From the suburbs to winelands, whale route and CBD
Hello Sailor, one rock’n’roll bistro
"We want to become an institution in Obs"
Observatory’s Lower Main Road is cool, okay? It’s a good spot to watch real characters, freaky and interesting looking people. And now there’s another cool spot from where you can do your people-watching: Hello Sailor. What a name. The Weekend Argus also discovered this Obs-spot and started it’s story with what wiki tells us 'Hello, sailor is a sexual proposition made to a sailor by a prostitute or promiscuous woman.'
But not here. Ryan McDonagh’s family was "involved in the ocean scene", hence the name. He’s one of the owners with Boško Popovac (they’ve been friends for over 15 years). I know Boško from the burger and pizza joint Narona in Gardens. It’s often my local, the place where I go when the fridge is empty and I need a good, affordable meal.
But back to Hello Sailor. Ryan lives in Obs and has a baby: Max Sailor. He always wanted to name his baby Sailor, so the Hello Sailor eatery is a welcome present. Wow. Ryan has been a chef for 8 years, you might know him from Arnolds, Zula, Café Sophia and he also had his own catering business.
"We want to raise the standards"
This is Obs, so expect good food for low prices. "Food is a big thing for us. We serve stuff we like and what people like." Ryan agrees and adds "Full on flavours but simple." And chef Maggie (cool eyewear, cool tattoos) will make sure you have a good food experience. For example, have poached eggs with bacon, hollandaise on toasted ciabatta (R38) or a classic fry up eggs, bacon, pork banger, grilled tomato and toast (R29) for breakfast. Hey, surprise, surprise, they also serve Deluxe Coffeeworks coffee. Have the popular rump steak prego roll with a soft fried egg on toasted ciabatta (R40) for lunch or a burger. You also have the choice of salads or pasta and other cool stuff like 'disco fries'.
If you’re an Obs resident, Hello Sailor should definitely become one of your locals. "We want to build a community, relationships and develop an identity. We want to be an institution in Obs. This is a small and very personal space," says Boško. The sailor-decor is sourced through friends and "people that were inspired gave us stuff". The music is good and doesn’t have a serious theme as Boško says, "some rock’n’roll, a little bit of lounge, we tailor the music to our clients."
Sailor Jerry Rum also gets to celebrate its fame here and famous comic creator Conrad Botes frequents Hello Sailor and even blessed the eatery with a Hello Sailor illustration.
By Antonia Heil | photographs by Desmond Louw
Hello Sailor Bistro 86 Lower Main Road | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 447 0707 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 8am – 11pm; Sat&Sun: 9am – 11pm
Read more about the funky Obs in Get your freak on..
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