Fresh from a multi-million-rand overhaul, Cape Town’s coolest summer hangout is open – and more than ready – for an action-packed summer! And, take it from us, there is hardly a better place on earth to watch the sun being swallowed by the sea – delicious cocktail in hand, of course.
Life’s a beach
The Grand’s sea-facing location – which boasts stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Table Bay, with Cape Town Stadium, Signal Hill and Table Mountain in the background – is unparalleled, but its private beach is, perhaps, what sets it apart from other ocean-facing venues.
Bigger and Better
In July 2016, the Harbour House Group purchased a 70-percent share in Grand Africa Café & Beach (part of the far-reaching Grand Africa, which also has divisions in Zimbabwe and Portugal) allowing a like-minded partnership and a multi-million revamp to ensue.
The multi-functional venue, housed in a restored warehouse in Granger Bay has a new entrance, complete with swaying palms and a wooden walkway. Of this, architect David explains: “We wanted guests to see the water… feel the ocean… from the moment they arrive.”
Though the interior has undergone extensive changes, we’re happy to report that the space has retained its inimitable old-world romanticism and laidback glamour. But there’s a whole host of fresh new (play) stations dotted around the venue, where you can order exactly what you desire, whether it’s fresh oysters from the Knysna Oyster station, a vodka cocktail from the Absolut Elyx Bar, or a sneaky G&T from the Tanqueray Café Society Bar…
These container bars allow guests to pull up a stool and watch mixologists creating their concoctions.
The Absolut Elyx Bar, ideal for pre-dinner aperitifs, has added a sense of sexy sophistication. The raised indoor deck is already proving to be a main attraction, with diners clamouring to land a seat at this enviable indoor area.
The stylish Pongracz Bar, as you’d expect, is where to head for a chilled glass of bubbly, while the outdoors Ernest Hemingway-inspired Beer Bar (reminiscent of the late author’s Cuban beach shack) serves craft and global brews.
Nearby, the private waterside table hints at secluded parties, of which there will surely be many, especially with the sumptuous daybeds, private bars and dedicated DJ booth discreetly set apart from the main restaurant.
Marvellous mixologist, Kurt Schlechter has come onboard to update the already extensive cocktail menu, adding signature cocktails and freshening up the well-loved classics.
Tapping into the global Tiki trend, the new rum-based Grand African Tiki blends Havana Especial & 7, Malibu, mango, mint, thyme and coconut to create a memorable drink served in a bespoke Tiki mug.
Fine Cape wine is an ever-present feature on the drinks menu, and a partnership between GH Mumm Champagne means Grand Café & Beach is one of a handful of local restaurants permitted to serve Champagne (the French stuff) by the glass.
Soak up the scene
At a place like this, it’s crazy not to sit outside – on the beach – and soak up the sun, sea and setting. The furniture has been restored, chairs replaced and, thankfully, the blood-red roses on the tables and retro-glam vibe remain. Or get a table on the terrace, which will be enclosed by stacking glass doors come early 2017 to allow for all-weather dining.
Though the restaurant remains true to its relaxed, beach-chic feel, there’s a new, lighter menu to be had. Head chef Dominic Faict provides a wider-ranging menu, which combines Grand’s signature dishes with new, more Mediterranean meals.
The compact sushi menu, signature wood-fired pizzas, grilled steaks and, of course, seafood dishes (such as the pot of West Coast mussels in coconut broth or Cajun-spiced, linefish tagliata) mean there’s something for almost every food fancy.
Locals and out-of-towners are already lapping up this gorgeous, revamped space, for lunch, sundowners, dinner and, of course, after-dark beats… Best you book a table pronto.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 12am – 12pm
Contact 021 425 0551, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it Grand Cafe & Beach, Granger Bay Road (off Beach Road), Granger Bay, Cape Town