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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
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 16:00 - 01:00
More Info
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282 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
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Time of year
Showing 281: English reviews
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
316 reviews
182 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 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 

Thank Popeyebird
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 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
70 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 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
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 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
428 reviews
217 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 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
Level Contributor
128 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2016

Choices of a dinner venue are reduced on a Sunday but Cool Change was an excellent choice. A comfortable restaurant with good wholesome food - including the, seemingly rare nowadays, inclusion of lots of well cooked vegetables. The shared lamb shoulder is a generous but not daunting amount of pull apart meat on an enormous platter of Israeli couscous -... More 

Thank grangeview
Lyttelton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
107 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2016

Shared a tapas plate of fried prawns with two glasses of a local Sauvignon Blanc. Our steaks served with fresh vegetables very good. Helped down with a bottle of (somewhat overpriced) local Pinot Noir. Too full for dessert. Looked on website for better explanation of our dishes but the menu shown is August. Very good service. .

Thank ChrizBee59
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2016 via mobile

A cool and relaxed bar. Very good choices in local wines (which are very good) and obviously all other alcohol.. They serve food .. more like snack types. . But it is so good !!! MUST TRY : fried camembert ! So devine!!

Thank Julia R
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2016

Great place to have a nice drink and sit in the sun. Their Rose that they served was very nice. Staff very friendly.

Thank Marina B
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2016 via mobile

Lovely place, lovely atmosphere and lovely food. What more would you want from a night out in Martinborough.

Thank Chris D

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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
Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly, Local cuisine, Bar Scene
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?