Bodyboard down the Oliphants, sleep in a bedouin tent, hike a pristine trail
Get familiar at Jade champagne bar and lounge in Green Point
The intimate Cape Town nightclub with no cover charge
Jade: a gemstone prized in China for its bright, translucent green appearance and worn on the necks, arms and brocade of the imperial royals. It’s an elegant stone and conveys history and romance—much like Jade Champagne Bar & Lounge, an intimate nightclub in Cape Town’s ever-evolving Green Point neighbourhood.
As if to emphasise this point, a girl walks through the venue’s slatted Indian door entranceway and glides past us with an air of expectation and delicate perfume. We watch from our table, over flutes of bubbly, how her black sequinned tube dress shimmers as she moves, and how her glossy hair bounces in time when her stilettos hit the wooden floor. She’s dressed to the nines: a rarity in a Cape Town club scene where you’re more likely to see hoodies and high-tops. But Jade is different; here people truly come for a glamorous experience. A look around the quickly filling up club confirms she’s not the only stylish reveller—it’s Thursday night and the beautiful people have arrived.
The club itself is as well dressed as its patrons. Housed in an historical Art Deco building, which dates back to the 1930s, it has the high ceilings, wooden floors and all the detail of the era. In the bar where we’re sitting, gold floral stencil climbs the fern green wallpaper, a nod, perhaps, to the Eastern influence and the club’s namesake. Another striking feature, designer modern lights are juxtaposed against more classic chandeliers, both of which cast a soft amber glow.
The sumptuous décor has French flair that reminds me of Marie Antoinette—I can bet she’d be here tonight if she had made it to the 21st century - but the layout is simple. When walking through the mysterious Indian doors at the entrance, veer to the left for the bar where we’re sitting or carry on straight to the dance floor. This main area is circled by glossy dark wood tables and plush armchairs. There’s another longer bar to the side of the dance floor and a semi-enclosed balcony at the top, which looks out onto bustling, busy Somerset Road.
“I’ve created a nightclub experience; but not in a nightclub environment,” explains owner Johnny Papadakis “…it’s more intimate and social. I wanted the ambience of a jazz club.” Johnny called on his interior designer friend, Andrea Graff, to create this mood; and she has delivered with a space that’s opulent yet like a familiar living room—an awfully nice one at that.
Johnny is nightclub royalty. His pedigree includes now-closed clubs Rhodes House and The Ivory Room, both of which were chic Cape Town after-dark spots—a trait they share with the long-running Jade.
“We’re in our seventh year,” confirms Johnny. “And it’s my seventh club!”
No under 23s & no cover charge
Another selling point of this club is that there’s no cover charge; though, there is a strict door policy that both forbids under 23s entrance and only allows through the classy and cool. It’s a place for professionals to unwind. There’s waiter service too—so you don’t have to fight to get to the bar.
Jade is open from Thursday to Saturday nights, tonight is the former; the swanky venue’s most popular. We move to the dance floor, it’s filled with people bouncing to the mix of hip hop and R&B. This club can truly call itself a lounge; all around we spot groups relaxing on the armchairs with bottles of premium spirits littering their tables, while others dance around them. This is the house party you’ve always dreamed of.
Friday nights are Jade’s event nights. On these weekly occasions the line-ups change: it can be anything from nu disco parties that bring the razzle to the dazzle and 80s nights to the legendary MoFunk parties, roaring successes that celebrate all things Motown, from soul and funk to afrobeat. Then on Saturdays the music is more commercial with some classics thrown in.
Johnny himself is a DJ, and he makes sure that the integrated crowd is treated to musical diversity, tailoring the soundscape accordingly.
“I never, ever, ever, get tired of it,” he says about his club. “For me, it’s the most beautiful place in the world.” There’s certainly nothing jaded about this nightclub owner, I think, as we bop and weave through the crowd, the night just beginning.
Jade is a haunt for urban sophisticates, glamorous guys and gals and for people who want the nightclub experience in an intimate setting.
Tip: Table reservations and guest list booking are highly recommended as this club fills up quickly, call ahead to reserve your spot.To keep up to date with special events at the swish Cape Town hotspot, be sure to check out Jade's Facebook page.
Keen on popping bottles at this swanky Green Poing nightclub? Check out Jade's regular Champagne Saturdays event.
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