Plus: Watch 3 videos to get you in the mood for Black Coffee's summer residency at Shimmy ...
Sgt Pepper on Long Street
A restaurant raised on rock ‘n roll. Expect good times and pin-up pizzas all week and free birthday-party venue and live music for 150 people on Monday nights
NEW: Host your birthday party or function at Sgt. Pepper for FREE on Mondays – up to 150 people, no venue charge (only pay for food and drinks) and FREE live entertainment with Mahala Mondays at Sgt. Pepper on Long Street.
What happens when a Wild Thing meets The Cranberries in one of Cape Town’s most iconic rock ‘n roll haunts? Good times happen, of course. And that’s what Sgt Pepper is all about. I quickly discover this is no place for Lonely Hearts – it’s a spot where people come together to eat, drink and have a Journey on the dance floor.
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
Wrapped up in a turtleneck with nostalgia in my eyes, I meet a Lady in Red as I walk up the wooden staircase, past the statement stencil wall, beneath the beam of twinkling Tabasco and into the hallowed home of Jimi, Bob and Tannie Tandoori.
Raised on pizza and rock ‘n roll, Sgt Pepper is the product of a legendary drunken night out in Stellenbosch, when a group of friends decided to turn their dream of offering good food and great music into a hot spot. Originally a Stellenbosch institution, the Sgt moved to Long Street six years ago and has been the flagship restaurant ever since.
Laurie Munnik is the captain of the Pepper ship, and his passion for music is evident in his every sentence. He says that what differentiates Sgt Pepper from other spots is the venue and the vibe. “We have a secure venue that offers the best vibe on Long Street. We make you feel welcome – like you’re visiting a long-lost friend for drinks at their place."
FRIENDS WILL BE FRIENDS
And that’s exactly how I feel as I wander through the inviting main restaurant, stopping for a low flyer (it’s one-third Stroh Rum, which Sgt Pepper is known for) shot at the eight-metre bar en route to the balcony. There’s a wonderful laid-back atmosphere that makes me feel at home. Whether you’re a mosh-pit Martha or a laid-back Larry, if you’re nice, you’ll fit right in.
CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE
The balcony beckons so I make a beeline for a table beneath the shimmering lights and take a moment to admire the famed 180-degree view of Long Street. The eclectic street scene complements Sgt Pepper’s old-school aesthetic – think wooden tables with black and white chairs.
It’s a Thursday, so of course I opt for the R99 Rockin' Thursdays deal – a burger (springbok, beef, chicken) and Budweiser beer, served accompanied by live acoustic tunes – and make a mental note to pop back for Double Tuesdays (two pizzas for the price of one on Tuesdays).
Marketing manager Jason Bussey tells me that Tannie Tandoori, The Don, The Sheriff and Wild Thing are the most popular pizzas. It was his idea to personify the pizzas as retro pin-ups, who now embellish the wall. The whole menu is deliciously quirky, with everything from poppers and scrumptious salads to sandwiches and build-your-own burgers.
Next door to me there’s a table of happy-looking corporates toasting their year-end (this is the perfect one-stop-shop for any special soiree), while to my left I watch a pair of young rockers with stars in their eyes swooning at each other, their amour fuelled by the sweet notes of local act Aiden Martin, plus a tipple of “tea” – poured from one of Sgt Pepper’s cocktail teapots. The light starts to fade, the live music continues and there’s a purple haze as the moon rises and the street lights flicker on.
LADY IN RED
I’ve been told the Red smoking bar – aka the ‘Rock Bar’ – will hit me harder than a Led Zeppelin riff. The sound of Under the Bridge beckons from the bar, and Elvis, Freddie, Jimi and Bob gaze down from the wall – the gang’s all here. I ask Laurie what kind of music generally gets played and he laughs and says anything that’s cool, “We love music. We built this restaurant on rock and roll”.
As I leave, I stand for a second or two outside the unmistakable red facade.
'I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright,
The lady in red...’
Tip: Can’t decide what to drink? Roll the dice! Seriously. There are three dice – one for the base alcohol, another for the sweetening liqueur, and the last for the final twist. Take a risk and you could end up with something revolutionary. Additionally, be sure to capitalise on the specials – there’s one for every day of the week, including an all-day cocktail special on Sunday.
Plus: Host your birthday party or function at Sgt. Pepper for FREE on Mondays – up to 150 people, no venue charge (only pay for food and drinks) and FREE live entertainment with Mahala Mondays at Sgt. Pepper on Long Street.
The Bill: Starters: R32 – R135 | Pizzas: R58 – R138 | Burgers: R22 – R108 | Dessert: R35 – R42
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 12pm – 2am.
194 Long Street | Cape Town | +27(0)21 424 5608 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Love the sound of Sgt Pepper? Check out some of Cape Town’s other foodie hot spots, treat your hipster hound to a puppacino at Dizzy’s, or become an honorary member of Massimos pizza club in Hout Bay.
Need some excitement? Check out more awesome Cape Town winter specials.
Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smartphone, add m.capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!
Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in and around the Mother City!