Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ruby In The Dust

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)


Grant H said...

I'd love to try a Helene Special! It sounds delicious.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful material.

I loved "Battery 9"...but they were more Transvaal maybe. Did that guy ever appear there?

Eleni said...

Oops! Just saw the comment! Never heard of "Battery 9", so no, he never played @ Ruby's. Now I wish it had!