Hipsters-only eatery opens on Bree – mainstreamers left out in the cold

Hipsters-only eatery opens on Bree – mainstreamers left out in the cold

Originally published as an April's Fools prank on CapeTownEtc.com

There’s been a run of artisanal restaurant openings on Bree recently. Following hot on their heels is one that’s almost too good to be true.

Hipsters tired of breaking out in hives when forced to frequent mainstream eateries can now find solace at The Ironic Moustache.

‘The double-storey building we’ll be occupying was actually a butter-churning plant in 18th-century Cape Town,’ explains co-owner and avid water colourist Christian Stovitz. ‘We loved the fact that the space was once dedicated to producing sustenance by hand, and we want to pay tribute to that.’

‘We’ refers to Christian and his business partner Trang Pak, whom he met on a trip to South Korea in 2006. ‘We bonded over our mutual love for photographing sidewalk chalk poetry, and then realised we also shared a dream of opening our own restaurant,’ she tells me.

What sets The Ironic Moustache apart from run-of-the-mill hipster haunts on the rest of Bree? Well, blackboard specials and daily changing menus be damned – every Reuben Riffel and his dog can play that game. At The Ironic Moustache, you decide the menu by bringing in your own fresh produce. You’ll be given preparation space and, if you haven’t joined the raw movement (why not?), a spot at the range for cooking.

‘The stove is solar-powered, so only a handful of meals will be able to be cooked every day, and in winter probably none at all,’ says Christian. ‘We really want to encourage people to adopt a more natural, vegan way of life, without a reliance on modern technology like cooking over heat.’

You might be wondering why you don’t just save yourself the trip and use your own kitchen. Enter the bold new concept of Urban Foraging, available exclusively at The Ironic Moustache.

The alleys bordering the restaurant have been converted into low-interference farms. This means that whatever produce can grow naturally between the paving stones and along the reclaimed timber trellises is up for grabs for Ironic Moustache customers. Grab a handwoven basket at the door, handpick your own urban rocket, mushrooms and organic vine tomatoes, then add them to your hand-prepared meal.

‘Trang and I came up with Urban Foraging a few years ago when we spotted some naturally growing mushrooms on a Paris sidewalk. It took us a while to implement the concept, because we wanted to be sure nobody else was doing it anywhere in the world. We don’t want any part of The Ironic Moustache to be derivative.’

To ensure the restaurant remains as authentic as possible, a strict door policy is in effect. ‘Look, we don’t want to be overly prohibitive, but we also don’t want just anyone walking in here, disturbing the energy of the space with any mainstream thoughts or non-mindful eating habits.’

To that end, access will only be granted to customers who have biked to Bree (preferably on a fixie) and are wearing at least one item of clothing from a thrift store (Salvation Army or otherwise).

The Ironic Moustache will be pet-friendly, though this also comes with the caveat that your dog (or cat on a leash) needs to be either ethically sourced from a rescue organisation, or one of the following breeds: a pug, French bulldog or whippet, animals that have a naturally hipster temperament.

‘We’ve thought of every detail, right down to the playlists, which we’re curating to be totally unrecognisable,’ says Christian. ‘If you walk into The Ironic Moustache and can hum along, then we’ve failed.'

Little guests

Little guests

Talking about a revolution

Talking about a revolution