This month we feature The Great Karoo Pub Crawl, where Chris Marais selflessly samples 21 of the quirkiest drinking holes in the region. It’s a jolly tale of unusual ales and dippy decorations, but we’re sad to announce a loss suffered by our nineteenth on this tipsy tour.
The Tankwa Padstal appears to have fallen victim to an arsonist. Marion Whitehead has followed the story and explains below Chris’s review…
Werskwinkel Bar, Tankwa Padstal
Not far down the pike is another amazing Karoo bar, right next to an equally eccentric padstal. Instead of burglar bars, the Werskwinkel (Workshop) Bar has pitchforks welded together. Bar chairs were once galvanised iron tubs. There is a deconstructed windmill. A waterbuck smoking a cigarette and a Barbie doll on a braai griddle. Perfect for the long distance overlander with an eye for the unusual. – Chris Marais, www.karoospace.co.za
Here’s Marion’s update:
The broader community has rallied around to help the owners of the Tankwa Padstal, a wonderfully quirky and refreshing beacon of hospitality on the long and dusty R355 between Ceres and Calvina in the Tankwa Karoo, which was allegedly torched by an arsonist and completely gutted.
Johann Roodt (19) of Grootdam, a nearby farm, appeared in court on Monday last week (29 September) and is out on bail. He is said to have upset patrons with his drunken, obnoxious behaviour on Sunday 21 September and owners Wally and Hein Lange asked him to leave. He was spotted later that night walking along the road near the farm stall. In the morning the popular watering hole was a smouldering ruin.
“The police have been excellent,” says Tiny Laubscher, a long-time friend of the Lange brothers who handles Tankwa Padstal’s Facebook page. “And the community has been extraordinarily helpful. Not just the local people who came to help clean up, but also the AfrikaBurn folk, the Wild Dog biker club and our Facebook friends.”
Most of the existing building, insured for a minimal amount, has had to be demolished and rebuilding will start immediately.
“They plan to be open long before Christmas and the donkey car competition and community day will go ahead on 1 November and be run out of a Bedouin tent,” says Tiny.
See Tankwa Padstal’s Facebook page for details if you wish to donate cash or drop off building materials at the collection point in Wellington.