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Vivo Umhlanga is a designer venue that aims to wow its customers

Modern dining, according to business owners Kamil Sukdhoe and Aveshin Naidoo (also head chef), is about a cocktail lounge, wow-factor designer food, a vibey dance floor, and after-dinner drinks all in one upmarket venue. Kamil tells us more.

How did your business start?
Aveshin and I have been friends for approximately seven years. We’ve worked together on other projects and felt that our backgrounds would tie perfectly to give customers a venue where they can have gourmet modern dining meals with designer cocktails and still be entertained by a DJ or live artist.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
With the Umhlanga area burgeoning with new developments, we chose a site close to the village, yet far away enough to allow customers to feel as if they’re in a quieter, more sophisticated area, with a safe, private parking area.

How did you find your premises?
They found us. They were offered to an associate of ours who offered them to us.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
There are two huge developments being built close by, so we have the benefit of being close to major centres while still having our own privacy – no kids with ice creams running past! The secure parking area allows customers to pull in for early cocktails and leave after the last dance – people no longer want the security risk of moving from venue to venue.

Who are your neighbours?
We’re surrounded by hotels, upmarket residential developments, and soon, the Oceans.

What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
They’re high, but in accordance with other upmarket commercial areas.

How many people go through your store each day?
It varies depending on the day of the week, generally not more than 220 per evening.

Do you have any expansion plans?
We plan to open other branches throughout South Africa, under the Vivo brand, ranging from cafes and coffee shops to other boutique restaurants and lounges like our flagship store.

Do you operate online as well?
We have regular enquiries and bookings on Facebook (

What’s your most popular item?
Ocean meets Meat, which comprises a 200g fillet steak and a crayfish tail, as well as our mango and chilli Martini, which is a blend of premium vodka and mango purée with a hint of fresh green chilli. People also love the vibe; it’s spacious, gracious and happening – you get everything from salsa dips to salsa classes at Vivo.
See for yourself:
Vivo Umhlanga
031 561 2387

Words: André Fiore | Images: Supplied

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