Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
SAB World of Beer, Johannesburg Zoo, Hillbrow Tower, Satyagraha House, Bensusan Photographic Museum, Enoch Sontonga Memorial Park, Sandton City, Moyo Restaurants, Nelson Mandela Square, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Johannesburg Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, Nelson Mandela Bridge, Apartheid Museum, Brenthurst Gardens, Constitution Hill, ABSA Art Gallery, The Bag Factory, Oriental Plaza, Standard Bank Gallery, MuseuMAfricA
One of the few places that has remained a constant on the shifting streets of Johannesburg is the Radium Beer Hall, an iconic landmark located in the suburb of Orange Grove. The area was once known as Little Italy for its large contingent of Italian citizens, however, the suburb is now an eclectic mix of nations, many of whom are regulars at the Radium.
First established in the 1920s as a tearoom and later as a men’s-only beerhall before the current owner, charismatic Manny Cabeleira purchased the property in 1986, opened it to all and converted it into a lively pub and restaurant. He brought with him a taste of Portuguese and a whole bunch of hospitality.
The place doesn’t look like much from the outside but the interior still has the original pressed ceilings, wooden floors and a bar counter recovered from an old downtown hotel where trade unionist Pick-handle Mary once stood to rally workers against the establishment. Old photographs bring to life the history of the Radium along with interesting vintage posters and countless, flattering press clippings.
The reasonably-priced menu consists of contemporary dishes and a sprinkling of Portuguese favourites that include grilled sardines, spicy prawns prepared in the old Lourenço Marques (Mozambique) way, and espetada. The Radium Beer Hall sells its wildly popular hot peri-peri sauce, enquire with your waitron.
Live music happens here 4 days a week and jazz is a big favourite, particularly on Fat Sound Sundays, held on the first Sunday of every month.
If the party gets out of hand and your blood alcohol limit is risky, you can always sleep it off by booking a room at the Radium’s Bed & Breakfast facility alongside.
So when next you visit the Radium, catch up with Manny, he’s the guy with the big smile and witty repartee at the ready.