Alexandra township is a cultural melting pot with establishments catering for every palette and taste. It is commonly known as Alex or Gomora by its inhabitants.
It is located near the upper-class suburb of Sandton and is bounded by Wynberg on the west, Marlboro and Kelvin on the north, Kew, Lombardy West and Lombardy East on the south.
For an area of just 6.9km2 with an estimated population of 180 000, Gomora assaults the senses. Its narrow streets seethe with life and colour, and although it is a fraction of Soweto’s size, Gomora’s character easily makes up for what it lacks in scale.
The proximity of Gomora to Sandton seems to ingrain a sense of hustle to its inhabitants and the people have a certain entrepreneurial spirit. The juxtaposition the people of Gomora find themselves in seems to be a catalyst for their hustle.
You find establishments in Gomora that are decked out to suit the taste of someone from Sandton and you also find ones that make its inhabitants comfortable in their own environment.
Here is a list of some of the spots to hit whenever you are around Gomora:
1. Dé Grandiose Restaurant and Bar – Located at 713 Pretoria Main Rd, Alexandra, Dé Grandiose opened in 2013. It targets young, upwardly mobile professionals from Gomora and Sandton, with high-end décor and multiple decks with amazing views of the sunset. The menu is mostly traditional dishes with a new twist.
2.The Establishment – the.Establishment is Gomora’s newest culinary upmarket, urban upbeat cocktail lounge. This is a restaurant that wants to be known for its offering of a brilliant and unexpected mix of South African cuisine, art, local fashion and musical entertainment artistry with a lot of western influences, stunning design and an unforgettable experience that will leave you coming back for more. It is located at Alex Mall.
3. Joe’s Butcher – Joe’s Butchery is a legendary shisanyama and family business that has been in existence for more than 20 years. The staff is warm, welcoming, and helpful. Joe’s Butchery has the capacity to cater for 300 diners, which makes it an ideal venue for a Sunday chill-out, or for corporate team building, a baby or bridal shower, or even a year-end company function. On Sundays, there is always a DJ playing relaxing, retro-style R&B music, while during the week other chilled tunes can be enjoyed.
Joe’s offers a varied menu that can be adapted to suit each customer’s preference. On a regular day, you order pap and salad or chakalaka (spicy vegetable relish), and choose your meat from the butchery selection – the boerewors (spiced sausage) is to die for and the steak is tender – after which friendly waiters will braai (barbecue) the meat for you over an open flame. To wash down your meal, alcoholic and soft drinks are for sale at the counter. It is located on the corner of 11th Avenue and Alfred Nzo Street, Alexandra, is open from Monday to Saturday from 8am until 8pm and on Sunday from 8am to 9pm.
4. The Kitchen – This is a popular restaurant for comfort home-cooked food located at 119 – 14th Avenue, Alexandra. Get a homestyle breakfast with bacon and eggs or a lamb shank for dinner. The food is fantastic, and the staff is great.
5. Stoep OneFive: The granddaddy of them all as well as being the staple of Gomora for as long as Joe’s, Stoep OneFive dubbed Monday – Mogodu Monday. Located on 15th Avenue hence OneFive, Mondays are meant for traditional African cuisine, mogodu (tripe), amaqina (trotters), iskop (sheep’s head) and marinated chicken feet, which usually go well with pap, samp or dumplings. The Mogodu Monday concept was the brainchild of Teekay Mathebula and his three brothers, Gino Brown, Mau and Tebogo. They are known for their great business ventures, including a hair salon, a fish and chips shop. Stoep OneFive has also hosted functions for socialite and businessman Kenny Kunene, and music companies Soul Candi and Afrotainment.
Take a drive to Gomora and take in the sights and sounds of this cultural melting pot.