+27 Café is a coffee café with an full art gallery exhibition space in Hatfield Pretoria. They offer artists the opportunity to exhibit in the gallery at no cost, with only commission taken on sales. Exhibitions they have previously hosted include City Slickers and a Louis Minnaar solo exhibition. The gallery was closed for a few months earlier this year while renovations were being done but now – art community take note – the new upgraded space is available for shows. We asked +27 Café about their space:
Between 10and5: Can you please give us a little +27 history?
+27 Café : +27 Café was opened in September 2008 and have come a long way from the coffee only café to where it is today. The café is owned by two brothers, Riaan an Architect and Hardus a Civil Engineer. Both practice professionally (Own Practices) in their careers, so the café is a space they created for expressing their passion for design. +27 Café is a space for people who live design, who enjoy great coffee and want a break from the commercial mall culture.
10and5: Where is your space?
+27 Café: +27 Café is situated on the corner of South and Duncan streets, in Hatfield Pretoria. The building being South on Duncan. It’s walking distance from the Hatfield Gautrain Station and the University of Pretoria.
10and5: What is it about the area that appeals to you?
+27 Café: Initially when +27 Café opened the building was probably the ugliest in Pretoria. But we loved its location, the hustle and bustle of students, the movement in the busy street. We saw the potential for a space within this reality that inspires creativity.
The South on Duncan Building was built in the 50’s and has a classic look and industrial feel. In working with the owner of the building we upgraded and revived the old building into an exciting lifestyle centre with new designer shops opening soon.
10and5: Is your space predominantly a cafe or a gallery? Which idea came first?
+27 Café: The café was the first initial idea… But the concept to combine the café with the gallery to make art accessible to all came over a long period of time before we opened the cafe. +27 believe in creating a platform for young talent, that is why we charge no cost to exhibit in our gallery. We also sell unique designer items from local designers.
10and5: What do you love about it?
+27 Café: We love everything about the café. It’s always been more of a labour of love than a job or income. We love to rethink, change and evolve our ideas and concepts of what the café should be… Over the past 3 years a lot has changed, and over the next year we have a few more surprises up our sleeves!
10and5: Who designed/decorated the space? Was there a concept?
+27 Café: The space was designed and constructed by ourselves. From the lights to the counter, to our new courtyard… It has always been inspired by the city.
10and5: What’s your favourite corner or feature?
+27 Café: The courtyard. It’s an unexpected, tranquil getaway in the middle of one of the busiest areas in Pretoria. Sitting in the afternoon sun under the olive trees with a coffee and the water feature drizzling in the background really relaxes the senses!
10and5: What music is playing in your space?
+27 Café: From Lo-fi indie rock to blues with some alternative at times…
10and5: Whose work would you love to exhibit?
+27 Café: Gavin Rain. His work suits our brand perfectly.
10and5: What will your gallery walls never see?
+27 Café: Nudity or any other morally degrading art… We love abstract, pure art.
10and5: What’s good on the menu?
+27 Café: We challenge anybody in South Africa to beat our coffee, it’s the best! The croissant meals are unique and delicious. We also serve a great breakfast!
10and5: Any exciting projects or events in the pipeline?
+27 Café: The next exhibition by Maaike Bakker will be opening on 7 October.
Get more acquainted with +27 Café on their facebook page.
Photographs by Gerhard Uys.