Category Archives: Bars

Utopia Restaurant towers above all other restaurants in Cape Town, excellent elevated dining!

 

In my mind the Silo Hotel in the Waterfront was Cape Town highest restaurant and bar, although more bar on the 11th floor and restaurant on the 6th floor. A year ago that record was broken by Utopia when it opened as an Upmarket Bistro, in the Mirage building in De Waterkant, on the 15th floor, offering dining with a 360 degree view of the Mother City.

I was invited to try the 120-seater restaurant, which is a member of my Lockdown Sit-Down, Deliveries and Collection Facebook Group, for Lunch on Saturday, experiencing its Elevated Dining Restaurant and Bar.

Continue reading →

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SA Bar Awards 2020 winners announced, sadly some have closed down during Covid!

 

The SA Bar Awards 2020 reflected the state of the bar tendering industry of South Africa, it being announced that the event would be cancelled for this year as Lockdown gripped our country, and the Alcohol-serving establishments closing their doors as Covid regulations forbade them from operating during a large part of our five Level Lockdown. Sadly some bars became casualties of the Lockdown. Other bars have not even reopened. A delight was to see some of these Bars win Awards at the SA Bar Awards, which were resurrected as a virtual event held on Monday this week. Continue reading →

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President Cyril Ramaphosa announces that SA moves to Level 1 from 20 September at midnight, with easing of international travel and other restrictions!

 

President Ramaphosa announced the news that all South Africans have been waiting for, namely the easing of the country to Alert Level 1 from Sunday 20 September at midnight.  Excellent news is that international borders will be reopened, with strict conditions, as will local restrictions for gatherings and entertainment be eased, to 50% of its capacity. The Curfew hours will change to midnight until 4h00. Continue reading →

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Corona Virus: Lockdown Journey Journal, Day 17 of Level 2, 3 September 2020.

 

Thursday 3 September 2020, Day 17 of Level 2, Day 161 of Lockdown 😷

Corona Gratitude 🙏

#Grateful for a beautiful day of sunshine 🌞🌞🌞, feeling so much more cheerful; for getting my work done this morning before Loadshedding hit us the first time at midday, an opportunity to go for a Camps Bay walk; for receiving more financial Information from a Sandak-Lewin Accounts person super efficiently today 🙏; for a quick break, sitting at a table in the sun, to enjoy a slice of the super moist Carrot Cake at Manna Epicure, seeing owner Agnes Renault briefly; for friendly service from the German Butcher across the road; for meeting Jenny Stephens for tea at the recently reopened Woolworths WCafé in the Waterfront, seeing the team of René, Tracy and their male colleague, not having seen any of them in the past five months; for some walking steps on the way to Jenny’s car; for a one-hour wonder of having a chipped tooth fixed and topped with a crown 😊; for being able to dance 💃💃💃 again, first with the lovely DJ Candice Heyns, and then at La Parada Bree Street; for bumping into Gary Peterson and Thomas at Chefs Warehouse & Canteen; for getting home just in time to eat something quickly before our next load of Loadshedding at 20h00; and for being happy and healthy, a fabulous day. 🙏💙 Continue reading →

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Unbanning of alcohol sales is not preventing Cape Town & Winelands restaurants from closing down, yet a few new ones are bravely opening! (September 2020)

 

On my latest Restaurant Closure list I have more than 70 Restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands which have closed down, an increase of 20 Restaurant Closures in the past month. Sadly the unbanning of Alcohol has not prevented further Restaurant Closures in Cape Town and the Winelands in the past month.

The Restaurant Closure and Opening Lists are updated continuously throughout the month.

The Restaurant industry is one of the hardest hit due to the Corona Virus in South Africa, having had to endure five weeks of complete closure, then restricted to Food Deliveries in May, allowed to offer Alcohol Sales and Food Collections during June, and now allowed to offer Sit-Down Service without on-site alcohol consumption since Monday 29 June.  As an industry employing an estimated 800000 employees, the UIF and TERS problems it has had to endure in receiving (or not) staff payment has exacerbated the state of the restaurant industry, described by Chefs Warehouse Chef Liam Tomlin earlier this week as being reduced to nothing more than one of Coffee shops! A number of restaurants have decided to reopen for Sit-Down Service for the first time since the Lockdown, given that they can now offer on-site consumption of alcoholic beverages, while some will continue to offer the Delivery and Collection of Food.

A shock closure announced by Chef Luke Dale Roberts during Lockdown Level 5 was that of The Shortmarket Club.  Myoga at the Vineyard Hotel, Buitenverwachting Restaurant (under the guidance of Chef Edgar Osojnik for the past 20 years), The Stack, Clarke’s, Exhibit A of top chef Rikku O’Donnchü, Terroir at Klein’s Zalze, and The Kitchen of Karen Dudley have also thrown in the towel, with many other Restaurants too.  (see below)

New restaurant openings seem unlikely in the next few months, with winter lying ahead, and restaurant cash flows depleted due to the Corona Lockdown. Chef Peter Tempelhoff announced the opening of a new ‘funky’ restaurant in Cape Town on Kfm a few months ago, but no further details of its name, location, or opening date are known. A good news story is the reopening of Tintswalo Kitchen, with a new name, new menu, and headed up by Executive Chef Sean Klebbe, formerly of The Shortmarket Club. Surprisingly Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg has left his own restaurant Janse & Co, but his future plans have not yet been revealed, other than that his next venture will be in Cape Town. The Village n Life Group, owners of The Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, Pezula in Knysna, and The Farmhouse Hotel in Langebaan, is looking for ‘dynamic operational teams to take over incredible restaurant spaces’. 

 

PLEASE NOTE:  The List of Restaurant Closures below is the property of WhaleTales Blog, and may not be copy-and-pasted. It may only be used and shared as a Blogpost:

Restaurant Closures since Lockdown:

#   The Shortmarket Club

#    La Bottega in Woodstock.

#    Empire Café in Muizenberg.

#    SMAK Delicatessen and Eatery.

#    Buitenverwachting Restaurant in Constantia.

#    The Deli Coffee Co in the V & A Waterfront

#    Under Oaks, Paarl (re-opened for Sit-Down, previously reported as Closed Down)

#    Craft Burger Bar, Sea Point,

#.  The Butcher, Camps Bay

#   La Franca, Gardens

#   Go Go, Bree Street

#   The Butcher, Sea Point

#.  Cold Gold Artisanal ice-cream (reopened for Delivery in partnership with For Food’s Sake) )

#   StarGarden Café, Fish Hoek

#   Oven Baked, Muizenberg

#   Noordhoek Café & Deli

#.  Kalk Bay Theatre

#   The Kitchen, Woodstock

#   Bay Expresso

#  Mugg & Bean, Constantia

#   Jessy’s Waffles, Camps Bay

#  Chi Cha in Sea Point

#   Ocean Blue in Camps Bay (reopened 18 July)

#   Black Horse, Stellenbosch

#   The Trumpet Tree, Stellenbosch

#   Tolhuis Bistro, Ceres

#   Maker’s Mark, Tulbagh

#   Thai Food Sushi, Sea Point

#   Meraki, Stellenbosch

#   All Things Good, Stellenbosch

#   Mama Cucina, Riebeeck-Kasteel

#   Brownies & Downies, City Centre

#   Dahlia on Regent, Sea Point (closed down, reopened weekends only)

#   The Larder, Claremont

#  Café Blouberg,  Bloubergstrand

#   Jason’s, Bree Street Branch

#   Koffi Terapi, Durbanville

#  Blasters Family Restaurant, Cape Gate.

#  Fláva, Wilderness

#  The Fat Greek, Table View

#   Myoga, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands

#   Schwarma Express, Sea Point Branch

#  The Stack, Gardens

#   Two and Sixpence Tavern, Simon’s Town (after 21 years)

#   Perseverance, Gardens (oldest pub in Cape Town)

#   Fire Monkey, Claremont

#   Cattle Baron, Tokai

#  Clarke’s, Bree Street

#   Masala Dosa Restaurant, Long Street

#   Vicious Virgin Bar, Wale Street

#   Exhibit A, Bree Street

Exhibit A in Cape Town the first Fine-Dining Restaurant to close down due to the Corona Lockdown!

#  Den Anker, V&A Waterfront (temporarily)

#  Frankie Fenner, Durbanville

#   Dale’s Black Angus, The Paddocks, Milnerton

#  TableThirteen, Green Point (end August)

#  Ton Khoon, Tyger Waterfront

#   Terroir, Stellenbosch.

#   Daniela’s Deliciously Decadent, Cape Quarter.

#   Batavia Café, Bo-Kaap – announced its closure and has now reopened with new owners

#   Addis in Cape Ethopian Restaurant

#  Fork on Long Street

#   Pastis, Constantia

#   Yumcious Café, Durbanville

#   Aces & Spades, City centre.

#  Guilio’s Café, Loop Street

#  De Wijnhuis, Stellenbosch

#  Café Mozart, Church Street

#  Active Sushi, Hudson Street

#  Amore, Kenilworth

#.  Primi Muizenberg

#   Primi Eden on the Bay

#   Primi Willowbridge

#   Mink & Trout, Bree Street

 

Restaurant Openings (During Lockdown)

#   Regent Burger Bar has opened where Craft Burger Bar was on Regent Road in Sea Point.

#  Chef Liam Tomlin is said to be working on the former HQ space, either to establish a new restaurant there, or to expand his Chefs Warehouse Canteen on Bree Street, being in the same building.

#   Ciao Pizza, Long Street.

#  The Eatery and Wine Bar at Silver Forest Boutique Lodge and Spa, Somerset West, with Chef Michael Broughton, previously with Terroir.

#   Firefly Café, Camps Bay is opening shortly.

#   Chef Chen Sushi Bar op-up, The Point Mall, Sea Point.

#   Floozies has opened on Kloof Street.

#  Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg is to open a new restaurant.

#  Fork is to open in Franschhoek later this year.

#   Entrée in Franschhoek opened today

#   Flower Café opened in Woodstock.

#   Jooma has opened in Sea Point

#   Tintswalo Kitchen, Hout Bay

New Tintswalo Kitchen just out of the ordinary, raises the food bar at Tintswalo Atlantic, with brand new kitchen team and new menu!

For a list of Restaurants currently open for Food Delivery and Collection as well as Sit-Down Service, see the Facebook Group I created at the beginning of May, updated daily: https://www.facebook.com/groups/261165661682371/?ref=share

 

Restaurant News

  1. Chef Calvyn Metior is the new Executive Chef at Monneaux Restaurant, previously Head Chef at La Motte.
  2. Chef Kayla-Ann Osborn has left The Chef’s Table in Umhlanga, now heading up the kitchen at Delaire Graff.
  3. Chef Scott Armstrong has rejoined JAN Restaurant in Nice as Sous Chef.
  4. Chef Nico Vorster has left La Paris Bistro outside Franschhoek.
  5. Bossa Stellenbosch and Die Strandloper suffered extensive fire damage during Lockdown.
  6. Chef Bell McCleod has left Bones in Woodstock, now heading up the Hemel & Aarde Brewery.
  7. Chef Henry and Mari Vigar have left La Mouette, now solely owned by Gerrit Bruwer, and have moved to take over their restaurant Upper Bloem in Green Point.
  8.  Chef Neill Anthony Vaughn has been appointed as the Culinary Advisor to La Mouette.
  9. Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg has left his restaurant Janse & Co, his next venture not yet known.
  10. Stellenbosch has introduced an innovative community-supported incentive to restaurant diners to pay by SnapScan, offering them a 50% discount, with a maximum of R400, presented as a voucher.
  11. Epice will be moving to the space of Le Petite Colombe at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek.
  12. Le Petite Colombe will move to Leeu Estates ‘in the coming months’.

Details of new restaurants opening, and of restaurant closures, are highly appreciated. chrisvonulmenstein@gmail.com

 

Photograph: The spectacular view onto Hout Bay from Tintswalo Kitchen at Tintswalo Atlantic. (Own photograph)

 

About Chris von Ulmenstein

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein

Note: My Blog is being showered with ads by Google, as are most other web-related articles. Please be assured that I have no control over this at all, and that I receive no revenue for this unauthorised usage of my Blog as its advertising platform.

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Lifting of alcohol leads to welcome reopening of restaurants which were closed during Levels 3 and 4!

 

While not all restaurants and their diners are happy that the Curfew has not been lifted, they are definitely happy that the alcohol sale ban has been lifted as of Tuesday 18 August.  A host of restaurants at all Levels have announced their reopening for Sit-Down, being restaurants that only offered a Food Delivery and Collection Service, or Restaurants that remained closed since the start of Lockdown on 27 March. However not all restaurants are reopening, some still waiting for the international tourists to arrive back. Continue reading →

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Regulations for Lockdown Alert Level 2 gazetted: No mention of lifting cigarette ban in regulations!

 

I was fortunate to receive a copy of the gazetted Lockdown Level 2 regulations prior to the presentation by Minister Dlamini-Zuma at a Media Livestream just after lunch time today.

 

The Regulations are as follows:

1. The Curfew remains in place, from 22h00 – 4h00

2. A mask must be worn at all times when leaving one’s home, including in public transport

3. No more than 50 persons may attend a funeral

4.  No evictions from own accommodation is allowed.

5.  Any disputes regarding rented accommodation must be heard by the Rental Housing Tribunal

6.  Gatherings are not allowed except for a funeral, a religious gathering, the workplace, conferences and meetings, cinemas (maximum of 50 persons), theatres, concerts, and live performances of up to 50 persons. casinos, auctions, sporting activities, weddings (limited to 50 persons), social events at one’s home with a maximum of 10 persons, fitness centres and gyms (maximum of 50 persons), sports fields, swimming pools (maximum of 50 persons), beaches, public parks, museums, galleries, libraries, Personal Care services, restaurants, bars (maximum of 50 persons), Taverns (maximum of 50 persons), Shebeens (maximum of 50 persons), tour operators, and all accommodation establishments including AirBnB (maximum of 50% of floor space).

7.  Night clubs are not allowed to open.

8.  The country’s borders remain closed except for ports (but cruise ship stops are still banned), and for approved flights for persons requiring international medical care, and for incoming and outgoing repatriation travel.

9.  Transport regulations: buses and taxis may not carry more than 70% for long distance travel, and 100% for any other travel; all passengers must wear a mask.

10.  Licensed on-consumption establishments may sell alcohol (no timing restrictions) , while licensed off-consumption outlets may sell alcohol on Mondays – Thursdays, from 9h00 – 17h00.

A shock is that the ban on cigarette sales, which the President announced would be lifted, is not mentioned in the gazetted Level 2 regulations at all. A news report by News24 states: ‘Level two has no provisions on tobacco, which means no restrictions or limits in the sale of cigarettes, vaping liquid, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, or anything associated with these products’.  In her speech, the Minister mentioned that cigarettes should be smoked responsibly, and should not be shared!

 

About Chris von Ulmenstein

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide

 

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Jubilation: Step down to Corona Lockdown Level 2, Alcohol and Cigarette bans lifted by President Ramaphosa, inter-provincial Travel opens up!

 

After 76 days at Level 3, and 66 days at Levels 5 and 4, President Ramaphosa this evening announced that the whole country will move to Lockdown Level 2 as of midnight on Monday 17 August, and has given the country a Christmas-in-August gift, with the cigarette and alcohol  bans lifted, the latter with some new regulations. Inter-provincial Travel will also be allowed. Continue reading →

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Corona Restaurant Closures in Cape Town & Winelands now at 53 (end July), 13 restaurants closed in the past month!

 

The tight controls over the Restaurant industry are taking its toll, the alcohol ban as well as Curfew announced on 12 July being a death knell for restaurants, more closing down completely. The most recent Curfew amendment on 30 July, in changing the starting time of the Curfew to 22h00, is of little benefit to restaurants and their diners.

On my latest Restaurant Closure list I have more than 50 Restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands which have closed down, an increase of 13 Restaurant Closures in the past month. (see below).

The Restaurant Closure and Opening Lists are updated continuously throughout the month.  Continue reading →

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Restaurants, Hospitality and Tourism trade go out onto the streets this week to protest the terrible conditions under which they have to trade during Lockdown!

 

The owners and staff of Restaurants, Coffee shops, and Bars, and related suppliers, will be heading out to the streets twice this week, to protest to the Government and raise awareness about the poor treatment the Restaurant Industry, Tourism Industry, and Hospitality Trade is experiencing, the Curfew and ban on alcohol sales announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 12 July being the final straw for an industry that has been most discriminated against during Lockdown in our country. Continue reading →

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