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All bar none: Where hooch and art cuddle up in Joburg


All bar none: Where hooch and art cuddle up in Joburg

Three funky new bars to quench your hepcat thirst

Sylvia McKeown

We have all seen the trends: classic cocktails are back. But, given our insatiable need to Instagram, often in completely over-the-top incarnations. In other words, be prepared for your next cocktail to be even fancier. Why settle for a classic Old Fashioned when you can have a blueberry one instead?
Three Joburg bars are taking it one step further and infusing their drinks with art. The new hotspots muddle and mix the essence of the space into the experience, enhancing all the flavours. Make one of these your pit stop of choice for your next sundowner.
DJ Kenzhero is known for his smooth grooves and hitting just the right beat on the dance floor.
And now, working with Bradley Williams, he brings that dexterous hand to food and drink. The upmarket joint Artivist is awash with the textures and designs you’d find in some of the chicest international bars. Its black-and-white marble bar would look as gorgeous in Barcelona as it does in downtown Braamfontein. Beyond well-shaken drinks, slick beats, the occasional jazz night, and the best Scotch egg this side of Edinburgh, this space is about the art: every month there’s a new exhibition by an impressive young artist.
Just down the road from Artivist is the latest offering from the boundary-pushing Kalashnikovv Gallery team.
Testament, housed in what used to be the Dokter and Misses showroom before they took over their pink residence at 99 Juta, is a space where you don’t know where the bar ends and the art starts. MJ Turpin and Matthew Dean Dowdle celebrate “creativity as religion”, reflecting on the cult of social media, and have thus made it the perfect place to indulge that following. The space is a slick haven of craft liquors and DJs, with some bold installations – expect a whole lot of sophisticated revelry.
You’ll find Jozi’s latest “it” spot for after-work drinks nuzzled between a host of small galleries and hot food spots within striking distance of the Goodman Gallery. Streetbar comes courtesy of Studio A, in collaboration with creative geniuses Jana + Koos.

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