For the first time in many years Cape Town has seen barely any restaurant closures this winter. There have never been so many chefs leaving their employers to start their own restaurants, or to join other employers! An unusually high number of new restaurants have opened or will do so in the next month or two.
This list of restaurant openings and closings, restaurant staff movements, and winter holiday closures, is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Chef Chris Erasmus has opened his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek, having previously been at Pierneef à La Motte.
* Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen has opened Street Food below the neighbouring hotel, offering Deluxe coffee, pastries, and Asian-inspired lunch take-outs. Operates from 7h00 – 15h00 Monday – Friday.
* Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.
* The Butcher Shop & Grill is opening next to Sotano in Mouille Point.
* Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) is opening a steak restaurant in Muizenberg in November.
* Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht (of Burrata) are opening a new restaurant Bocca on the corner of Bree and Wale Streets, ‘more low key, more Bree Street, more user-friendly‘, with an Italian pizza oven too. They are also taking over the River Café (renaming it) at Constantia Uitsig.
* Hard Rock Café has returned to South Africa, and has opened the first of four branches on Mandela Square in Johannesburg. Branches in Cape Town, Pretoria, and Durban are planned.
* The Local Grill steak restaurant from Johannesburg has opened in Woodstock, on Albert Road, with a microbrewery to open shortly.
* NV-80 has opened in the Checkers building in Sea Point.
* Baked in the Wood is to open in Woodstock in 2015, offering craft beer and tapas, and is owned by Zahir Mohamed of Baked Bistro.
* @Food & Wine has opened in Hermanus.
* Franky’s Diner has opened on Main Road, Sea Point.
* Beijing Opera has opened on Rose Street.
* The Lunch Depot has opened.
* Hard Pressed Café has opened at the bottom of Bree Street.
* Casa du Sol Grill House has opened in Claremont.
* Borage Bistro has opened with Chef Frank Marx, previously of The Fat Duck, Dinner with Heston, La Colombe, The Test Kitchen, and The Pot Luck Club
* Charcoal Dining has opened where Chef’s Warehouse was previously.
* The Depot has opened.
* Isola has opened on Wale Street (but seems closed most days lately).
* Thornton Whites Gastro Bar has opened
* Strandcafé has opened in Strand.
* Catacombs Bar has opened below La Parada on Bree Street
* The Lanique Bistro & Bar within Andiamo has opened
* DeKapo has opened as a Halaal restaurant in Mouille Point
* Anthony’s has opened in Durbanville
* Plan B Bar and Café has opened
* Flames and View have opened in the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff in Johannesburg, with Chef Dirk Gieselmann, previously of 3 Michelin star Auberge de I’ll in France.
* Greg’s Souvlaki has opened in Newlands
* Yo Meatball has opened on Roeland Street
* Lucky Fish is opening in Wynberg.
* Chef Craig Cormack has opened a Pop-Up Pizza & Pasta Restaurant next to the Allée Bleue’s winetasting centre, open until end September.
* CreATE Inspirational Café has opened in Stellenbosch.
* Honest Chocolate Café will open next to Honest Chocolate on Wale Street in the next month or two.
* Brandon of the Caveau Crew is opening The Lady Ava in Mouille Point!
* Crisp, ‘purveyors of fine produce’, has opened as a deli and coffee shop in Franschhoek.
* Cold Press Juice Bar has opened in the Cape Quarter.
* Kokkedoor judge and Chef Nic van Wyk and Roxy Laker have opened bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards (Welmoed) in September.
* Izakaya Matsuri has opened in The Rockwell in Green Point, belonging to the same owner as Genki in Stellenbosch
* Piazza Italia has opened on Park Road in Gardens.
* Shift has opened as a coffee shop in Cape Royale Luxury Hotel
* Pasta Cafe has opened in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel
* Tasha’s is opening in Canal Walk
* Localé Cocktail & Pincho Bar is opening in Mowbray, as a joint venture between Baked Bistro and Starlings Café
* Long-established Five Flies has closed down.
* Barouche restaurant at Blaauwklippen has closed down
* Jewel of India on Rose Street has closed down.
* Casparaus has closed down in Stellenbosch
Restaurant chef/staff/venue changes
* Morgenster is planning a new restaurant with an (very big name) international partner, a Café, a Deli, and accommodation, a project which is still in development phase, but is planned to roll out in summer.
* Fyndraai will be moving into a new restaurant building on Solms-Delta, making space for the current restaurant venue to become the tasting room.
* Haas is moving to Buitenkant Street on 12 September.
* Manna Epicure has been bought by Agnés and Johannes van der Westhuizen, previously of Die Sitrus in Citrusdal.
* Chef Bruce Robertson has moved from Scarborough to Simon’s Town, opening The Flagship guest house and a 16 seater restaurant.
* Ocean Basket has opened in Camps Bay, where Bayside Café used to be.
* The Gallery Restaurant at South Hills has opened in Elgin, where Chef Gordon Manuel used to run his restaurant.
* Le Quartier Français GM Linda Coltart has left after 16 years.
* Traümerei has changed its name to Café Franschhoek.
* Fisherman’s Catch has closed, after re-opening twice this year. It has a new sign West Coast Farm Stall and Coffee Shoppe, but it does not appear to have opened yet! Now a new Addiction sign has been erected!
* Chef Andres Condé, formerly from elBulli and Tickets Michelin-star restaurants, has joined the Harbour House Group. He will eventually open a fine dining restaurant in the Constantia Nek restaurant building
* Good Food & Co in Franschhoek has re-opened with a new owner, Warren McNicol. Previous Chef Kim will return.
* The Company’s Garden Restaurant will be taken over by the Zingara Group, and renamed Haarlem & Hope. It will open in Spring.
* The River Café will re-open at Constantia Uitsig, with a new name, and operated by Neil Grant and his business partner Barry Engelbrecht of Burrata, opening in September/October.
* Chef Carl Penn of Pedlars on the Bend has opened Alcantra in the former Don Pedro in Woodstock.
* Carne Bistro has opened on Kloof Street, where Caffe Milano was, and another Carne is said to be opening in Wynberg.
* Mange Tout at Mont Rochelle in Franschhoek has been renamed Miko.
* Chef Jackie Cameron has left Hartford House, and opens the Jackie Cameron School of Food and Wine in Hilton in January.
* Luvey ‘n Rose has reopened on Loop Street.
* Chef Gerald van der Walt of The Greenhouse at Cellars-Hohenhort has joined The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français as Head Chef.
* La Colombe has moved out of Constantia Uitsig, to re-open at Silvermist in Hout Bay in October.
* Chef PJ Vadas has left Camphors at Vergelegen, to open his own restaurant and brewery The Hog House in Cape Town.
* Rocca in the Cape Quarter has been sold to new owner Ken, and in September will change its name to Celtic Cove.
* La Parada is opening in part of the former Constantia Nek restaurant building
* Umi restaurant in Camps Bay has been halved in size, and La Belle Café has opened in the other half. It is a sister restaurant to the one based in The Alphen, also being part of the Kovensky Group.
* &Union has changed ownership, having been bought by Jason Lilley of Jason’s, and its name to WeinHaus & Biergarten.
* Jamie’s Italian is opening in the V&A Waterfront, when the Sevruga lease expires, Chef Jamie Oliver already having restaurants in Canada, Australia, Dubai, Ireland, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, and Turkey.
* The Daily Deli in Tamboerskloof has changed owners, and will change its name to the Blue Café.
* 1800° Bistro at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel has re-opened as The Banting Kitchen.
* Amy and Marc Botes have taken over Mozzarella Bar from Giorgio Nava on Kloof Street, and renamed it Chalk & Cork.
* Burgundy in Hermanus has been sold to Willem and Estie Steyn, who in turn have sold Savannah. They also own @Food and Wine in Hermanus.
* Ryan’s Kitchen has left its location within Rusthof due to renovations to the building. It will re-open in November, at the former Pistachio Bistro in Place Vendome in Franschhoek.
* Wakaberry on Kloof Street has moved to the Cape Quarter
* Dylan Jacobs is the new Executive Chef at Café Caprice, previously with Five Flies.
* 65 on Main has changed its name to 65 on Main Lifestyle Food & Banting Café
* Khuselo Mputa is leaving Aubergine, and starting at Grande Provence as Sommelier and Restaurant Manager on 1 September.
* Xolani Mancotywa has joined La Residence as Sommelier and Beverage Manager.
* Llewellyn Lambert has joined The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz as Restaurant Manager.
* Chef Michael Cooke from La Colombe has joined Camphors at Vergelegen as Executive Chef, taking over from PJ Vadas.
* Chef Gary Richardson leaves Stables at Vergelegen at the end of August, opening his own restaurant in Harfield Village in November.
* Restaurant Manager Jason van Heerden is leaving Stables at Vergelegen, returning to Brisbane. Marvin Seekoei is the new Manager.
* Chef Stefan Danz of Babylonstoren is joining Stables at Vergelegen as Executive Chef.
* Grande Roche is on the market.
* The management of Tokara has taken over the management of Tokara DeliCATessen.
* Aroma Café has opened on Loop Street.
* Maison is opening a Deli offering tapas type dishes to pair with its winetasting in October.
* Ashley Moss is the new Head Chef at The Greenhouse.
* The Salmon Bar in Franschhoek has been sold again, after just a few months. The new owners take over on 1 September.
* Chef Christiaan Campbell of Delaire Graff is moving to Boschendal in mid-October.
* Chef Brad Ball of Bistro Sixteen82 is leaving mid-September and moving to Pedlars on the Bend.
* Belsol Portuguese restaurant opening in Camps Bay, where Luigi’s used to be
* Truffle has opened where Leaf, Portofino, and The Showroom used to be.
* The Executive Club at the Westin Cape Town has changed its name to On 19.
* Chef Oliver Cattermole has left Mondiall and joined the Leeu Collection.
* Chef Nick Blazic has left Truffle restaurant, and has been replaced by Ryan Brown.
* Chef Marile van Niekerk has left Craft Wheat & Hops to join LUST Bakery & Bistro at Vrede en Lust as Head Chef.
Temporary restaurant holiday closures
* Boschendal has closed, for an extensive renovation as a wedding destination, over winter. A new restaurant operator is expected to be appointed for the summer.
* The Bungalow, Clifton: closed until 28 August
* Mange Tout/Miko and The Country Kitchen at Mont Rochelle are closed for renovations until August.
* The Kitchen at Maison: 2 June – 4 August
* Marianna’s: closed from 15 June for winter
* Makaron at Majeka House: 26 June – 1 August
* Buitenverwachting: from 28 June
* Charly’s Bakery is closed until the end of July.
* The Greenhouse: 29 June – 31 July
* Balducci: 29 June – 31 July
* The Piano Bar is closed from 13 – 27 July
* The Pot Luck Club: 14 – 27 July
* Haute Cabriere: 14 July – 4 August
* Leopard’s Leap Rotisserie: 15 July – 5 August
* Eight to Go at Spier: closed until 1 August
* La Colombe: closed until end September
* Springfontein Eats is closed until 4 September
* Tokara DeliCATessen will be closed for renovations in September.
* Mynt in Camps Bay has re-opened.
* Ryan’s Kitchen is opening in the former Pistachio Bistro in Place Vendome in Franschhoek in November.
* Haas will be closed from 1 – 11 September before opening on Buitenkant Street on 12 September.
We welcome all restaurant news – please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage