Cape Town - If you haven't heard already, the other City’s CBD is pretty damn popular. If you’ve walked through central Cape Town on the first Thursday of any given month, you’ll know what we're talking about.
South African Tourism visitor figures for 2015 shows the CBD has experienced good growth in visitor numbers that Cape Town's CBD received 883 000 tourists overall, about 109 000 more tourists when compared to 2014's 774 000 tourists, which was much lower than the tourists numbers in 2013 at 817 000.
But what we've found particularly interesting is that certain businesses are stepping up to take that city buzz a step further.
They've found ways to make laundry fun - eliminate the choice between lunching and shopping, and combining your passions for biking and baking – or at least baked goods.
Entrepreneurs are - on a micro-scale - creating the 21st century concept of old style department stores where you could buy your delicates in the same place as you intended to have lunch. In the modern world, though, innovation is the name of the game.
These new fusion enterprises are a must-know for Capetonians and a must-visit for tourists.
Imagine you could go to one place for drinks, food, a haircut, some exercise and even a tattoo. That’s the thinking behind House of H, recently launched by husband and wife team Heinrich and Christina Koen in Loop Street.
At the moment, it’s open on the ground floor for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When the rooftop “dude’s bar” opens in two months, you’ll get all the above and a whole lot more. It’ll have a resident barber, a resident tattoo artist, a gaming lounge and a virtual golf driving range – all overlooking the Central City skyline. You’ll also be able to buy local produce, including olive oil and herbs for your home.
Heinrich is a chef who has worked for Jamie Oliver as well as the Madame Zingara group. His latest venture brings together his passions for good food and entertaining, and is likely to become a popular multipurpose hangout, of which there are many in Cape Town’s CBD.
While you wait for House of H’s full bundle, here are some more places to explore, as suggested by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) -
The House of Machines
+ The bundle: Custom bike building, menswear and accessories, food, craft beer, superfood smoothies
A glass-enclosed bike workshop is the focal point of this Shortmarket Street hangout, where you can buy everything from a café racer to a café latte. It’s also a great place to get a guy a gift.
84 Shortmarket St
Find them on Facebook | 021 426 1400
Bikes Café and Cycle Boutique
+ The bundle: Custom city bikes, cycling-related gifts, coffee
This is a meeting point for bicycle tours of the Cape Winelands, but it’s also an inner-city coffee shop that stocks clothing and other cycling-related apparel.
32 Loop St
Bikes Café | 021 823 8790
I Love My Laundry
+ The bundle: Laundry and dry-cleaning services, coffee, dim sum, wine
One of the retailers that kick-started the multipurpose venue craze, I Love My Laundry, has two branches in the CBD. Get your washing or dry cleaning done while enjoying inexpensive dim sum and great but reasonably priced local and imported wines.
59 Buitengracht: 074 992 1481
50 Buitenkant St: 078 105 6280
Find them on Facebook Buitengracht and Facebook Buitenkant
Los Muertos Motorcycles
The bundle: Custom bike building, biking-themed apparel, coffee, cake
Like The House of Machines, Los Muertos Motorcycles was inspired by café racer culture. And now that there are two such coffee bars in town, motorcyclists really can recreate the 1960s.
31 Loop St
Find them on Facebook | 082 357 5097
Alexander Bar, Café and Theatre
The bundle: Theatre, comedy, light meals, craft beer, local wines and quiz nights
Open seven days a week, Alexander Bar, Café and Theatre serves food till midnight and has become a hub for lovers of live performance.
76 Strand St
Alexander Bar | 021 300 1088
Club9 and Dapper Coffee Co
+ The Bundle: Classic car sales, maintenance and detailing; light meals and coffee
Opened in December 2015, Club9 is a space to admire Mercs, Porsches and Ferraris (but mostly Porsches) over a cup of Dapper Special Blend. The cars are cool, the coffee’s hot and the food’s light and delicious.
Cnr Bree & Strand streets
Club9 | 021 422 2994
Dapper Coffee Co | 072 179 4953
Widow Maker Saloon & Barber
+ The bundle: A haircut, styling products, apparel, music, coffee
Widow Maker is not just a barbershop; it’s a space dedicated to making men look and feel good. Use the balcony to have a meeting or catch up on emails, or just grab a coffee and soak up some tunes.
309 Long Street
Find them on Facebook| 021 422 1209
Beautifull Food at Youngblood
+ The bundle: Lunch buffet, art sales
Beautifull Food is situated inside a three-storey gallery and is a fantastic place for a lunch meeting – try the “create a plate” buffet or all-day breakfast.
70-72 Bree St
Youngblood | 021 424 1960
+ The bundle: Coworking space, salad, coffee
This East City coworking hub is also home to a Maker Library and Chopchop, a leading exponent of the “fast slow food” movement in the Central City.
75 Harrington St
Chopchop | 063 285 4399
+ The bundle: Food, fashion, art
The owners of this hip Bree Street want you to experience a bit of surf culture. They sell portraits of surfers and clothing by Aussie surf labels, and are well known for putting a great meal on the table too.
165 Bree St
Latitude 33 | 021 424 9857
Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants and Publik Wine
+ The bundle: Ethical, sustainable meat and wine
Franke Fenner Meat Merchants is all about bringing you closer to the farmer. Publik Wine shares vintages from sustainably farmed vineyards. Together they make a compelling reason to visit upper Church Street.
81 Church St
Frankie Fenner Meat Merchant | 021 424 7204
+ The bundle: Bicycle hire, light meals, coffee, smoothies
Hire a bike – an hour will cost you just R50, which includes a helmet and lock – store your own bike here or get it repaired, and even grab a shower.
50 Waterkant St
Up Cycles | 074 100 9161
Honest Chocolate Café and The Gin Bar
+ The bundle: Handmade chocolate, gin cocktails
The artisanal chocolate sold at 64a Wale St is good enough reason to visit. Go the courtyard out back though and you’ll find a bonus, a Victorian-style bar specialising in four gin-based delights.
64a Wale St
Honest Chocolate | 076 765 8306
The Gin Bar | 060 606 6014
+ The bundle: Bicycles sales and maintenance, accessories, clothing, Truth coffee
Revolution Cycles’ father and son team know that buying a good bike is a long-term commitment. So they’ve created a lifestyle space where you can join the family and share a love of cycling.
177 Bree St
Revolution Cycles | 021 423 5191
+ The bundle: Photographic equipment sales and lab, mobile phone sales, Deluxe Coffeeworks coffee, gallery, training space, rooftop garden
Cameraland has been at the forefront of photo technology since 1958. In 2011 it underwent a revamp that turned its store into a full-on destination for technophiles.
68 Long St
Cameraland | 021 423 4150
House of H
+ The bundle: As previously mentioned, House of H is ideal for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It is described as a bar for 'dudes' and it plans on having an in-house barber and tattoo artist
112 Loop Street | 079 061 9826
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