Situated in Mooikloof, Pretoria East, Rafters is a brave establishment. Anytime anyone puts together a cool venue with a welcoming vibe that also insists on making absolutely everyone feel at home, they’re open to abuse. Being millennial-friendly, family-friendly and biker-friendly is a tough gig to maintain, but they’ve done it.
So waar as smartphones, this venue has remained cosmopolitan and open to all comers, yet avoided being claimed by any one group. It is a young jollers venue, and a lekker place to enjoy a meal at the restaurant with friends and family. It is a bikers hangout, but also a concert hall and a great venue for private parties. Part club, part restaurant and part kroeg, Rafters is one of those rare places that is truly, perpetually gesellig, no matter who you are.
The restaurant-stroke-pub-theater does awesome steaks, pizzas and burgers, with loads of healthy salads rounding things off. If live entertainment while you chew is your thing, Rafters definitely has to be on your preferred venue list. Showcasing talent from around the country, the musical fare is satisfyingly diverse, much like the food menu.
Wil jy kuier? Wil jy dans? Is jy honger? Is jy dors?
That’s the venue’s approach and, really, it kind of says it all. Here the gears turn quickly, and busy cooks and barmen blend with live bands and DJs on the decks. They call themselves “unpretentious,” and they’re spot on there, but don’t think the food or facilities are tossed in as an afterthought. It might be an unpretentious venue, but they’re organised and offer great service around anyone’s desires.
Consider their moerse groot TV that draws sports fans like moths to a light during big events, and you can see why the venue is proving so popular with Pretorians. Onstage you’ll find live music and/or DJs on Friday and Saturday nights, and Rafters will accommodate corporate events, private gatherings, bachelor parties and seminars. The boma area is ideal for outdoor veranda-type gatherings – something to remember as spring approaches.
It’s the various small touches in the way the owners have put it all together that adds up to the venue being such a star locale. A concert hall with an “extra private bar” along with two larger bar areas complement the dance floor and other party facilities. Tweaking the possibilities even further, Sunday nights typically boast [email protected] evenings too.
The staff are friendly – the vibe has made for efficient yet smiley service that depicts just what the venue is all about – and, did we mention, there are now pool tables inside as well? There’s a car wash with secure parking facilities at the venue, and they’ve made it hard to find an excuse not to pop in for any number of reasons.
Best treated as a weekend restaurant to laze about in, or a party venue for Friday and Saturday nights, check out their website for upcoming events. Office and birthday parties go down well here, and you can call to book your own.