NEW: Tunes, Wine and Pizza Bagels At Leo’s Wine Bar

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NEW: Tunes, Wine and Pizza Bagels At Leo’s Wine Bar

From the guy behind Max Bagels (and his brother), a new wine bar is in town with vinyl listening sessions from Cape Town's best DJs

Leo's Wine Bar opened its doors for the first time on 7 November 2019 as a new member of the Bree Street family. Brothers Simon and Matthew Freemantle - both with a passion for food, wine and vinyl - hope to establish a place where wine connoisseurs and casual vino lovers can come together and be excited about the world-class offering in South Africa.

According to Matthew, Cape Town is basically Burgundy or Bordeaux. The Mother City is a world-class historic wine destination, yet there are only a handful of wine bars. Matthew felt there was room for another one: a  bar with serious wines but a very easy-going atmosphere. The idea behind Leo's Wine Bar is to knock things like stemware, wine selection and service out of the park, while still making sure every guest feels comfortable.

Leo's currently offers about 20 wines, 10 of which you can buy by the glass. The by-the-glass options often change, so expect to try something new every time you visit. According to one of the owners, Matthew Freemantle, Leo's prides itself on stocking wines that are made naturally and receive minimal intervention in the cellar.

Their current selection includes wines from Mullineux & Leeu, Crystallum, Scions of Sinai, Reenen Borman, Richard Kershaw and Lukas van Loggerenberg. You can expect to pay somewhere between R35 and R90 per glass, depending on what's on offer for the evening. There are a handful of other drinks on offer such as selected beers, ciders and cocktails, plus a non-alcoholic option.

Leo's is an ideal after-work watering hole for those looking to drink serious wine in a carefree space, according to co-owner, Matthew Freemantle. The inspiration came from Matthew's ever-growing passion for wine. In 2018, he completed his Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 and then went on to make an Elgin Syrah with his father-in-law. Simon Freemantle, co-owner and brother to Matthew, is an analyst with a passion for food and vinyl, who wanted to do something outside the everyday 9 to 5. Working alongside the Freemantle brothers is Matthew's partner from Max Bagels, Andrew Kai, who also has a hand in the operation of Leo's.

So what's a listening room? A listening room is a place where someone plays tunes that guests explicitly come to listen to while enjoying a glass of wine. It's laid-back, chilled and a great way to start your weekend.

Just as with Max Bagels, Leo's will be hosting regular vinyl listening sessions in the bar in partnership with A11. The resident host, Andrew Aitchison, who's been with Max Bagels for a while, will be bringing Cape Town's best DJs to the Leo's Wine Bar space.

We all get a little peckish when having a drink (or three). Luckily Leo's has that covered. Their food menu includes light snacks such as olives, bagel chips and dip, and antipasti platters consisting of cured meats, capers and a seasonal fruit selection. Or go for something more filling like a pizza bagel (because this is a wine bar in a bagel shop). You can expect to pay between R25 and R75 for food at Leo's Wine Bar.

Leo's is about as versatile as they come. Max Bagels occupies the space from Monday to Saturday, 8am to 4pm, and transforms into Leo's Wine Bar on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 11pm. It's also available as a function venue from Monday to Wednesday after hours. Although Leo's and Max Bagels are separate entities, they are intertwined as the owners have close ties. Fun fact: Matthew and Simon's seven-year-old nephew, Leo, drew the logo for Leo's Wine Bar.

The wine bar attempts to keep with the Max Bagels aesthetic: clean lines, simplicity and quality. You'll see lots of colour in the form of revolving art exhibitions on the walls from Hoick Studios. Plus a lot of renovations were done in preparation for Leo’s big opening, including the installation of an ash hardwood bar done by Now Now Designs.

120 Bree Street, Cape Town
Contact: +27 (0)76 042 0224 |
Hours: Thursday - Saturday 5pm – 11pm


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