The current development of the new Gentleman’s Arthouse cocktail bar in the Newtown Junction precinct is yet more evidence of the continued regeneration of Joburg’s inner city. The bar is currently being constructed in the original 1911 Edwardian Gentleman’s Washrooms building, adjacent to Market Square in the heart of Joburg’s theatre district.
The Gentlemen’s Club
Gentleman’s Arthouse is the brainchild of the LIFE Group, headed up by interior architect and engineer team Maira and John Koutsoudakis. With the company’s past pedigree of designing private retreats and luxury lodges, Gentleman’s Arthouse will join a stable of upmarket LIFE establishments, including Life Grand Cafes in Hyde Park, Waterfall in Midrand and Waterkloof in Pretoria.
Aimed at the Edgy Local Market
“The Gentlemen’s Arthouse will celebrate the Meneere – the mavericks – with just the right amount of swag,” says owner Maira Koutsoudakis. Maria says the venue is aimed at an edgy local market – both men and women – who “enjoy the street culture of Braamfontein and Maboneng, but still appreciate upmarket establishments in a heritage-worthy environment.”
Decor at the Gentlemen’s Arthouse
The venue retains its original Victorian exterior and the interior will have a dramatic feel with heavy velvet curtains, an elaborately carved wooden bar and restored original features, such as green tiled walls and cathedral-style windows. Cocktails will take centre stage in the establishment, combining mixology with theatrical preparation by barmen at their “altar”. A curated tasting menu will feature dishes with a distinctive South African flavour combined with some international flair. The executive chefs will be Jeanel Pieterse and Johan Coetzer, with backgrounds in the Emirates and Luke Dale-Roberts’ Tasting Room, and Michael Broughton’s Terroir respectively.
What’s on the menu
As well as food and drink, the venue will stay true to its artistic surroundings and guests will be treated to theatrical entertainment by trapeze artists in period costume alongside the perfomance art of the “startender” bartenders – all supported by resident house DJs.
The Gentlemen’s Arthouse is a 200-metre walk from the Potato Shed, the new steampunk restaurant also being developed by the LIFE Group. The proximity of the two venues means guests can easily move from a meal at one to drinks at the other, setting the stage for a fun night out for discerning Joburgers. The bar is set to open in mid- to late November 2015.
011 783 5965
Words: Catherine Black