7 reasons why the Kitchener’s is our favourite spot in Jozy

7 reasons why the Kitchener’s is our favourite spot in Jozy

At Shifting Behaviour, we like to try things out: switch from a bar to a restaurant, check out the night-clubs, and explore whatever the city can exhibit that is new, beautiful or daring. Among the places we have come across, the Kitchener’s has turned on our good vibes detector and quenched our thirst for hype.
These are the reasons why.

1. It’s not in a mall.
There is something annoying about going out in Jo’burg: we go by car, and come back by car, and in between the two, we have dinner face to face with our car, thanks to the lovely view from the restaurant on the parking lot of the shopping centre. Why so close to one’s vehicle? Is it about getting out of the car in a safe space?
You will find the Kitchener’s right out there in the street, conceived at a time and for people who didn’t necessarily drive there.

2.You can eat late at night.
Food is served ‘all day and all of the night’, as it says on the black board. What a relief to enter a bar without fearing to hear “sorry, kitchen’s closed” from a puzzled waiter. Hours after others have fallen asleep, the Kitchener’s serves comforting fries, friendly hamburgers and a few hearty hot meals. Probably the only place in Jozy where late dinner is permitted.

3. It looks like Grandma’s living room.
Some things are better left unchanged: the 100 year-old building already tells a story. Inside, you find tapestries on the walls, pressed ceilings, framed portraits… It has the taste and talent of turning something older into something trendy. The real anti-conformists know what to keep. And the décor is one.

4. The entrance fee is affordable.
The Kitchener opens for R20 (or R40 for special nights). The queue is both diverse and behaved. There’s no huge bulldog from security at the entrance- unlike clubs who display disrespectful waste of money- just a normal person. There’s a democratic management of this line that makes it friendlier and takes the pressure off: do I fit in with these young hipsters? Who cares, as long as you pay.

5. It’s downtown.
Braamfontein is bringing a revival that Jozy deserves and the Kitchener’s definitely plays a role in it, just like the Neighbourgoods market. The precinct is synonymous of vibrant, exciting encounters (including unfortunate or strange ones). If you attend a show at one of the theatres just across the Mandela bridge, the Kitchener’s is the right place to find the shelter and the beer needed to share impressions.

6. You can smoke inside.
Part of the “dingy” charm of the Kitchener’s is its smoky atmosphere. I quit smoking back in the 90’s, but that cigarette smoke still says “cool – you can be yourself”. Or maybe it just reminds me of my younger years. The morning after is a different story. You open red injected eyes and smell the evening clothes hung in the other room and wonder: we had a good time but is this intoxication necessary?

7. The music is eclectic and enjoyable.
From experience, these two concepts don’t always combine. When you are enjoying the brit indies, you might dance through some R’nB, but if the DJ throws in some salsa, you stop there wondering why you have been punished. Sometimes, it just doesn’t go together, it’s like Bolognese sauce on top of fish. You worry about the next song: what’s for dessert – lettuce cake? At the Kitchener’s, one after the other, the DJs run diversified and harmonious sets. For a rainbow evening.

The Kitchener’s, Cravery bar
Corner of Juta and De Beer street

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