The House of Machines

The House of Machines

No cocktail umbrellas here; these pre-mixed tipples are straight out of the top drawer.

THoM, as it is affectionately known, is a motorbike workshop and men’s apparel shop (yeah, you read right) by day and a hipster cocktail bar by night. And, somehow added to this eclectic mix, is a much-loved café.

The vibe The brainchild of Brad Armitage (co-founder of Vida e Caffè and Brewers&Union), clothing designer and petrolhead Paul van der Spuy (BlueCollarWhiteCollar) and custom-bike builder Drew Madacsi, THoM’s decor is even more eclectic than its owners. With weathered wooden beams, exposed bricks and a bike theme throughout, the mash-up pays homage to a bygone era while remaining decidedly contemporary. (And, actually, hipsters love a throwback.) It doesn’t get more nonconformist than a Speakeasy-themed space selling coffee, café racers, collared shirts and classic cocktails all under one dimly lit roof!

The service Brad has once again waved his golden wand and fostered an air of boisterous camaraderie within the shop. The service is lively, a little hammed up during cocktail hour yet always polished.

Insider tips On Thursday and Friday nights, THoM places the US’s finest spirits front and centre – the perfect accompaniment to the live indie band.


As if The House of Machines wasn’t already the talk of the Cape Town, its opening in the States, on the streets of Los Angeles, no less, has got this homegrown favourite making some serious international waves. The kitchen is managed by Bruce Kalman, a well-known restaurateur on the Los Angeles food scene, and a current contestant on Top Chef! While the bar is headed by the legendary Amanda Colom (aka Bad Birdy), whose 142 000 Instagram followers are a testament to her serious skills, down-to-earth attitude, and cool energy.

The theme of the restaurant takes inspiration from the Cape Town original, a favourite for motorcycle patrons who prize cool music, savvy design, good coffee and quality tipples. There’s no plans to stop in LA either, as THoM has also opened a branch in Niseko, Japan. Hopefully, many more cities across the globe will soon know the joys of this Capetonian creation.