The restaurant started life in the basement of The Pembridge Hotel in 1989. It was runned by 2 young South Africans: Anton and Jonatan.
I was part of the cleaning-before-opening process and started as a waitress. I made a poor waitress. After a tiff, I was quickly put Head of salad bar kitchen. That was a lot of work but also a lot of fun. I was in charge of making the cold starters, the desserts and the drinks. The ever-changing dishwasher was also with me.
Nine years later, I found myself in South Africa. I was in desperate need of work (read: money) and I heard that Anton had opened a Ruby-in-the-Dust in Capetown. By now it was a music venue and a bar with pool tables. I found myself serving drinks to young Capetownians while listenning to local bands. Some great, some good and some very bad.
Soon it was decided to open a small pizza place on the top floor, in the back. We sold home-made individual pizzas, all made from scratch, including the dough. My pizzas soon became popular and known as the "Helen Special". Toppings: pineapple (fresh), garlic, hot peppers and mushrooms.
A very basic bar/music venue but the local place to hip young Capetownians of all walk of life. I made some great friends and heard some brilliant music. It closed whenever there wasn't enough people left: 2AM, 3AM, 4 AM.
It was in Capetown that I turned the big 3-0.
This photo is of the bar with Nohoko, after hours. (early morning)