Kalk Bay is not just about a railway line, a harbour and a row of shops. Its streets are abuzz with fascinating people and places.
Words and Pictures: Sue Adams
Freddie Smith once played bass for a band called Suburban Angel who had a hit in the Top 40 sometime in the 90s in South Africa. But now he’s a dad and has decided to be responsible. But he still has a passion for music and so his little shop up the alley near Lekker Coffee Shop is filled with second-hand CDs and vinyl hard to find elsewhere. Freddie says he has watched the music industry change, and predicted the swing back to vinyl. He grew up in Simon’s Town, moved to Joburg for the music, and now he’s on home turf again surrounded by the music
074 110 0129
Above the famous Olympia Café on Main Road is a modern gallery and craft shop in a beautiful old building – Kalk Bay Modern. If you’re not looking at beautiful art there’s one of the best views in Kalk Bay. Elegant Lacley Chinyanganya from Zimbabwe, who is the face of the gallery, has been there for five years and knows each artist and sculptor’s pieces. Ask her to take you around and show you her favourites. The gallery specialises in six exhibitions a year ranging from ceramics and paintings, to textile and jewellery.
They also sell a stunning range of unusual textiles. Owner Cheryl Rumbak worked with the Southern African San people to try and develop some sort of sustainable income for them, and came up with a beautiful range of San-designed textiles called Art-I-San.
021 788 6571
Pete Strydom is a panel beater by day to bring in the money but his true passion is sculpture. Walk up the side of Olympia Café (Windsor Road) and you’ll find his dusty shop window filled with bronze sculptures of bird and flower interaction. Back in the day he studied jewellery design and you can see it in his delicate work. He and partner Jean Tiran (also a sculptor) now run a bronze foundry on the premises where they cast for many well-known sculptors. During the week, Pete will show you around, explain the bronze process and then, with a wicked smile, show you his other ‘tongue in cheek’ bronze sculptures with titles such as Julius the Ass.
Maurice Orgill from the fishing boat Zorba goes out at 02h00 every morning and if the yellowtail or snoek are running he only returns at about 14h00. He says the best way of cooking fish is to steam it with tomato, onion and a few celery stalks to make a ‘lekker sous’. He also loves a tot of whisky to go with his snoek. Fish is sold fresh off the boats so buy a whole one and take it home to braai. But the next best is to buy fish and chips fresh from Kalky’s and sit on the harbour wall and watch the passing scene. You might even get a seal coming to share your meal. Kalky’s
021 788 1726
If you sit on the veranda at Cape to Cuba on Main Road you can have your mojito shaken and stirred as the train whips past (and have your hat blow off at the same time). If you want a more mellow experience sit outside with your feet in the beach sand and enjoy tapas and cocktails. Or dine under sparkling chandeliers in the restaurant. Owner Diona van Vuuren visited Havana in 1999, fell in love with Cuba and brought back two container loads of Cuban furniture, as well as the recipe to serve possibly the first mojito in South Africa. Seven days a week this place buzzes with live music, quirky characters and great food. Don’t forget to try the Cuban bread.
082 774 4411
There is a secret bagel and coffee joint that Kalk Bay locals keep under wraps. It’s up a little side street (Rouxville Road) opposite the tiny children’s park. Robin Pollard (Bob) roasts his own coffee (a blend of Brazil, Columbian and Nicaraguan), makes sublime, fresh fruit juices such as apple, carrot and ginger, and, of course, freshly baked bagels filled with classics like smoked salmon and cream cheese or a breakfast bagel with cream cheese, scrambled eggs and bacon. Attached to this is The Potter’s Shop containing lovely pottery and ceramics by local artists.
083 280 0012