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Cool Change Bar & Eatery

Certificate of Excellence
$$ - $$$
Bar, Wine Bar, New Zealand, European, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
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8 Memorial Square, Martinborough 5711, New Zealand
+64 6-306 9665
16:00 - 01:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 16:00 - 01:00
More Info
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287 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
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Time of year
Showing 286: English reviews
East Midlands, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
230 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2017

Cool Change Bar & Eatery is an interesting place. Frequented by tourists and locals alike, its is a very popular place and well worth a visit. It has a good menu but doesn't offer such a wide range of dishes found in some. That said there is a good choice and the food is well cooked and very well presented.... More 

Thank Bridstow
Barendrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviewed 18 February 2017 via mobile

They have a great range of wines. It's such a lovely place to relax, have a drink, and catch up with friends. Great service!

Thank liitlekim
Whitley Bay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2017 via mobile

From the outside, even the inside this place looks nothing much, but the meal we had tonight was superb. Pork belly with a apple just was to die for, as was my wife's lamb salad. Top it off with 2 glasses of lovely beer at reasonable prices and you have one hell of a great meal. Go here.

Thank iaatkinson
Abergavenny, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
325 reviews
137 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2017

Beautiful location on the main corner, opposite the central park/square. Fantastic sitting outside in the sunshine. Great range of beers and wines. Retro tunes and styling, right down to the 60’s sofa’s on the pavement. Delightful mix of locals and tourists.

Thank GoLiveYoung
Martinborough, New Zealand
Level Contributor
51 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2017

The staff were attentive, the service was good, the meat portion was generous although the meat was not tender. Gratin was included in the menu listing but not specified as to which vegetable, so we ordered a side dish of potatoes - which we didn't need. The waitress could have pointed that out ! The meal prices are high, ie,... More 

Thank Katherine261
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
327 reviews
189 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2017

On a very cold evening we popped in around 6:30 without a reservation and they were kind enough to fit us in. Nice bar up front and dining area in the back. Small but cozy. Eclectic furnishings and nice, solid menu of local fare. We shared a chicken quesadilla which was about perfect. Two pieces each with small shreds of... More 

1 Thank Popeyebird
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 January 2017 via mobile

I love this bar right on the square with great wines and funky retro outdoor furniture.. cannot fault this. However what annoys us over the Xmas break is that they advertise what their hours will be, then just appear to change their mind and not turn up to open. A shame as we had a group of 10 ready to... More 

Thank Lea-Bry
Level Contributor
73 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2017 via mobile

As the name says this place is cool. Right on the corner of the main street with all the traffic and passerbys, it's a great place for a drink and watch the world go past. Great music, great outdoors lounges. Had a great time.

Thank Carl P
Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2016 via mobile

Good for afternoon beers after wine tasting and basic bar snacks. Does have a dinner menu. Don't order mixed drinks as staff knows beer and wine only.

Thank citbig1113
Level Contributor
433 reviews
221 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2016

Decent food and reasonable wine list. Great corner location. The staff are lovely, but did not seem to know much about wine ironically. Go figure...

Thank anecessaryevil

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$6 - US$25
Bar, Wine Bar, New Zealand, European, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Drinks
Restaurant features
Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Good for
Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene, Local cuisine, Child-friendly, Romantic
Open Hours
16:00 - 01:00
16:00 - 01:00
16:00 - 01:00
16:00 - 01:00
16:00 - 01:00
16:00 - 01:00
16:00 - 01:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 8 Memorial Square, Martinborough 5711, New Zealand
  • Location: South Pacific  >  New Zealand  >  North Island  >  Greater Wellington  >  Wairarapa  >  Martinborough
  • Phone Number: +64 6-306 9665
Why Cool Change?

Cool change came to fruition for a number of reasons. Having frequented this stunning region for some years to escape the hustle & bustle of the city life at every opportunity, we saw a window to taste the Wairarapa life as residents & business owners. Hence why we thought it would be a Cool Change. We stumbled across the chance to convert one of the most ornate, beautiful buildings in the Wairarapa into a warm, comfortable, unique hospitality concept.

The name derives from one of our greatest passions - music. Throw in the fact that we are vulnerable to the odd occasional southerly blast & fondness of "The Little River Band" Cool Change was born.

Our facility consists of 1 private function room, seats 12 people. Our dining room features booth seating, open fire, period & deco lighting and retro wallpaper. The bar greets you on entry with a warm ambiance; sky TV when required & a wine list to tempt those taste buds.

Cool Change cuisine will not disappoint as our Head Chef Rachel Priestley has weaved her magic around the globe - Italy, Switzerland, Austria, United States, France, Finland, Sweden, Taipei, Hong Kong, China - Shanghai. Her cuisine is Italian inspired food, using the freshest ingredients including using her own italian salumi. Food and wine was her life and Rachel worked for 10 years in Italy. She produces all sorts of Italian salumi products from happy pigs in New Zealand, she has opened six Italian restaurants in Italy, taught Tuscan chefs how to cook Tuscan cuisine better, taught male chefs from Puglia in the South of Italy their own cuisine. Rachel ran a truffle shop in Florence, opened a wine bar in Bormio for Amaro Braulio, a restaurant by the sea in Gaeta in a 14th century pharmacy, a restaurant in Naples for the Camorra - the Naples Mafia. And now she is back in New Zealand to supply you with fine Italian food and wine, cooking here at Cool Change Bar & Eatery.

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Cool Change Bar & Eatery staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?