Johannesburg is a considerably large and spread-out city with a whole other world nestled in the creviced alleyways of her ageing skin. This world is bursting with life and sounds sometimes seemingly from another dimension and with so many sensory avenues to explore, there’s something for everyone’s musical and dining taste. Leora Hart brings you a selection of venues in and around Gauteng, where time becomes nonexistent, and dinner against the backdrop of bass tones and Jon Bonham drum grooves is only just the beginning.
If you’re looking for a soulful way to spend a Thursday evening then look no further than the AfroCoustics weekly residency sets at Rockets in Bryanston. Afrocoustics showcases the finest in young African soul urban talent in Johannesburg. Every Thursday night showcases two South African artists live onstage at Rockets. From the likes of headliners such as Amanda Black and Rowlene to young breakthrough acts such as Simple Stories, Lloyiso, Tony Bala, John Tsenoli and Wandile Mbambeni, this is a venue that gives pure local talent a chance to groove with their audience, no holds barred. Come dine at Rockets and watch soul-infusing artists perform every Thursday evening from 9pm. Afrocoustics is also live-streamed on PockitTV Facebook. Rockets also host resident DJ’s on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. Truly a place to chill out and experience a one of a kind auditory experience.
Where: 86 Hobart Centre, Hobart Grove, Bryanston
When: Monday – Thursday 7.30am – 11.30pm | Friday – Sunday 7.30am – 2am | Rooftop Hours: Sunday 4pm – 11.30pm | Afrocoustics: Every Thursday 9pm – 11.30pm
Tel: 087 727 2777 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: www.rocketslife.tv | www.pockittv.mobi
Facebook: @RocketsLife | @pockittv | Instagram: @rockets.life | @pockittv
If you’re a person with an eye for eccentric oddities and bohemian rapture then Railways Cafe is the place for you. This privately-owned establishment is rife with life and love and it can be seen in the layout, live music and delicious food. The menu at Railways Cafe is described as “local and lekker” and Railways makes a conscious effort to purchase all fresh vegetables, meat and poultry within an 80km radius. Trainees are rotated to expose them to the different environments of the large property and provide them with the opportunity to experience different lifestyles. Live Music has been the core of Railways Cafe since its birth and they strive to keep the live music industry on its toes. Shows are held every weekend and can be followed on their events page starting with the Good Life Festival hosted by Railways Cafe on the 7th of December.
Where: 2 Hack road, Irene, Centurion
When: Wednesday – Sunday 11am – late | The Good Life Festival: Saturday 7 December 2019
Tel: 084 018 5098 | Email: email@example.com
Website: www.railwayscafe.co.za | The Good Life Festival Event Link
Facebook: @RailwaysCafe | Instagram: @railwayscafe
You may be blown away when you visit Snatch 32, wondering if you’ve made a wrong turn somewhere but no, once the music gets going you’ll know you’re at the right stop. Celebity stylist to and Snatch 32 owner Rory Sandilands has made double the impact with this property by creating a successful hair salon by day serving many a noted celebrity from the likes of Ed Sheeran to PJ Powers and by dusk, having the venue transform into a champagne, gin and music bar hosting bands and artists from the likes of Dan Patlansky to the Runaway Train Cult. Trendy, chic and chilled, Snatch 32 is the place to be to get your weekend off to a good start. With a fine selection of drinks and beers available and an artisanal menu on hands, you’ll be well-equipped to groove the night away with pure local talent.
Events: Fri 6 Dec: Snatch32 presents Anna Wolf | Sat 7 Dec: Bye Beneco & Luma live at Snatch32 | Fri 13 Dec: Depeche Mode fan party | Sunday 15 Dec: Monkey Shoulder Malt Whiskey presents Funky Monkey Sundays
Where: 32, 7th avenue, Parktown North, Randburg, Johannesburg
When: Tuesday – Saturday 12pm – 12am | Sunday 12pm – 6pm | Monday Closed
Tel: 011 447 4660/1 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: @snatch32 | Instagram: @snatch32bar
If you find yourself looking for a place to lay your thoughts to rest whilst rolling through the urban side of the East Rand, look no further than Tilt Restaurant and Bar. Renowned for its relaxed atmosphere with subtle dabs of sophistication and elegance, this place is a gypsy of venues and has something up her sleeves for all. From swigging shots and rocking out on Friday nights to dancing the night away with beat-dropping DJ’s on a Saturday to sipping cocktails whilst listening to laid back live acoustic sets on a Sunday this family-run establishment has put themselves on the map when it comes to preserving the multitude of diverse tastes music has to offer. Tilt is also a perfect venue for birthdays, celebrations and corporate functions; a truly winning time out all round.
Where: 14 Bentel Avenue, Jansenpark, Boksburg North
When: Tuesday – Thursday 12pm – 10pm | Friday – Saturday 12pm – 2am | Sunday 12pm – 7pm | Monday Closed
Tel: 011 823 2485 | Email: email@example.com
Nights in Norwood will never be the same again thanks to the recent opening of the bar and live music venue, Frank’s Wild Years. The name is attributed to the Tom Waits album and song of the same title and the venue breathes the same character as the raspy singer. Johannesburg has been far overdue for a ciggy-smoke hep-cat cool venue to remind us of the crazy carnival of life. Open for a few months and already hosting some of South Africa’s leading names in local music like Desmond and the Tutus, Albert Frost, the Black Cat Bones and Southern Gypsey Queen, Frank’s is the place to go when you want to join the rest of the crowd who refuses to do what the system tells them to.
Where: 63 Grant Avenue, Norwood, Johannesburg
When: Tuesday – Thursday 12pm – 12am | Friday – Saturday 12pm – 2am | Sunday 12pm – 9pm | Monday Closed
Tel: 010 040 2953 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Frank’s Wild Years
Set in the trendy neighbourhood of Bedfordview with sections both up and downstairs, a diverse menu, an upstairs bar with stage and option for VIP seating, Bailey’s is the bar that brings that much more. With a big screen and four smaller units, this is the perfect venue to watch live sports fixtures or host a private event. Bailey’s is the place to go for their renowned Beeg 80’s parties and weekly rotation of local South African music talent. Their beautiful gin garden and cocktail lounge in the downstairs section is a tranquil setting with lounge suites to laze around on, as well as regular dining tables for those who want to have a sit-down meal and drink. There is additional seating outdoors, with screens and fairy lights to add to the ambience and for the animal lovers out there, they are a dog friendly facilities during daytime trading.