Just this past weekend, someone asked me what The Athletic Club & Social on Buitengracht Street is like and I realised… I went, I saw, I conquered… but never shared my thoughts here on the blog. So here goes. 😉
As far as seriously sexy spaces go, this one ranks very highly. This Victorian 19th century, 3-storey building used to be the home of a speakeasy-style bar for athletes and sports fans alike. Today, the team behind The Athletic Club & Social pays tribute to that history with wall-to-wall vintage decor & furniture, antique sports equipment for that sporty touch and old photographs and trophies to complete the look.
The ground floor is home to their restaurant as well as the first of 3 gorgeous bars:
Head one floor down and you’ll reach the 2nd bar (also referred to as “The Trophy Room”) as well as some cosy seating spaces where you can sit back & relax while listening to some live music or DJ tunes (depending on the night):
And up on the first floor you’ll find the 3rd bar, more interesting nooks where you can settle in for the night as well as a large balcony with lovey city views:
The restaurant menu is relatively simple with a strong Mediterranean feel. You’ll find a few mezzes, +/- 10 different sharing plate options, a small selection of chicken, lamb, venison & seafood mains, and then a couple of sides & desserts.
Now before we get into the food, I have to say that (to me at least) this is more of a drinking, socialising, be seen & be merry kind of place. I would highly recommend it for a night out on the town. If you happen to be hungry, sit down for a bite for sure, BUT there are so many great restaurant options in this area, I would personally rather have dinner elsewhere and then make my way over here after.
On the night I was there, my girlfriends and I did decide to have dinner first. We shared two portions of the baked mussels (R90) which looked a bit unusual upon arrival but actually turned out to be quite nice:
Then for mains I had the venison with a tamarind, mint & lime dressing (R130) and some marinated tomatoes as a side (R20):
If I had to give them a rating on food alone, I’d probably be looking at a 3 out of 5, so not amazing. But as far as overall vibe & setting goes (for a night out that is), I’m going to give them the following top score on my Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale:
They just recently celebrated their 1st birthday, which is a massive achievement in itself (we all know how fickle Capetonians can be). To me that shows that they’ve obviously got that special something that ensures that people keep going back, which is exactly how I felt after finally paying them a visit.
Here’s to many more birthdays and many more fun nights out. If you’re looking for your next sexy drinks spot & haven’t yet been to The Athletic Club & Social, do yourself a favour and check it out.
You’ll find The Athletic Club & Social at: 35 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town CBD. And you can contact them on 021-012-5331 or firstname.lastname@example.org or make a dinner reservation via their website.
They are open Mon – Sat, 12 midday to 11pm week nights & 12 midday to 2am over the weekends.