Jo’burg is a city that buzzes non-stop, with infused cultures and an undeniable look.
Photo Credit: David Crookes
Johannesburg also commonly known as ‘Jozi’ is not just the “City Of Gold’, but a gem filled with an abundance of sights, vibrant energies and sounds that fit perfectly to create its ‘cosmopolitan’ feel.
This is South Africa’s biggest city and is still growing, comprising of distinctive spaces that offer unique cultures. Here are a few spaces that you should definitely add to your must-visit list.
“Redefining the Joburg inner-city landscape”
A uniquely integrated urban complex, Victoria Yards is not only just about social development but also about commercial enterprise. The owners had initially planned to make the space an urban city farm that later it became a school, he then wanted to fill the space with artists, artisans and as well as filling the gap in the South African educational market with something like artisan skill sets being developed in the space.
With that idea in mind, the space employed 57 people, mostly locals, to create a space where people come in from the community and walk out with some form of accreditation that qualifies them either as wood-workers, steel-workers and artists, through their services. The building was a bit of a ruin when it was procured, but when the refurbishment was done, the walls were left in that rough feel to give it a unique inventive look. The buildings tell a story from a heritage perspective. The building has its own borehole, veggie and herb garden, fish pond, granadilla vines growing up the walls of some parts of the buildings and sunflowers that all face the sun.
The Space has a number of tenants that include:
– Artisan Studios
– Urban Farming
– Skills Development
– Visual Arts
They have a 1st Sunday, which opens on the first Sunday of every month, where you can expect all studios and restaurants to be open.
Address: 16 Viljoen St, Lorentzville, Johannesburg, 2094
Thunder Walker – Ghandi Square
Imagine dining in an old school bank vault.
One could easily miss this hidden gem, it is covert, with no ‘loud’ architectural features on the outside, occasionally, there will be sun umbrellas and a few cocktail tables set on the outside, small bonfire placements on cold nights and music, subtle enough to attract passersbys. This is a collection of 3 inner-city spaces, collectively known as Thunder Walker, encompassing of Zwipi Underground Bar, Scatterlings Restaurant and Balcony Gardens Apartment Hotel (opening mid-2019). Built in 1906, this historic bank building with an impressive Edwardian arcade entrance, which leads straight into its foyer with old-fashioned inspired interior décor, is now one of the best spaces to visit and is a great initiative of JoburgPlaces. The location of this antiquely kept space allows for its visitors to enjoy the mesmerising narratives and flavours of Johannesburg. Thunder Walker is also the meeting point from where all JoburgPlaces tours and city experiences depart and to which they return.
Zwipi Underground Bar (open Thur, Fri & Sat evenings)
Scatterlings Restaurant (open for lunch and early dinner, Monday till Saturday every week).
Address: Gandhi Square or 110 Fox Street,Johannesburg, Gauteng 2000
From industrial hub to a cultural district
This precinct that now boasts with liveliness was, in the 1880s, part one of the first mining camps when gold was being discovered in Johannesburg. Later, during the hasty growth of the Johannesburg transport sector, the area became the hub of the management, maintenance and storage of trams (rail vehicles) and buses. The area evolved a lot to meet the needs of the constant growth of the transport system of this highly populated city, which is when the sheds were erected. The M1 freeway can be seen from the buzz of 1 Fox, giving the space its literal ‘on the edge’ feel.
In the present day, the 1 Fox precinct houses a variety of zestful businesses that vary from event venues, bars and eateries. Ted Bakery is our utmost favourite, with its rich chocolate cake, character-inspired cookies, colourful uniquely flavoured macaroons and a wide selection of their high-tea inspired treats.
Address: 1 Fox St, Ferreiras Dorp, Johannesburg, 2048
Uncle Charlie’s Go Karting
For the adrenaline junkies and lovers of food and family time.
A perfect space to look forward to when making weekend plans with friends and family, Uncle Charlie’s Nasrec offers such a unique vibe for all ages. This space offers go-karting for the entire family — kiddies under the age of 13 have kiddies go-karts and other ages are catered for accordingly. Here is also where the ‘Weekend Market’ with live bands, a beer garden, 130 stalls to browse through, face-painting, kids world and loads of food options can be enjoyed. Families and groups of friends are promised to enjoy this place without a doubt as their mission is “To create a fun-filled environment”.
Address: Cnr Nasrec and Rifle Range 2091, Johannesburg, Gauteng