New 'Hyde-away': Hyde bar manager Thomas Fagan, left, and owner Cam Mitchell

Queenstown’s renowned nightspot, The Bunker, is opening an Arrowtown offshoot.

Majority owners Cam and Tina Mitchell, along with a silent partner, are launching ‘‘a modern, luxe speak-easy’’ — called ‘Hyde, Liquor & Social’ — that’ll open till 2.30am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, at least.

Cam says he and Tina found a ‘‘dusty old window’’ at the end of an arcade off Buckingham Street, below Chop Shop, four or five years ago.

Once they’d wiped off the dust, ‘‘we could see these beautiful timber rafters and stunning fireplace’’, and once they got access to it, they thought, ‘‘gee, this has got to be a bar’’.

Cam believes Hyde will ‘‘kickstart a bit more of a night life’’ in Arrowtown.

‘‘If it had been a couple of years ago, I think it would have been ahead of its time, but now the population’s growing here, and the commercial zone’s not.’’

Generations of former Bunker regulars have moved out this way, Cam says, but ‘‘some people are reluctant to come into Arrowtown on a
Friday night at 11 o’clock’’, in case nothing’s open.

He and local design professional Luke Baldock — who also worked on The Bunker’s recent $1.6 million redevelopment — have designed

‘‘We’ve tried to make it feel like a luxury bar has moved into the existing space, so we have kept the timber rafters, the old stone, and
brought in nods to Arrowtown, like the studded steel, which is sort of reminiscent of gold mining.

‘‘It lends itself to being cocktail-heavy, but there’ll be a decent-sized wine list — not just standard New Zealand, we’re going to throw in
some Europeans as well.’’

The initial food offering will be basic, but Cam’s hoping to add ‘‘nice platters’’ and tapas, in time.

A second fireplace is bookending the interior space, while there’s outdoor seating, with two gas fires, for about 20 people.

The bar’s opening Wednesday till Sunday this month, from 4pm, then seven days thereafter, Cam says.

Pending a liquor licence, it’s opening later this week, or next week.

What’s in a name?

CAM says he and Tina have wanted to use ‘Hyde’ for a long time.

‘‘This bar fits the name because it’s got multiple connotations.

‘‘It’s got the ‘hyde’ spelling, like Jekyll and Hyde, so it’s kind of this alter ego thing — you might show up as Jekyll and leave as Hyde.’’

Then there’s its other spelling, ‘hide’.

As a bar that feels like it’s almost underground, ‘‘it’s a bit of a hide-out’’, Cam says.

‘‘And there are a lot of textures in the design and the way it feels, and there is actually some animal hide.’’

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