Little Mowbray


The old guy with a friendly face, a peacock feather tattoo and a slightly crumpled t-shirt sits at the bar sipping slowly on his half-pint. The TV is on university rugby and him and the bar man are discussing the plumbing of the draft beer that a beautiful Congolese man is sorting out. Or the rugby. I can’t be sure, the noise of the 5 o’clock traffic on Durban Road makes eavesdropping difficult.

It’s Monday night in Little Mowbray and we just got harassed by the beggar at the robots as we tried to cross. As you do. It seems that the last R5 he was given was spent promptly at the bottle store on the corner. It hasn’t made him very nice.

I had no intention of writing about craft beer so soon again, but it was one of those Mondays that deserved a beer after work and a little explore of somewhere I’d not been in years. Durban Road is on my way home and I’d been wanting to go to Bruegel’s Pizza Studio for ages. It was the perfect plan. We stumbled on the craft beer place by pure serendipity.

The fact that I finish work at 4:30 meant that we got there at 4:47 (give or take a minute) – a little too early for Bruegel’s (and dinner), so we ambled down the road, past the vinyl shop and Chai Yo and got to a place I’d not noticed before, with signs made of A4 pieces of paper, each with a letter on it, sticky-taped on it’s beautiful old wood-framed shop windows: CRAFT BEER R20, PIZZA X2 R99, they shouted rather higgeldy-piggeledly.

And so we found ourselves with the old guy at the bar, in a place that looked like it was still being moved into. Perhaps it was just post weekend – a pub/live music venue’s version of a hangover. ‘It needs a woman’s touch,’ I said to G. She nodded as she put down the two beers (R20! For craft beer! Win!) she’d got from the nice bar man.

I have since done some fraternising with the Google gods. The place is called Plebs, it’s been there for ages, and they have live music most nights. The beer was great. Craft beer without any pretences at a place that feels slightly shabby, but in a comfortable couch kind of shabby way. I like it. Apparently the beer is made by a father and son team – it’s a Dutch ale and it’s delicious.

We finished our beers and headed up to Bruegel’s, marvelling at the beautiful view of the back side of Devil’s Peak as the sky turned orange and then that deep, dusky blue that is my favourite colour on earth. Bruegel’s have a Monday night special – R50 for lasagna and salad. I love lasagne. Did you see the different spellings? I Google godded that, too… apparently it’s one lasagna, many lasagne, who knew? It, too, was delicious.

With a glass of wine with dinner, my whole Monday evening’s entertainment cost less than R100 (and I’ve got leftovers in the fridge for lunch which, today, will be at 10:30, because I can hear it calling me, despite the fridge being two office’s down), before waitress and car-guard tipping.

Monday, you rocked yesterday.


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