Mr Pickwicks Café and Bar in Cape Town

Much-loved Long Street institution makes the move to Greenmarket Square

A popular Long Street staple for over three decades, Mr Pickwicks, which has become something of a Mother City icon during its lengthy run, is growing up, branching out and moving forward with its June 2013 relocation to Cape Town’s historic Greenmarket Square.

In its new bigger and better venue, the laidback restaurant and bar, which channels an urban street culture vibe, is both paying homage to its roots (it actually started out on this same famed quadrangle in the 1970s before moving to Long Street) and embracing fresh developments and expansion.

“Because Mr Pickwicks has been around for so long, not much could be done to it in its original location,” explains co-owner Shawn Heinrich, who adopted the brand along with business partner Senyane Rangaka in late 2012. “Now, we’re able to add our own flavour.”

Part of this ‘flavour’ includes new additions aimed at establishing the graffiti-adorned spot as a go-to destination, rather than simply a place to pass through before or after a night bar hopping on Cape Town’s most well-known nightlife artery. Most notably, on the entertainment side, underground radio station Mutha FM will regularly be broadcasting from within a glass cage in the centre of the eatery, and on the dining side, the edgy café will be ‘Africanising’ its offering with a shisa nyama (barbeque) option that treats visitors to an assortment of braaied game meats (think warthog, kudu, ostrich and more).

Though, fans of the brand and the niche it’s carved out for itself can rest assured that much will stay unchanged too. Thus, guests can look forward to the same succulent burgers and decadent milkshakes (think flavours like chocolate brownie, Oreo, Mars bar, Amarula and Jägermeister) that Mr Pickwicks has become renowned for, alongside the eatery’s other standard dishes, like footlong subs, open sandwiches and hearty cooked breakfasts.

Those not so keen on the café’s famed shakes can wash down the bites with a glass of boutique vino from the extensive list (“guests can travel the whole Winelands at our new wine bar,” says Senyane), a bottle of craft beer, refreshing cocktail, dram of whisky, brandy and much more. Plus, visitors can also opt to pair a meal or drink with a puff of hubbly bubbly or cigar out in the restaurant’s large back courtyard (unlike the former venue, no smoking is allowed inside).

Not to mention, as before, the colourful, easygoing pub will play host to quiz nights on Mondays, comedy evenings on Tuesdays, karaoke sessions on Wednesdays and, as a fresh addition, Sophiatown-inspired 60s jazz gigs on Thursdays.

Needless to say, the happening new Greenmarket Square spot is set to be both an exciting find for newcomers and a refreshing change for all those loyal locals and foreigners who’re already best buds with the iconic Mr Pickwicks brand.

Note: The new Mr Pickwicks is scheduled to open on 29 June 2013.Follow the evolution of the revamped café and bar on Twitter using #pickwicks3000.

Tip: The bar runs a daily ‘happy four hours’ special that treats visitors to 2-for-1 beer between 5pm and 7pm and two cocktails for R44 between 7pm and 9pm. They will also be launching a short-term opening deal that offers up a burger and milkshake or beer for between R50 and R60.

The Bill: Prices are very reasonable – diners can enjoy a filling meal for around R60. Gourmet burgers go for between R50 and R60, footlong subs ring in at R50, milkshakes range from R25 to R35 and a glass of wine will set you back about R20.

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7am – 2am (Mr Pickwicks is open 365 days a year)

2 Greenmarket Place | 54 Shortmarket Street | Greenmarket Square | City Centre | Cape Town |


Not your cup of tea? Read more about other bars in Cape Town.


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