3 Night Club reviews: About Town

Posted: January 13, 2009 in Restaurant Reviews

Published in About Town

In 2005 I was asked by the Editor of About Town to interview three night club owners for the summer edition of that publication.  I had 24hrs to set up,write and send the reviews.

Opium:  Interview with Martin Tucker – General Manager

In January 2004, Opium rocked into the Cape Town club scene through the imagination of Shaun Westcott and Garren Reck. Martin Tucker joined in March of that same year. “I was born to do this,” Martin grins.  They have since opened Pulse, a student/sports bar, Club O-two that has hosted Eric Morillo, Sonnique the Black-Eyed Peas and Freshly Ground, as well as Cruz – a gay groove bar for the discerning male.  Cafe Dharma’s and the HQ Cafe also fall under their ownership.

Martin studied advertising and worked in the industry for four years before becoming part of the Opium group. 

“We run our clubs like a professional business and I think that is what sets us apart,” Martin explains.  That, and of course the fact that the EK Green building which hosts all the venues is a 160 year old National heritage building. “We are preserving the building in its natural state and our award winning designer, Philip Tyers works with the existing structure towards a holistic approach.”

 “We’ve turned it into a complex that caters for everything,” Martin says. Opium is an upmarket venue hosting top DJ’s and Live music. On Thursdays you can groove to old school funk and cheese.  Club O-two’s exclusive VIP room, the Alligator, has vibed the likes of Tom Cruise, Nicholas Cage and bad boy Collin Farrel.   

It seems as if Martin’s success has not gone to his head.  “At times I tend to blow up”, he admits.  “But I always try to look for the good in the chaos.”

Opium, 6 Dixon Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 021 425 4010, www.opium.co.za  

@mosphere – Interview with Rashaad Abrahams – Owner, (King of Clubs)

 ‘This is going to be a landmark!’, Rashaad hollers. ‘Every international artist will pass through my venue’.

Rashaad Abrahams and two partners started plans for club @mosphere in September 2004.  ‘It is going to be the biggest dance club in Cape Town’, he beams. What makes his club unique is the variety of entertainment on offer. A 300sqm dance floor will host international and local bands.  There are three exclusive VVIP rooms for private functions and a dedicated Karaoke venue. The Jewel of India Restaurant will serve traditional Indian fare as well as Sushi throughout the evening.

@mosphere’s decor is galvanized by Clementine Design and Rashaad’s own extensive travels. ‘The mood is a fusion of New York, London and Hong Kong’, he explains. 

Rashaad started his career as a DJ, perfecting his trade at school discos in Rondebosch.  ‘One day I got really tired of carting all my equipment around.  I decided to open a club.  Then everyone can party at my place,’ he laughs. 

That was in 1992 and Jaquelines in Claremont opened. ‘It was rocking man,’ he remembers. After three years he sold the club and opened his first solo club, Images, in Athlone. Images was a jazz club that hosted an array of performers including Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan and the Temptations.  At the end of 1999 he sold the business, ‘because of a lucrative offer, I could not refuse’, he smiles secretively.  His rave club, Adrenaline opened in Paardeneiland and bounced house, commercial, rave and uplifting trance for three years.  

Rashaad’s eyes radiate passion. ‘I don’t wait on anybody to motivate me. If I start a project, I finish it.  I have been in the entertainment business for a long time’.   Opening night is 1 December 2005. 

@mosphere, cnr Castor and Pollocks Road, Kenilworth, Cape Town.

 Rashaad Abrahams – 082 553 3683


Saints: Interview with Marc Delaporte – Owner

Saints Bar in Bree Street, Cape Town is the latest brainchild of 29-year-old Marc Delaporte. ‘I wanted to create a small, intimate space where people can socialize and drink in a comfortable environment’, he says.  True to that philosophy, the bar hosts around 120 people.

Bizarrely enough, the 140-year old National Heritage building itself is attached to that of the church of St Stevens and was promptly baptized as Saints. Funky lounge music plays on most nights and on a Thursday; you can relax to live Jazz.   Marc designed the simplistic but warm interior to which graphic artwork adds bold swashes of colour.   

Marc studied Hotel Management and later worked as Operating Manager for Eclipse in London.  He designed the exclusive beach bar, Eclipse in Camps bay, Cape Town in 2002. He also has his own consultancy business and was involved in creating Nando’s bar in Camps bay.  ‘Hotels don’t always have the personal touch that they claim to have.  With a bar you get to build relationships.  And that is the kind of business I enjoy,’ he smiles.  ‘What drives me is the industry itself and the interesting characters that you meet when they are out of their box.  And generally people are out of their box when they’re in the bar.  It is an inspiration to see people in a relaxed environment.’ 

Saints, 110 Bree Street, Cape Town, 021 424 1007 

Marc Delaporte – 072 198 2833







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s