One of the many sad closures caused by the government-mandated lockdowns as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic was the city’s much loved Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein. The gourmet hangout had, in its almost 10 years, become a Joburg institution and a popular Saturday outing for both locals and tourists visiting the city, the once parking lot transformed to a landmark for the district of Braamfontein.
On Saturday, The Playground will open at the same location — 73 Juta Street — a whole new concept and reinvented market experience which promises to once again change the way weekends are spent in the City of Gold. The multistorey, open-air space has been transformed to include a custom-designed performance space, and outdoor decks overlooking the precinct.
Co-founder of the original Neighbourgoods Market Adam Levy (of Play Braamfontein), is behind this exciting new project.
“The market — which will feature everything we loved about the last version, will go further. The Playground will amplify new stories and build new storytellers in this city. It will excite a whole new generation and be a holding place for outstanding talent. The Playground will be the source of everything that is the best of Braamfontein — which is everything that is the best of SA”, Levy says.
The entrepreneur has carefully assembled a team of specialists to curate every aspect of the experience — combining food, art, design, fashion and music.
“I believe that there is an opportunity to break moulds, create trends and open the space up to showcase talent and inspire creative culture. This next iteration will be transformative, and we are intent on The Playground once again becoming a weekly must-visit for its unique energy.”
As the name suggests, The Playground is set to be a place to spark conviviality, joy and gathering — a considered and cool space, which will play host to an artisan market every Saturday, offering up menus of gourmet street food and cocktails. More than just a market space though, it is equally focused on the consumer experience as it is on creating a showcase of young talent in Johannesburg.
The new market will feature an array of more than 30 food stalls, in addition to promoting local fashion and design — focusing on upcoming, young designers. Indulge in the likes of Pain Perdu — French Toast, Korean BBQ Kimchee, The Shwarma Guys, Contessa La Cucina and so much more. Browse the fashion and design of Ark of O, Concrete Jungle, La Shongwe Designers and Jozi Streets among other hot designers. Music will be an integral part of The Playground experience, with top live music and DJ sets a part of the weekly programme.
Kicking off on January 29, the opening event will include a presentation of exciting young designers — the start of a new talent incubator pop-up that each week will give a platform to new talent while adding a unique and diverse element for those who visit.
73 Juta Street, Braamfontein
Hours: 9am to 6pm every Saturday
Ticketing: The Playground will be free to enter from 9am-11am. From 11am-6pm, a R20 entry fee will be payable at the door by card only.
Note that this will be a cashless environment.