99 Problems still has that new bar-smell (it’s a bit like wood shavings), but it’s already proving a success. Set in a small, old shopfront opposite the legendary Jim’s Greek Tavern, it’s low key but impeccably stylish, from the gold hand lettered signage to the swank denim cushions. A large mural by Rohan Newman, resembling a mountain landscape viewed through a kaleidoscope, fills the back half of the room.
The music selection ambles between hip hop, indie and loveable retro naffery: owners Dion Waterman and Dan Michael Jones put out a downloadable semi-weekly mix of favourite tracks, currently accessible via the 99 Problems Facebook page.
The ambience is calm and friendly, which may explain why the crowd tends to skew toward the fairer sex, a little ironically in view of the bar’s namesake track. It feels cosy and well-run, free of the rowdy drunks who make nearby Smith Street such a ballache some nights.
Over winter, 99 Problems is offering mulled wine, mulled cider and Coopers Stout to keep the cold out of your bones; Tiger beer and Monteiths Cider are the regular tap brews. Wednesday evenings are all about super-cheap cans of Mexican beer Tecate, and on Friday nights happy hour runs from 5-8pm.
99 Problems is small, relaxed and very cool, with a strong lounge-room feeling, great tunes and good looks to spare. Drop by and shed a few of those problems.