talents. The celebration was felt throughout the Ponsonby community and beyond and even to this day, well over a year since its closure, the bar’s social media is flooded with love and memories of those who frequented the establishment. Their impression was long lasting and its patrons will never let the memories of the Golden Dawn die. They are truly forever immortalized.

The fate of the location was undetermined for a bit, but now a new bar has resurrected in its place. It is now the home of the Hoppers Garden Bar. The once hidden treasure is now decked out with a garden and fancy artwork. The past remains within the walls no matter what hangs from it now. While it will never be the same place and could never compare to the dedicated patrons of the Golden Dawn, Hoppers will gain its own crowd and following in time.

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