The bar at Streetbar Named Desire. Interiors by Studio A and Jana + Koos.
The bar at Streetbar Named Desire. Interiors by Studio A and Jana + Koos.

We have all seen the trends: the classic cocktails are back. But, given our insatiable need to Instagram, often in completely over-the-top incarnations. In other words, be prepared for your next cocktail to be even fancier. Why settle for a classic Old Fashioned when you can have a blueberry one instead?

These three Joburg bars are taking it one step further and infusing their drinks with art. These new hotspots muddle and mix the essence of the space into the experience, enhancing all the flavours. Make one of these your pit stop of choice for your next sundowner.

ARTIVIST

DJ Kenzhero is known for his smooth grooves and hitting just the right beat on the dance floor. And now, working together with Bradley Williams, he brings that dexterous hand to food and drink. The undoubtedly upmarket joint Artivist is awash with the kinds of textures and designs you’d find in some of the chicest international bars.

The Artivist’s black-and-white marble bar would look as gorgeous in a bar in Barcelona as it does in downtown Braamfontein. Beyond well-shaken drinks, slick beats, the occasional jazz night, and the best Scotch egg this side of Edinburgh, this space, as the name suggests, is about the art: every month there’s a new exhibition by an impressive young artist. 

TESTAMENT

Just down the road from Artivist is the latest offering from the boundary-pushing Kalashnikovv Gallery team. Testament, housed in what used to be the Dokter and Misses showroom before they took over their pink residence at 99 Juta, is a space where you don’t know where the bar ends and the art starts. MJ Turpin and Matthew Dean Dowdle celebrate “creativity as religion”, reflecting on the cult of social media, and have thus made it the perfect place to indulge that following. They’ve transformed the space into a slick haven of craft liquors and DJs, with some bold installations — expect a whole lot of sophisticated revelry.

STREETBAR NAMED DESIRE

You’ll find Jozi’s latest “it” spot for after-work drinks nuzzled between a host of small galleries and hot food spots within striking distance of the Goodman Gallery. Streetbar is a slick green haven that comes courtesy of Studio A, in collaboration with creative geniuses Jana + Koos.

Streetbar Named Desire interior.
Streetbar Named Desire interior.
Image: Supplied

The space is covered in unique and quirky art and illustrations that are transported into your glass with an offering of cocktail matchups. Now that summer’s in full swing, try to nab the sofa under the surrealist photographs upstairs, where you can snack on the delightful tapas with a glass in hand and watch the sun go down over the busy city streets. 

Quirky, bespoke graphics on napkins.
Quirky, bespoke graphics on napkins.
Image: Supplied
It's all in the detail. Interiors by Studio A and Jana + Koos.
It's all in the detail. Interiors by Studio A and Jana + Koos.

- From the October edition of Wanted magazine.

© Wanted 2016 - If you would like to reproduce this article please email us.
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