Pop-up bars have an air of mystery about them: they’re never stale and generally only the cool kids know about them. Here’s our lowdown on Jozi’s hottest ones:
The Union Bar
Probably the most established of the lot (as far as pop-up bars go), the Union Bar opened in 2012 and recently moved from Illovo to a shipping container in Nelson Mandela Square. This is part of the charm, say owners Joshua Shifren and Justin Kramer, who attribute the bar’s success to the fact that consumers are forced to check it out as quickly as possible before it moves. The bar specialises in cocktails and partners with Grolsch, so you can enjoy five Grolsch cocktails along with “14 of the best” from previous Union Bar incarnations, such as peach and basil G&Ts and a “pickle juice” Collins.
Wine Not Bar
Situated at the Levelthree venue in Kramerville, the sunset views over Jozi are reason enough to go. The owners use the space primarily for events, but on one Thursday a month, they open it up to the public to showcase exclusive wines at great prices. Wines are meticulously selected and whether you order a bottle or by the glass, prices are affordable so you won’t have to dig too deep into your pockets. If you aren’t a wine drinker, test out their signature gin and tonic with rosemary that’s a perfect match for watching the sun set from the balcony.
After the success of their first Ice Cream Sunday pop-up collaboration, décor specialists Mikasa Creative and innovative caterers Prep’ed by Sasha have teamed up with Molecular Bars to create a pop-up bar in an unassuming courtyard just off Corlett Drive. Open one Friday a month, each occasion is a different experience – with changing cocktails, food and a different selection of live bands. “We wanted to create a relaxed ‘backyard’ atmosphere where you felt like you were having a big party outside with your friends,” says co-owner Sasha Sonnenberg. The bar specialises in on-trend “bottle cocktails”, where drinks are filtered into glass bottles and capped before service. The food menu changes each month, and features carefully selected dishes based on seasonality, the crowd and current trends.
See for yourself:
Monday – Saturdays from 10am to around 10pm
Sundays from 10am to around 6pm
Open one Thursday a month
060 949 3472
First Friday of each month
071 509 3131
Words: Catherine Black