EDITORIAL: Kitchener’s, you will always be famous! 

“You can take away Kitchener’s and you’re literally taking away Braam,” said DJ, Billy Meliodas of the bar’s closure.  

Shockwaves have been sent throughout the street life culture this week, as Kitchener’s Carvery Bar announced their closure due to ‘economic circumstances’.  

Kitchener’s Carvery Bar in Braamfontein. Photo: Siyanda Mthethwa.

The pub has been situated in the heart of Braamfontein since the early 1900s and more recently has been an iconic cornerstone of the creative hub of the city. The blue exterior with white pillars draws people in visually, but the music and electric energy are what lure people in and make them loyal patrons. Wits Vuvuzela student journalist, Ruby Delahunt, describes the venue as a “welcoming environment” that “allowed a lot of new DJs to test the waters and start out”. 

Kitchener’s truly stands out because of its authenticity and its pursuit of keeping its unique identity. Eddie, a bartender at Kitchener’s said, “Nights where there’s just two customers here, we never said ‘Oh no, maybe we should change our music, maybe we should change business. We never compromised as so many trends came and went’”. He further went on to explain that “it’s always been a huge part of street culture in Braamfontein” and that it’s “given a platform to so many people” including creatives and musicians who were able to express themselves without shame. 

Local DJ, Billy Meliodas, went into depth about the impact that Kitchener’s had on his life and Braamfontein as a whole. “The owner of Kitchener’s [Andrew Clement] took me from the street, and he looked after me. Everyone in Kitchener’s is happy…it’s not a place where you can come and find conflict”. He continued, “They’re closing the true heart of Braam…this place is a home to everybody.” 

Kitchener’s is one of the last remaining authentic pubs which prioritizes community as Billy and the staffers explained, people could go to the bar on their own with a guarantee that they would walk out having made a friend or two. A final hoorah will be held this long weekend.   

Thank you, Kitchener’s for being a home to many. Thank you, Kitchener’s for being a safe space and encouraging people to chase their dreams and just have fun. After March 31, 2024, it will no longer be open, but it will forever be in our minds and hearts. We hope that the energy and symbol that it represented stays with us and the future of Braamfontein. 

FEATURED IMAGE: Siyanda Mthethwa Photo: File

Steam punk bar opens in Melville

A brand new steam punk bar opened in Melville this past week to a raging success, but what do they have to offer?

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Kicking it punk style: The brand new bar at The Countess oozes steam punk. Photo: Sam Slabbert.

This past weekend saw a new hot spot opening in Melville, oozing a fresh steam punk style.

The Countess situated in 27 boxes opened to a very successful weekend sporting a steel and copper look that gave it a trendy vibe. Head bar tender Julian Short said they want to introduce something different and unique to Melville. “We want to introduce incredibly wholesome food that people will remember and drinks that are engaging and different to what everybody else is doing.”

He said they chose the steam punk style “because copper and brass are sexy”.

The bar offers a short and sweet Cocktail list, as well as a DIY Cocktail section created “in order to educate the customer about what cocktails are and how to drink them” said short.

Food prices range from R35 -R170 and drinks range from R16 – R80. This bar offers something for everyone, serving American style smokehouse foods, cocktails from every corner of the globe, and has a sandwich and coffee bar.

Short said they chose 27 boxes because it “is an amazing centre filled with forward thinking creatives. It has an amazing energy and we feel as though we fit right in here.”

“We have something for everybody here. Our target market is anybody with an open mind who is looking for good food and drink.”

The world to descend on a Braam bar tonight

Braam will tonight play host for a event to kick off the ‘World Cup’ of bartending, taking place for the first time in Africa.

The best in world bartending will be on show in Braamfontein tonight. World Class, known as the ‘World Cup’ of bartending competitions, will kick off in Joburg.

Tonight five bars that have been selected as the best in Johannesburg, have each been assigned a premium product. Specialised cocktails will be made from this and the competition winners will be measured using social media.

Anti Est. in Braamfontien has been selected as one of the five bars to take part in this event for World Class.

In attendance will be the best in the bartending business from across the world. It is the first time that this prestigious event is being held in Africa and over 50 countries take part.

According to Anti Est. bartender George Hunter, “World Class is the largest and most prestigious bartending competition out there. It is the World Cup of bartenders. It’s a platform to display pure passion, excitement and skill for your industry.”

Next week the bartender competitors from around the world will start performing challenges in Joburg, and will then progress to Cape Town where the final will be held.

The event will take place between 9 and 11pm and will include a raffle to be held on social media with a prize valued at R3000.

I would not recommend missing this one, as chances are this is a once in a lifetime opportunity right in our back yard.

A night out for R100

LOCAL HANGOUT: Kitchener's Carvery Bar at the corner of De Beer and Juta street is an old English style pub with a modern edge, within walking distance from Wits. Photo: Caro Malherbe

LOCAL HANGOUT: Kitchener’s Carvery Bar at the corner of De Beer and Juta street is an old English style pub with a modern edge, within walking distance from Wits. Photo: Caro Malherbe

Location, cost and reputation, what more could you ask for? The second oldest bar in Johannesburg, Kitchener’s Carvery Bar, is a golden oldie, right in the heart of Braamfontein, especially convenient for Witsies.

Looking like an old English pub, Kitchener’s will surprise you with its contemporary edge. The bar swings with live music performances ranging from indie rock and Afro beat DJs on Thursday and Friday nights.[pullquote]”Their menu has a little bit of everything”[/pullquote]

Their menu has a little bit of everything, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. According to the manager, the American Burger with a slice of cheese is the most ordered item on the menu, going for R48. The party-goers favourite would have to be the chip ’n dip which is a plate of slap chips covered in any sauce of your choice for R35 – great for lining the stomach before (or after ) a few too many beers.

The sauces you can chose from are mushroom, pepper, cheese, garlic, jalapeño, green pepper, Mexican, chakalaka or roquefort.

Depending on who you ask, the perceptions on prices vary, but the consensus seems to be that the meals are value for money, but that drinks prices on the other hand are on the steeper side of things.

Located on the corner of Juta and De Beer streets in Braamfontein, Kitchener’s endorses a local craft beer called Ace’s, a Mitchell’s Brewery lager. A pint of beer goes for R30 whilst a Black Label dumpie is R21. Spirits prices start from R14 a shot and a small can of coke is R14 as well.

On Saturdays, Kitchener’s fills up with Jozi locals and foreigners alike selling second-hand clothing and accessories in the court area. There are two bars and a carpeted dance floor that has been worn out from years of stomping and swaying.

What can R100 get you at Kitchener’s? An American burger with cheese for R48, an Ace’s draft and depending on which night you go, R20 cover charge for nights of performances. All of this adds up to R98.