Cape Town is seeing an amazing number of restaurant openings in mid-winter, a time during which one expects the opposite, it being usual to see restaurant closures. Although a concern to some, we are seeing a rise in restaurant entrepreneurs, opening more than one restaurant in Cape Town, including Neil Grant with business partner Barry Engelbrecht (opening on Bree Street, as well as at the former River Café; Michael Townsend of the Harbour House Group, who must be the fastest restaurant-opener at the moment, also bringing star Chef Andres Conde from Michelin star restaurants in Spain to Cape Town; and grumpy Giorgio Nava, who is opening two Carne restaurants shortly! This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* 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.
* Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.
* Lucky Fish & Chips has opened on Bree Street, on Regent Road in Sea Point, on Long Street, in Kalk Bay, and in Muizenberg, belonging to Harbour House group.
* The Butcher Shop & Grill is opening next to Sotano in Mouille Point.
* Ragafellows has opened on Main Road in Hout Bay.
* The Dogfather has opened in Sea Point.
* The Restaurant at Cape Point Vineyards has opened, with Chef Clayton Bell of the former Constantia Uitsig at the helm.
* Overgaauw Restaurant has opened, with owners Russel Wasserfall and Camilla Comins, previously of The Table at De Meye.
* Firebirds Restaurant & Deli has opened in Sea Point.
* The Thirsty Scarecrow has opened outside Stellenbosch.
* Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House emporium) is opening a steak restaurant in Muizenberg.
* 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.
* Mr Pickwick’s has opened on Kloof Street, above Ocean Basket.
* 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.
* Pescarne has opened in Hout Bay.
* NV-80 has opened in the Checkers building in Sea Point.
* Baked in the Wood is to open in Woodstock, offering craft beer and tapas, and is owned by Zahir Mohamed of Baked Bistro.
* @Food & Wine has opened in Hermanus.
* Franky’s Diner is opening on Main Road, Sea Point.
* Vida e Caffe and Kauai have opened in Portside on Buitengracht/Bree Street.
* 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 has opened with Chef Frank Marks, previously of The Fat Duck 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
* Thornton Whites Gastro Bar has opened
* Strandcafé has opened in Strand.
* Catacombs Bar has opened below La Parada on Bree Street
* The Lanique Bar within Andiamo has opened
* DeKapo has opened 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.
* Allée Bleue has opened a Pop-Up Pizza & Pasta Restaurant next to its 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 a new restaurant in Mouille Point!
* Apprentice in Stellenbosch has closed down.
* Season has closed down in Hermanus.
* Wakame has closed down in Green Point
* Newport Deli in Green Point has closed down
* Wafu has closed down in Green Point.
* Moyo in the V&A Waterfront and at Spier closed down.
* Long-established Five Flies has closed down.
* Barouche restaurant at Blaauwklippen has closed down
* Luvey ‘n Rose has closed down on Rose Street.
* Jewel of India on Rose Street has closed down.
* Caffe Milano on Kloof Street has closed down.
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.
* Le Coq has closed in Franschhoek, and Allora has moved into the space.
* Le Bon Vivant @ Glenwood Bistro has opened where Okamai used to be.
* 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.
* Miao Restaurant has opened in De Waterkant, where It’s a House was previously
* 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.
* Chef Chris Erasmus has left Pierneef à La Motte in June, and has opened his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek.
* Seelan’s Restaurant & Bar has opened on Quay 5 in the V&A Waterfront. Chef Seelan was previously at Shimmy Beach Club, The Grand Café, The Reserve Bistro, and La Perla.
* 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.
* Herman Brown has bought the Salmon Bar in Franschhoek, with Nigel Burch his new manager.
* Fisherman’s Catch has re-opened in Franschhoek.
* Craft has opened where Apprentice used to be in Andringa Street in Stellenbosch.
* Aldo du Plessis has left Grande Provence and has joined Boschendal.
* Keenwä has a new owner, German de la Melena having sold his restaurant.
* Chef Andres Condé, formerly from elBulli and Tickets Michelin-star restaurants, has joined the Harbour House Group.
* 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 is said to be opening El Cadre 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 at the building housing the former Parks, last operated by Michael copy-and-paste Olivier twelve years ago!
* Pierre Vosloo has bought Henri’s in Somerset West, and has been joined by Chef George Britton, previously with the Kleine Zalze Lodge.
* Chef Sam Wasserman and F&B/Restaurant Manager Conrad Meyer are recent appointments at Dash at the Queen Victoria Hotel.
* Mange Tout at Mont Rochelle in Franschhoek is to be renamed Miko.
* Chef Jackie Cameron is leaving Hartford House on 31 July, and opens the Jackie Cameron School of Food and Wine in Hilton in January.
* Luvey ‘n Rose has reopened on Loop Street in July.
* 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 September.
* Chef PJ Vadas leaves Camphors at Vergelegen at the end of July, goes to London for two months, and then returns to open his own restaurant and brewery The Hog House in Cape Town.
* Chef Gary Richardson from Stables at Vergelegen is leaving at the end of September.
* Rocca in the Cape Quarter has been sold to new owner Ken, and will change its name to Celtic Cove.
* The Harbour House Group has taken over the Top the Ritz Restaurant, probably putting in a Harbour House, and renaming it.
* La Parada is opening in part of the former Constantia Nek restaurant building
* Chef Andres Conde, who has joined the Harbour House Group from Michelin star restaurant Tickets in Barcelona, will open a restaurant in the other half of the former Constantia Neck restaurant building. A name has not been announced yet.
* Umi restaurant in Camps Bay has been halved in size, and La Belle Café has opened in the week of 7 July. It is a sister restaurant to the one based in The Alphen, having the same owner as Umi.
* &Union has changed ownership, and its name to WeinHaus & Biergarten.
* Jamie’s Italian is said to open 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 has changed its name to the Blue Café.
* 1800 Bistro at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel is closing down and re-opening as The Banting Kitchen in August.
* Amy and Marc Botes have taken over Mozzarella Bar from Giorgio Nava on Kloof Street.
Temporary restaurant 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 1 September
* Mange Tout/Miko and The Country Kitchen at Mont Rochelle are closed for renovations until August.
* The Kitchen at Maison: 2 June – 4 August
* Le Quartier Français: 9 June – 7 July
* Marianna’s: closed from 15 June for winter
* Pierneef à La Motte: 17 June – 11 July
* The Red Table Restaurant at Nederburg: 18 June – 8 July
* 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
* Terroir: 30 June – 17 July.
* De Grendel Restaurant: 30 June – 15 July
* Four & Twenty Café: 30 June – 14 July
* The Test Kitchen: 1 – 15 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 July and Augusr
* Springfontein Eats is closed until 4 September
We welcome all restaurant news – please e-mail us at email@example.com
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage