Housed in the beautifully renovated historic building at The Tannery, Blue Smoke is a live music venue and Americana soul food bar that complements its next-door big brother The Brewery. The name of the bar appropriately comes from the first New Zealand recorded song ‘Blue Smoke’ in 1949.
Foremost it’s about the music here; a well created welcoming and accessible environment for all, Blue Smoke is a place for concerts and high calibre performances from a wide range of artists and performers. Music manager Jess Shanks – from the band The Eastern, is setting about supporting and showcasing the local scene, including intimate performances from some of Lyttelton’s finest musicians, and utilising her industry knowledge and contacts to book some of the best independent New Zealand and international touring musicians across multiple genres. What you can expect over time is the ability to just turn up Wednesday through to Sunday and experience a superb gig without knowing the artist.
The stunning space combines a classic European structural look with dark oak and the relaxed comfort of couches high-tables and larger group seating in the back. Some real outdoor standouts come in the form of the huge macrocarpa leaner bar, ambient alley lighting and retractable covers to tackle Christchurch’s inconsistent weather. The indoor-outdoor flow works well with multiple entry points resulting in a great social environment.
Food and drink options are simple but effective; there’s a good selection of Cassels & Sons craft beer on tap and bottled beer, wine and spirits – including casual cocktail specials to come. Food offerings are limited but appealing with an all-American feel - think the classic cheeseburger, chilli beef cheese fries, Reuben Sandwiches, chilli dogs and daily changing doughnuts. Meat and eggs are free-range with other ingredients sourced locally where possible. There’s a reason why these burgers have such a local following, but you’ll have to try to find out.