Lingerie shop now craft beer bar

00:02, Jun 27 2014
The Institution
BUSINESS PARTNERS: Ryan Gebbie and Kat McCorkindale have opened The Institution, a craft beer and cocktail bar on New Regent St.

Kat McCorkindale has traded crafted bras for craft beers.

The Christchurch entrepreneur has transformed her New Regent St shop, which she ran as Hot Damn! Lingerie, into a bar specialising in craft beers and cocktails.

The Institution is a 45-seat, two-level bar featuring five brews on tap, all from New Zealand but with international beers to be rotated.

There are a further 20 bottled beers in the fridge, and "not a Tui in sight".

Six cocktails are on the menu, with six more to be added in coming weeks. Some include beer as a key ingredient.

The Institution was "not a loud music venue", McCorkindale said.

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"We're more about enjoying a beer and talking."

Business partner Ryan Gebbie had a "real passion for craft beer and is into the New Zealand beer scene", she said.

He crafts beer on the side and wanted a platform to sell them.

McCorkindale said she was not much of a beer drinker until three years ago, when she moved straight into craft brews.

The pair were inspired by tiny Japanese bars and restaurants - some sitting just five people - in creating their small bar.

She hoped to serve alcohol upstairs while operating Hot Damn! on the main floor. However, consent rules required a 2-metre x 2m wheelchair-capable toilet in a shop 4m wide so it was decided the entire space would be devoted to the bar.

Hot Damn! now operates as an internet-only business after the Re:Start Mall outlet closed recently.

The decor features church pews, chalkboards, table legs fashioned from axes, and a unique handsaw chandelier. There is no television.

"We want people to engage and have a conversation," McCorkindale said.

The Press