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 Grillhouse 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
* 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 is closing down in Green Point.
* Moyo in the V&A Waterfront and at Spier closed down.
* Long-established Five Flies has closed down.
* La Colombe is to close at Constantia Uitsig at the end of June, and is planning to relocate elsewhere in Constantia.
* 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.
Restaurant 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 is leaving Pierneef à La Motte in June, and is opening his own restaurant Foliage in Franschhoek in mid-July.
* 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, 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 is leaving after 18 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, and may have closed down already again.
* 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, is joining the Harbour House Group in June!
* 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.
* Caffe Milano is being transformed into Carne Bistro, and another Carne is said to be opening in Constantia.
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
* Caffe Milano: closed for renovations, until it re-opens as Carne Bistro
* Tokara : 26 May – 9 June
* Overture: 26 May – 11 June
* La Colombe: closed in June
* The Restaurant at Newton Johnson: 2 – 30 June
* The Kitchen at Maison: 2 June – 4 August
* 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
* Balducci: 29 June – 31 July
* Terroir: 30 June – 17 July.
* De Grendel Restaurant: 30 June – 14 July
* The Test Kitchen: 1 – 15 July
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