Khayelitsha’s first upmarket restaurant and bar opened in December.
Milk Restaurant and Bar is the brainchild of former Vasco da Gama footballer turned entrepreneur, Siphelo Jalivane, who sold his house and car to realise his dream of owning the establishment on the corner of Makabeni Road and Zantsi Street in Khayelitsha.
“When he started building there was a lot of interest, so from that he got strength to get funding and raise more money to start the business,” said Milk’s PR manager, Luthando Tshaya.
“Since we opened it has been very well received. The venue can hold up to 250 and we had to stretch to 300 because the demand was too high and he had to get more furniture.
“We even had to extend our business hours because people did not want to leave.”
He said that the restaurant was an opportunity to bring an upmarket lifestyle to residents of and visitors to the township.
“If you look at it all, the people who are in town and places where there seems to be more upmarket places, it’s the middle black class who come from the township.
“They moved out of the township, they actually come back to the township on the weekend because this is their safe space.
“People can even come from the airport and enjoy an upmarket restaurant. We don’t want people to have to drive to town and back to enjoy fine dining and good music.
“It is also inspiration for people in the community, the youth, who come from humble beginnings. That you can come from nothing, but your dreams are still valid.”
Top Chef SA runner-up and private chef Ayabonga Gope popularly known as the Cook Dude, will head up the kitchen. Eighty percent of the 50 staff members are women, as Mr Jalivane wants to up-skill and empower women and youth in his community.