Handmade Burgers; om nom nom nom. The food was pretty awesome but that is not what I’m here for…toilets is the whats I’m here for.
This pretty old building on New North Road in the beating heart of Kingsland village was once a mechanics so they have the slightly odd but charmingly eccentric set up of a drive thru in front of the store. I’m always sad to see they are not utilising the little booth built in the centre of the forecourt as some sort of drinks fountain or condiments repository. Back in the day (perhaps two years ago) they had the forecourt as is but have since created a sort of porch vibe with MDF board and high tables. Sadly this hasn’t been done to a particularly high standard so the chairs and tables wobble a bit and it can be hard to be at the same high as your burger or your companions. I drew the short stool and spent our dinner eating like the little kid in the high chair.
The bathroom lives just off to the left of the main store front, outside by the footpath. It has a sort of out-house feel, you may have to run for the door if the rain blew on a harsh angle making a mess of your coiffured beehive. They have kept the lovely vintage lead light windows at the top of each door. The one above the bathroom reads GENTS. Misleading? Yeah just a little. I went inside looking for the ladies but alas I was told it was one in the same. So a uni-sex gents loo with an out-house feel. The green made me happy but the cleanliness and general lack of care taken didn’t so much.
It wasn’t so much dirty as it was uncared for. As if the cleaners had done their bit but the staff hadn’t given it a second thought, perhaps replace the ripped sight on the paper towels, empty the bin and pick up all the junk off the floor every few hours.
From the agoraphobe’s perspective I love that I didn’t have to go through a shop or past the counter to use the loo. Being outside it has a beautiful anonymity which is more imagined than realistic. If I was walking of an evening in Kingsland I would not feel bad or uncomfortable popping into this loo without having to ask and feel all weird about it. It seems more up for the taking. Having said that there is a public bathroom across the street but due to the dip down, poor lighting and the train station it feels a little too rapey to be used unless really needed or accompanied by a burly gentleman.
I got that ‘we’re too cool to care about being tidy’ vibe from the whole place. The get-a-shitty-sofa-in-your-shitty-flat-because-it-is-so-unexpected feeling that comes with some of the too cool parts of Auckland. As a social reaction to metro-sexual life style, expensive products and clean lines, the attitude of slum dweller is a new style for the hip. This is why I get the look Handmade are going for; slightly disinterested though attractive staff juxtapose the very good food. Makes it seem unexpectedly good, a bit like eating leftovers from your fridge when you are very drunk or hungover, they seem to taste immensely better because you are so very very gross.
Interior – 5/10
Exterior – 7/10
Cleanliness – 4/10
Safety – 7/10
Snugglitude – 5/10 for a total of 28/50