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The Captain cook hotel
est. 1860

Welcome to The Captain Cook Hotel, one of the oldest pubs in New Zealand.  This year, new operators have rejuvenated this cultural icon, opening a gastropub & eatery downstairs, and a live music performance space and function venue upstairs.  

Our focus is to provide a warm and hospitable venue, for all people to enjoy the finer things in life.  We'd love to meet you, and welcome you to our space.

The Captain Cook Hotel, known affectionately by many as simply 'The Cook', has been a cultural anchor point for the City of Dunedin for almost as long as Dunedin has existed. Beginning as a wooden structure in 1860, surrounded by dusty roads and horse and carts, it was a popular watering hole for weary travellers, newly arrived settlers, and locals of the young city. 

Shortly later, in 1869, the University of Otago was established nearby, and The Captain Cook Hotel became a space where academics and students alike could sit down and share some ideas along with a beer or two. Many cultural luminaries including James K Baxter and Hone Tuwhare frequented the pub as a space to unwind and connect with an eclectic mix of minds. 

For many years, The Cook was known as the quintessential 'Student Pub', with queues stretching down the road in the weekends, eager to get their hands on some cheap jugs of beer and get amongst the fray. While many people do have fond associations of The Cook as a student drinking hole, the current incarnation is aiming to be much more accessible to a wider range of people, with a focus on good food, drinks, music and great times. 

For much of its life, The Cook has also been closely associated with the vibrant and evolving Dunedin Music scene. For several decades the upstairs pub has hosted bands from around New Zealand and around the world, and been one of the testing grounds for many Dunedin bands that went on to achieve international fame. Now iconic bands such as The Clean, The Chills, Toy Love, The Bats and many more have fond memories of early gigs played at The Cook. With our newly refitted venue space, we will be continuing this long standing tradition, bringing bands from far and wide, old and new, and of a diverse range of musical styles through our doors for all to enjoy.