Upper Hutt’s beer garden pizzeria Boneface is a top slice of the 90s

Boneface is in a revamped warehouse in Upper Hutt.

Kylie Klein Nixon

Boneface is in a revamped warehouse in Upper Hutt.

A taste of… Boneface Brewing, 27 Blenheim St, Maidstone, Upper Hutt.

We’d heard… Nothing, because it’s still so new, tucked away in an old converted industrial site that’s in the process of being turned into a beer garden and dining hub. 

The vibe… a rambunctious mix of families, curious locals, oldies and 90s kids of yore. The perfect combo. 

I was not disappointed by the pizza at Boneface pizzeria in Upper Hutt.

Kylie Klein Nixon

I was not disappointed by the pizza at Boneface pizzeria in Upper Hutt.

We ordered… Back in the day, there used to be a cafe on Cuba Street called, imaginatively, Cuba Cuba. It served coffee, and beer and pizza to us black-clad, urban slackers. It also dished up a healthy portion of rock and grunge and dub to groove on when you weren’t jamming $1s in the Addams Family pinball machine, or furiously debating the who was better, L7 or Hole. 

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In other words, it was Wellington’s 90s kids’ club house and I still think of it’s dark, dingy halls fondly today.

The fish was large at Boneface in Upper Hutt.

Kylie Klein Nixon

The fish was large at Boneface in Upper Hutt.

It closed some time in the new millennium, but stepping into Boneface in Upper Hutt, it was as if the Cuba Cuba vibe had been revived – albeit significantly lighter, brighter, larger and dare I say cleaner, than that hot-spot ever was. 

Yes, there is a row of excellent pinball machines by against one wall (hello, Game Of Thrones machine!); Hole, Nirvana and Mudhoney played during our meal, and pizza is definitely on the menu. 

The similarities end there, however, because Boneface is in a giant brightly lit hangar, rather than a dingy converted shop on Cuba Street, and its pizzas are mighty, tasty, sumptuous things, about three times the size of the 90s ones I remember.

There are also burgers – one of my companions had the Korean pork belly with kim chi slaw and hand cut fries ($22) which was massive and had her in raptures. Another had the mighty fish and chips that came on a sea of lightly scented mushy peas, with a fillet roughly the size of a man’s boot ($19.50).

But it was the pizza I was there for and I was not disappointed. More than enough for two, my Marguerita ($20) came loaded with mozzarella, tangy red sauce and islands of bright green basil leaves. The base was perfectly chewy-crunchy, baked to perfection. Top marks. 

Match your meal with a Boneface brew, brewed on site, and that’s a perfect lunch. 

There’s something really exciting going on in this revamped warehouse area. Get in now before there lines start forming. 

If you go… Bring the dog and the whole family. This is one of the most family friendly places I’ve been to in a while. 

Food: Go there now. 5/5

Service: Delightful locals who love pizza. 5/5

Coffee: Coffee and tea are available as are a range of soft drinks (I opted for a kombucha), but Boneface beer is brewed on site and my companions went for that instead.  5/5

Overall: It warms my 90s heart 5/5

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