Previously a little rough around the edges, Newtown’s rep is now on the up and up. And, at the heart of this suburb’s revamp is The Gentlemen’s Arthouse. Maira and John Koutsoudakis of the LIFE Group (the development group behind Grand Café) bring us the latest swanky space on Jozi's scene.
Transforming the original Edwardian Washrooms, that were built in 1911, this plush set up still makes use of some of the washroom’s original—and stylish—relics. “We’ve searched for the right spot for this project for years and the Edwardian Washrooms is the perfect location for a truly mesmerising concept,” says Maira.
Step inside and one of the first things you’ll notice is the emerald green tiles salvaged from this heritage site. If those tiles could talk.
After some serious scrubbing even the old urinals have been converted into rows of throne-like seats.
“We’re all about heritage; respecting what has come before and enhancing it with what’s current to create an engaging space that has a lot of soul," explains Maira.
Sit back on a deep-button ottoman or rest against the hand-moulded brass bar, and you’ll soon soak up the aristocrat-like atmosphere. Adding to the spot’s dapper demeanour is the cathedral-style windows, framed with heavy velvet teal curtains that fall to the floor.
Apart from ogling at the opulent décor, best you try one of their talked-about molecular cocktails or something special cooked up by executive chef, Jeanel Pieterse.
Feel like dinner and a show? While trying their Crocodile Ceviche or Crispy Crudo Cones, you might be lucky enough to see Victorian ladies descending from the ceiling and performing various trapeze acts. We hear there’s a further lineup of crazy cats and acrobats also set to perform on other nights of the week.
The Gentlemen’s Arthouse hosts evenings every Thursday before extending the offering to the weekends later in the year. The venue is also available for event hire from Fridays to Wednesdays. For bookings and more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.