Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 3. 1965.
Latest addition to Wellington's meagre list of coffee bars with folk-singing is "The Balladeer" at 203 Willis Street, Co-owners of this new venture are Englishmen Martin Books and Don King.
The bar has been open about 10 days and though the present set-up is strictly functional, many changes are envisaged. At present, the bar opens about 8pm, but Martin intends to open at 2pm fairly soon. Regular singers include Don King, Val Murphy, Chris Wheeler, Max Winnie, Arthur Toms, and flamenco player, Trevor.
Martin said that though the onus was on folk-singing, the bar would welcome and promote Classical guitar players and encourage chess players and the Arts in general, throughout the day. He felt, and was perhaps right in saying, that the purpose of other such city bars was towards a direct presentation rather than the more intimate mingling he envisages.
Variety of food was limited though prices are nominal. There have been audiences of up to 40, and in the small room, this produces an appropriate atmosphere. The enterprise and obvious enthusiasm shown by the owners in starting the scheme is a good thing for those students interested in folk-singing etc., and if public reaction so far is any indication, "Balladeer" will become a Mecca in it's field.