Select Page

Words: Catherine Black | Images: Supplied

Even if you’re a seasoned Joburg local, you may not know that the small area sandwiched between Melville and Auckland Park is o­fficially named Richmond. The small web of streets contains media houses, o­ffice blocks, the Lancet Laboratories complex and residential apartments. It’s also a popular route for commuters on their way to the city centre and students on their way to campus.

With this in mind, photojournalist Antoine de Ras, a former long-term Richmond resident, had the idea to convert his photographic studio below his Menton Street apartment into a neighbourhood co­ffee/breakfast/lunch spot catering to the local community and passing commuters.

The result was The Richmond Studio Cafe, which he opened last November with his partner, former Sunday Independent journalist Mantombi Makhubele. With its mid-century furniture, wood accents and metal detailing, the interior has a unique retro-industrial feel, and is peppered with Antoine’s photographic paraphernalia in the background, from vintage cameras and flashbulbs that are part of his private collection, to his prints on the wall and old photographic slides that form a large light mosaic on the metal bathroom door.

“My original focus was on offering great co­ffee,” says Antoine, and he’s put a lot of e­ ort into being able to say he serves some of the best co­ffee in the area. He’s done this through a combination of knowledgeable baristas, quality equipment and a good supplier: Origin Coffee Roasting. For food, there’s a range of solid breakfast options, a variety of melts (with vegan and vegetarian options available) as well as burgers, ribs and chicken wings. “We use quality local suppliers wherever possible,” says Antoine. Suppliers include The Baker Brothers at 27 Boxes, which supplies him with a non-GMO sourdough bread, which contains no additives or preservatives.

While the restaurant is currently open for breakfast and lunch only, Antoine’s future plans include introducing a range of craft beers, with a view of turning the space into a part-time bar on some evenings. He’s also planning on hosting workshops and showcasing the work of local photographers, which is ideal given the space’s existing setup in terms of backdrop, layout and lighting. The Richmond Studio Cafe is already available for private evening events such as launches and parties.

With good co­ffee, a small but solid menu and its stylish retro feel (not to mention the Afro-fusion jazz soundtrack in the background), The Richmond Studio Cafe has a sense of old-school warmth that makes it a welcome neighbourhood addition.

 For more information on The Richmond Studio Cafe, phone 083 460 1967 or visit their Facebook page

Join Us!

Sign up for the Your Neighbourhood newsletter!