Whisky Magazine Issue 138
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The Doon Bar, Dunedin, New Zealand
In the 1840s, a 25 year old English surveyor named Charles Kettle was dispatched to a settlement on the south island of New Zealand because his bosses back home wanted to create a ‘new model English society' in the southern hemisphere. Early Scottish visitors to the area had apparently already decided that the Otago Peninsula's rolling terrain reminded them of their beloved Edinburgh, ‘the city on the hill,' so young Kettle's instructions were to model ‘New Edinburgh' after Scotland's capital.
Kettle took his task seriously, unabashedly borrowing dozens of Edinburgh's street names – like Leith, George, Princes and Clyde – and advocating for buildings to be constructed in a distinct Edwardian and Victorian architecture. The settlement's leaders later decided that simply adding the word ‘new' to ‘Edinburgh' was too commonplace a practice and chose Dunedin, a variation of Edinburgh's Gaelic name, ‘Dùn Èideann.'
Today, another young man is doing his part to keep Dunedin's Scottish heritage alive – and doing it very well. Patrick Sullivan, the 27 year old owner of Scotia Restaurant and Doon Bar, took over the place just over a year ago, riding high on the success of his other popular Dunedin restaurant, Gaslight, which he opened a little over two years ago at the ripe old age of 24.
Patrick, a Dunedin area native who earned his business degree at the city's University of Otago, has never wanted to leave (except to visit Scotland). He's fascinated with Du...