Braamfontein’s very own hidden gem at the Puma select store.
Braamfontein’s shoe store outlet, Puma has reached another degree of cool with the introduction of a laid back eatery called Dassler’s in the shop’s adjoining courtyard in the Heerengracht building on 87 De Korte St, Johannesburg.
Amidst the hustle and bustle in Johannesburg, Dassler’s is dimly lit, almost as though the Puma store is really hoping to keep it a secret.
Tucked between a grimy alley and the shoe store, the café is named after Puma’s German founder Rudi Dassler who established the brand in 1948.
The creative minds behind the café updated a conventional concept for a trendy younger market that
the restaurant oozes with components of cool, hip and stylishness.
Founder and creative director of Sly Creative Labs, Matt Sutter said that Puma started by looking at the space around them and “then they started doing events in the courtyard here behind the Puma store, where we then started doing our select stories events”.
Select stories events are a series of open discussions where people interact and share knowledge and ideas.
“We just wanted this to be a really cool place to come and hang out. I want this to be the kind of place that you can meet the person who is going to star in your next music video.
“I want this space to be a place where people can come and feel comfortable to meet people, interact, network and not feel pressured to be a customer necessarily,” said Sutter.
The locale is a spot for those in search of a serene corner of the city to catch up reading on a good book, where working professionals can have lunch, and friends can meet up for drinks
Dassler’s is a prime example of how a core element of cool can convert into a casual city escape with low-key but stylish refinements that incorporate green plants and white porcelain puma-branded cats that can be customised by local artists.
On the ceiling you will discover truly fascinating light installations decorated with coloured shoelaces. The walls are accessorised with brightly coloured paintings which make the space come alive.
Blessing Nyahasha, a waiter at Dassler’s told Wits Vuvuzela that “this is a great place, it’s very accommodating in terms of where it is located because [Braamfontein] tends to be very busy so this is a chilled environment.”
Affordability is fundamental for this café as Braamfontein is populated with students who are always looking for inexpensive food. Dassler’s offers sandwiches ranging from R35 to 45, burgers range from R55-85, all salads at R55 and an all-day breakfast menu where everything costs less than R40.
“I really enjoy coming to this place because of the affordable prices and the vibe here. It really is a cool café,” said Jabulani Mbele, a customer at the café.
Dassler’s additionally runs a programme of free workshops, the Puma X Select Studios, and plays host to the monthly Puma X Select Sessions party during Braamfontein’s First Thursday’s festivities.
The cafe is currently in the Puma courtyard temporarily but “we are going to be here for another year. It was initially meant to be one year but we are definitely going to be back for another year,” said Sutter.
FEATURED IMAGE: The courtyard at Puma select store in Braamfontein where the Drassler’s cafe is secretly located. Photo: Lwandile Shange.