Debatable: What’s the best Pint Night venue?

Debatable: What’s the best Pint Night venue?

Debatable is a column written by the Otago University Debating Society. The Debating Society welcomes new members and meets at the Business School every Tuesday at 6pm.


It might be scummy and it might be crowded, but isn’t that really why we love U-Bar? Recently, there’ve been conversations about changing Pint Night’s location after it’s been temporarily relocated to Auahi Ora. And sure, Auahi Ora is admittedly a better venue if you use metrics like accessibility and cleanliness. But should we prize those attributes over what U-Bar offers? I don’t think so. 

U-Bar’s immediate appeal is the longstanding tradition attached to it. Nothing helps a fresher acclimatise to their Otago Uni experience more than being forced to wait an hour in the cold on a Wednesday night. There is something distinctively Dunedin about U-Bar, whether it’s the floor coated in a decade’s worth of spilt drink (and who knows what else) or the pool table that tilts slightly to one side. U-Bar bridges the gap between freshers and other Uni students and introduces them to one of the last remnants of Dunedin’s live music culture. 

Looking past this sense of tradition, U-Bar is arguably just a good venue for music; it fits more people than Auahi Ora and the acoustics are better. There’s something vaguely soulless about the newness and cleanliness of Auahi Ora. Is it really a live music venue if your feet don’t stick to the ground? The pints might not be full pints, but U-Bar offers a cultural service to students that fills your cup in other ways, and would be lost if it was to be moved above ground. 

Auahi Ora 

Have you ever been to a bar and wished that you were in a sub-tropical climate dripping wet with sweat? Well, U-Bar has you covered. North Dunedin has been gaslit into thinking that U-Bar is more than what it is. 

We’ve been starved of a student bar, and are severely lacking in terms of prospective live music venues, and throughout this period U-Bar has remained a constant. It's perhaps for this reason that we’re prepared to look past its shortcomings as a venue. But when faced with another option, it might be time to stop putting up with these faults. 

Auahi Ora is newer and therefore, it goes without saying, nicer. You won’t have to peel your feet from the floor or be drenched in sweat by the end of the night. Its above ground location also means Pint Night goers can look out at the breathas stuck in the line and feel good about having made it inside. Who doesn’t love a bit of gloating? 

Also, if you’re looking for your friends, you can now see where they are in the line without having to constantly try call them in the nonexistent quiet corner of the underground nuclear bunker. At the end of the day, while Auahi Ora might not be as iconic as U-Bar, is there really any harm in trying something new? Traditions change all the time – and this is a place of many firsts, after all.

This article first appeared in Issue 12, 2024.
Posted 10:19pm Sunday 19th May 2024 by Otago University Debating Society.