What started off as a R6 000 investment and supper club turned into one of Cape Town’s most popular party destinations.
Rafiki’s will be taking its last order at the end of May, says owner Miki Clark. They won’t be extending their lease and are not planning to open elsewhere.
Mr Clark has been renting the popular pub since it opened in a Kloof Nek Road house in 2000 and has had a series of partners.
So, what made the popular watering hole a success in such a tough industry for 15 years?
“We tried to keep our prices down and target the locals and backpackers crowd,” said Mr Clark.
“Initially, we started off the business as a supper club for about 20 people. We weren’t on Long Street, and it was more of a destination location.”
However, from that it grew into a party place. It became a place, says Mr Clark, where people went to make new friends.
“It became a melting pot. People never stayed at the same table but moved around to mingle.”
He said being part of the restaurant industry for the past 15 years had been a fantastic experience. “It’s got to be something that you want go to sleep late and wake up early for work.”
He said it was also important to have a great staff and management.
“The area itself has changed dramatically.
“There used to be just a laundry and a few other businesses. It has become a hip corner,” said Mr Clark.
“It was an amazing experience. The most important thing is that you have to do it every day.”
Mr Clark said that he would be moving to a farm on the West Coast with his wife and his two young children.