Tough winter for Cape restaurants, many restaurant and staff changes!


Four & 20 Cafe via The Pretty BlogNo significant events have been planned to attract visitors to Cape Town and the Winelands this winter, and it appears to be the worst winter ever experienced by the hospitality industry in the Cape.  A surprise is the number of restaurant changes, as well as the the movement of staff  between restaurants.   Given the poor winter business, many restaurants have taken/are taking generous winter breaks. This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:

Restaurant Openings

*    Four & Twenty Café and Pantry has opened in Wynberg

*   The Crypt Jazz Restaurant has opened below St George’s Cathedral.

*   Orphanage Cocktail Emporium is opening Orphanage Club upstairs, with 1920’s style music by live performers, later this year.

*   Cavalli restaurant on the stud farm on the R44 must be opening shortly, as Carl Habel has left the Mount Nelson Hotel as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier to join the restaurant.

*   Shake your Honey is to open in the original Madame Zingara building on Loop Street next year, after renovations commence later this year, according to an iolTravel report.  The ‘vibrant spirit of India’ is to be reflected in the 5-storey building, with a theatre, markets, restaurants, and shops.

*   Burger King has opened its (second) Tygervalley branch. Branches at Cavendish and at Grandwest are to open soon. *   A new restaurant and micro brewery is to open next door to The Bromwell in Woodstock (name not yet known).

*   The Harbour House group is opening La Parada Spanish Tapas restaurant on Bree Street, with a subterranean bar.

*   Goloso Pizzeria has opened in Regent Road Sea Point.

*   Chef Reuben Riffel is to open an artisanal beer bar. *   The Re:Public has opened in Hout Bay.

*   Lounge on Main is to open in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel in Green Point

*   Sinns on Long Street has opened.

*   BBQ has opened within Simon’s at Groot Constantia, only open on Friday and Saturday evenings, with braai and live music.

*   Woodcutters Arms has opened in Hout Bay.

*   Bukhara has opened in the V&A Waterfront. *   Haiku has opened in the V&A Waterfront.

*   Pomo Doro Pizzeria & Ristorante has opened in Steenberg.

*   Reuben’s Paternoster is opening at Abalone House in October!

*   Tours Brasserie is said to open in the ex-Green Dolphin in the V&A Waterfront. *   Platform 1 Eatery has opened at Winters Drift Tasting Station in Elgin.

*   Pure Good has opened downstairs in the Associated Magazines building opposite Parliament, and is owned by Shannon Smuts, the first MasterChef SA Finalist to have been eliminated.

*   Vida e Caffe is opening in Belvedere Square in Claremont.

*   The Creamery Café is opening in Newlands Quarter in Dean Street in August.

*    The Clubhouse has opened in Constantia

*   Beerhouse has opened on Long Street, with 16 beers on tap and 99 bottled beers from around the world.

*   TriBakery is opening on 22 Bree Street in August.

*   La Frasca has opened in Gardens.

*   Vida e Caffe is said to be opening coffee shops at Shell petrol stations, 40 initially and 300 in total.

*   Umi Asian restaurant is opening in the Camps Bay Promenade, owned by The Kovensky Group.

*   Black Pig Restaurant is opening on Kloof Street.

*   Tokai Italian Kitchen is to open in the Newlands Quarter.

*   Café Alfredo has opened in the Alfred Mall in the V&A Waterfront.

*   Mumbai Café has opened below Jewel of India on the corner of Wale and Rose Streets.

*   Tipples Bar & Grill is opening in Durbanville. *   Diesel & Creme, a diner, restaurant, and coffee shop, is opening on the R62 in Barrydale.

*   The House of Machines has opened on Shortmarket Street, building motorcycles, offering good Evil Twin coffee, and serving very healthy food.

*   Baked Bistro is opening another branch in the Groot Constantia Centre

Restaurant Closures

*  Café Benedict has closed down in Franschhoek.

*   Cotage Fromage at Vrede en Lust has closed down.

*   Caviar has closed down in the V&A Waterfront.

*   Umami in Stellenbosch has closed down.

*     The Common Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek has closed down.

*   It’s a House in De Waterkant has closed.

*   Casparus in Stellenbosch is possibly closing down.

Restaurant staff/venue changes

* De Oude Bank Bakkerij has expanded and moved to the corner of Church and Bird Street, opposite Vida e Caffe, with De Brasserij beer and wine bar, and a retail section selling charcuterie and fresh meats, home-made ice cream, coffee, breads, organic fruit and vegetables, dairy products, and wines, collectively called Schoon De Companje.

*      Café Le Chocolatier has closed down in Franschhoek, and has re-opened inside Apprentice in Stellenbosch.  A second branch is opening on Church Street in Stellenbosch.

*  Awestruck has opened in the ex-Caveau space on Bree Street.

*   Sage Restaurant has moved to Chabivin Champagne and MCC House on the Blaauwklippen Road.

Massimo’s in Hout Bay has changed its name to Amici di Massimo’s for 10 – 12 months, to be run by Johan, while Massimo undergoes medical treatment in Italy. It will revert back to Massimo’s when they return.

El Burro has opened Cabrito bar, in a section of the downstairs ex-Rhapsody space.

*   The Odyssey Gastropub has opened where French Toast & Wine Bar was on Bree Street, now run by Blues’ owners.

*   Wakame sister restaurant from Johannesburg, called Koi Restaurant, will be opening at the Ambassador Hotel in August, where Salt was.

*   Sensei Deon de Jongh has moved from Okamai at Glenwood to Funiki Japanese Eatery at L’ermitage in Franschhoek. *   Wolfgang Leyrer is handing over to Ansgar Flaatten as MD of Allée Bleue in Franschhoek in September.

*   Luke and Jessie Grant (ex-Nook in Stellenbosch) have taken over The Table at De Meye.

*   Peter Veldsman’s Emily’s, previously in Woodstock and the V&A Waterfront, is opening at 55 Kloof Street.

*   Chef Henrico Grobbelaar has left the Twelve Apostles Hotel, and Christo Pretorius is the new Acting Executive Chef.    Chef Chris Mare of Blaauwklippen is moving to the Twelve Apostles Hotel as Executive Sous Chef.

*   Ronel Smidt is the new Manager at Catharina’s at Steenberg, previously at Dear Me.

*   Roberto’s on Long Street has closed down, Chef Roberto de Carvalho having returned to the One&Only Hotel as Executive Chef.

*   The Tecklenburgs have closed down their No 6 Restaurant at Welbedacht, and have re-opened Oude Wellington Restaurant.

*   Chef Eric Bulpitt has left The Roundhouse, and consulted to Harbour Hose for two months before opening his own restaurant ‘in the Overberg.  He is taking over the former Heaven at Newton Johnson, as Chef Stefan Louw has left the restaurant, and renaming it The Restaurant at Newton Johnson. George Jardine of Jordan’s is his business partner and financier.  It opens mid-September.

*   Chef Louisa Greeff has moved from Guardian Peak Restaurant to Durbanville Hills Winery Restaurant.

*   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 over the next 13 months.  Sofia’s closed down on the wine and olive estate earlier this year.

*   Eleanor Niehaus and Warwick Taylor  have been appointed as in-house chefs at Creation wine estate. *   Trinity is to change its name to Bennett Street Complex.

*   Gorgeous Bubbly Bar has changed its name to Catharina’s Bubbly Bar at Steenberg.

*   Mon Plaisir restaurant has closed down at Chamonix wine estate in Franschhoek. Reuben Riffel is the new operator of the planned Bistro, but will not be visible, and he will not name the restaurant after himself. The name is Racine, it has been announced.

*   Ivor Jones has been appointed as Head Chef at The Test Kitchen.

*   Joanne and Peter Kunz have bought The Original Deli in Hermanus.

*   Giulia has closed down on Main Road Green Point, and 65 on Main has opened in its place.

*   Mynt Café  has opened where Bar1 used to be in Camps Bay.

*   Chef Lapo Magni has left The Odyssey, and is opening his The Drunken Tuscan stand at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in September.

*   De Brasserie has opened where Kaapzicht was on Beach Road, Strand, and belongs to the Almenkerk wine estate.

*   Sarah Baker has moved across to the Wholesale division of Wild Peacock, focusing on the supply of artisanal boutique cheeses.  Ruan Spence is the Manager of the Wild Peacock Emporium.

*   Robin Thomas has been appointed as Resort Manager at the One&Only Cape Town.

*   Le Coq is closing down in Franschhoek, and Allora is moving into the space in November, which will also have a hotel at the back of the building.

*   Michael Brown has been appointed Assistant Pastry Chef at the Taj Cape Town hotel, having studied at Capsicum Culinary Studio in Pretoria,  and with past experience at Café Mozart in Johannesburg, Panciera Confectioners, Addison Reserve luxury golf estate in the USA,  Fresh Meadows golf estate in New York, the Oyster Box Hotel, the The Alphen hotel, and the Winchester Mansions Hotel.  He is offering an Afternoon Tea at the hotel.

*   Chef Oliver Cattermole of Dish at Le Franschhoek hotel has left and is returning to Cape Town.  His new venture is still under wraps.

Restaurant winter breaks

*   Heaven restaurant will be closed for renovations for two months, opening with Chef/co-owner Eric Bulpitt in mid-September, with new name The Restaurant.

*   Shimmy Beach Club is closed until mid-September.

We welcome all restaurant news – please e-mail us at

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:   Twitter:@WhaleCottage

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