Seems as though there has always been a café on the corner of Buckingham and Rothesay, once there was a time when the café was regularly frequented for its arcade games and supply of Chappies. For the last 17 years however, it’s been a place for locals to gather in the easy, warm atmosphere of casual good food that is provided by cnr. café – a vast improvement on Chappies. It has become almost an institution in our community, somewhere to meet friends and family for a quick breakfast, have an informal business meeting – even a temporary office when needing a break from working at home – to catch up with friends over lunch, enjoy a well-deserved sundowner after a long day or a night out surrounded by candles with a bottle of Cape Wine.
cnr. café was started in 2003. Since then, it has grown from a restaurant seating 40 people offering only breakfast and lunch to one that seats 240 with a staff compliment of 50 where you can graze all day, open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and supper (except on Sundays when they’re open for breakfast and lunch only). Owner Greig Walker is a constant presence, involved in all aspects of the restaurant from the service you receive to being at the frontline of what goes on the menu and how it is made. He has put together an excellent, well trained team, both those you see and those you don’t, many of whom have been with him for years and have taken the time to get to know you, your preferences … and maybe some quirks. Being owner-run means Greig ensures that the secrets of their enduring success – being taken care of, soft lights, good coffee, being able to take your time, smooth service and music volumes low enough to hear each other – are combined with healthy and delicious food, which makes cnr. café somewhere people consistently return to.
What’s on Offer
cnr. café is a bistro with something on offer all day: breakfast, brunch, lunch, coffee to go, freshly baked breads, ever changing specials to keep things interesting, good wines – some by the glass – private events, deliveries and catering. You can contact them or find out more on their website:
011 880 2244
The menu is designed to be worth coming back for and offers vegetarian and vegan meals alongside the omnivorous, with the deliciously healthy alongside the deliciously not-so-healthy. They focus on producing real food using quality ingredients that are fresh with a known provenance. This includes making as much as possible themselves, including their pasta and bread. As Greig says “it is part of our ‘trading consciously’ philosophy, which implies an ethic of honesty in what we do – you won’t find anything hidden or artificial here.”
Having been around for 17 years cnr. café is a longstanding member of our community. They have given back to the community in a number of ways, supporting local businesses when possible and supporting the CRA – from displaying information for us, to becoming business members and most recently sponsoring vouchers in our June Membership Lucky Draw for all residents who pay their membership fees in June (both new sign ups and renewals). They not only give back to the local community but through Greig’s involvement with Fight with Insight make a profound difference in the lives of individuals. Greig steps in as a sparring partner and mentor for those in the programme. He teaches children how to make good food choices and how to prepare nourishing meals for themselves. If the bug bites, school leavers are encouraged to take advantage of sponsored culinary training. When complete, in-house practical experience is readily offered by cnr. café, who like to nurture those who choose a life in food.
Fight with Insight is a boxing training programme which doubles as a way to help children who live on the streets to take responsibility for their lives. Children are referred to ‘Fight with Insight’ by the South African Youth Justice system. Boxing lessons are used as a form of supervised play therapy, where the rules of boxing – respect for others, adherence to referee’s decisions, accepting his/her verdict and for those who don’t win, the ability to accept defeat gracefully – teach children how to respond constructively in ways that protect both themselves, and others from physical and emotional harm. Ultimately, the project’s teaching of controlled aggression hopes to break the cycle of violence begetting violence that leads to young people becoming adult offenders.
Businesses form a vital part of our amazing community so please
Features are written about local businesses that give back to the community. They provide a little more information to residents about local businesses and what they do for our community. If you run a business in the area and would like to become a CRA business member sign up on our website here