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New location for Sophiatown

By Patience Bambalele | Jun 27, 2015 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Popular Johannesburg eatery Sophiatown is closing its Newtown doors after nine years.

The restaurant, which is known for selling good food, was to have closed on Saturday. But yesterday people were still enjoying lunch. According to the restaurant's owner, Mzwandile Thabethe, the move was because of a lack of vibrancy.

Another place that closed its doors in Newtown is Sophiatown's twin sister Ko'spotong, that has relocated to Braamfontein.

"I am running a business and I have an obligation to pay rent. I am not closing it but I am moving it. Sophiatown has moved to various places."

When Sowetan visited the place in Braamfontein yesterday, the team was putting final touches to Ko'spotong. About Ko'spotong, Thabethe said: "I have brought Ko'spotong to Braamfontein because there is a market, students are living here. It is a perfect space."

He said Newtown was suffering because of newly opened places such as Maboneng and Arts on Main, and Braamfontein. "We are still looking for a perfect home for Sophiatown. Newtown is dying, there is no longer business."

Thabethe said he was looking around Pretoria, Soweto and Kempton Park. His aim is to take the business to where people live in order to get support.

Asked if this was the best business decision, Thabethe said: "Honestly, I am young and looking at growing the brand. I would like to open more possibilities.

"I am feeling bad right now that I am deserting the place where I started. I love Newtown. Over the years, the area has changed. It needs new energy."

The newly opened Newtown Junxion mall failed to inject life into the precinct, he said.


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