Everyone has their favourite spot, so venturing a list of suggested spots normally gives rise to profanity, verbal abuse and strong contentions on what a dump Venue X is, and how much nicer Venue Y can be.
Putting aside such fears, here follow a few of the definitively “studenty” Pretoria hangouts where the intelligentsia can mingle, meet their friends, lie on the floor, or just drink upright like normal people.
If there’s a hangout that screams “Students!!” anywhere in Pretoria, it has to be Aandklas. Everything younger folks expect as attitude and behaviour is laid on here, where students dominate and lazy days spent sipping or wild nights of hard rocking are all par for the course. Aandklas is situated in Hatfield, and well worth checking out. Look at their Facebook page for constant updates on upcoming gigs.
Lucky’s has broader appeal it’s true, beyond the student fraternity of Pretoria, but for those who think it’s not really a studenty hangout, we have a single phrase for you: all-day breakfast! That’s normally a good sign that babalas cures are available whenever you need them, and students typically need them more often and, yes, any time of the day or night. Whenever your morning begins, the place is smart but cool, organised, but always waiting to get a bit wilder. Situated in Lynnwood, Lucky Rodrigo won’t disappoint.
The Blue Room
Also in Hatfield, this venue is geared up for sound! Take a virtual tour here (their web builder rocks!) or pop in once, and you’re very likely to know their decor better than your own within a month. Stylish yet totally funky, organised yet totally wild at times, The Blue Room remains first choice for many who want to start according to plan, and end up off the map.
Another well-positioned and organised venue that nonetheless pumps till the wee hours on demand, Joe Public almost always has great talent killing the decks, and has a consistent welcoming smile on its face for students. Reminiscent of old school hangouts yet somehow trend-settingly modern, Joe Public has been a firm favourite for years now, especially among Pretoria’s student fraternity.
No, you probably won’t see Arno Carstens there, the most famous nude Springbok, as he’s on pension now mos, but the same rocking ethos that fed that band flares up regularly at the Springbok Bar. Australian rugby supporters are always thin on the ground, but students often dominate, although an eclectic mix of patrons comes and goes. Heads up: if it’s shocking, off-hand service you’re after, this is your venue! The place is great and the vibe always excellent, but competent waiter service has become an endangered species there. Get ready for a bit of DIY catering (ordering at the bar and replacing dirty cutlery yourself if necessary) and you’ll have a whale of a time!
The Café Barcelona has been popular for the longest time, and it’s a consistent supporter of local music, a big draw card for students at the best of times. A wonderful overlap of students, musos and the general public can usually be found here, and behind the fresh and relaxed approach lies a persistent dedication to local gigging, turning it up, and just generally having a wild time as things progress. Cafe Barcelona is in Colbyn, and well worth checking out.
Baracas Wine & Beer Bar
Last on the list, Baracas “Wine & Beer Bar” might sound a little too pretentious for students, but have no fear. The place might be organised and accommodating towards all comers, but it’s always waiting to slip off into student revelry, so you’ll be at home here anytime. Big screens and frequent live music make it an ideal spot to visit till midnight at least, before you drift off to the holes in the wall where they serve drinks until sunrise.