Welcome to Joziburg
Want to know a secret? I found out where the cool kids are spending their weekends. The real cool kids, the artists and designers who actually make money and have a future; they’re all hanging out in Eloff Street.
The bright blue and yellow building is quickly turning into Joburg’s new gem. It’s called No. One Eloff, but it’s actually at number 2 Eloff – I didn’t judge, I just went for the party. And what a party it turned out to be.
Before I get into that, some context is in order. The building is the beginning of a brand new precinct called Joziburg. This means we will no longer be limited to Maboneng, Braamfontein or Newtown when we want to get back to the city. Very soon, this part of town will be bustling with markets, restaurants, rooftop parties and artsy flats to rent. It’s already begun at No. One Eloff. The bottom floor is a retail space for people in the neighborhood to sell the awesome non-commercial stuff they make. If you can find it in Mr. Price, you aren’t going to find it here.
A long walk up the Forever Stairs provides a bit of culture. Strange, twisted graffiti lines the walls and you’ll need to watch your step because it’s hard to look away. At some point I landed on the residential floor, brightly painted with little round windows which make me think of a submarine. If I were young, artsy and single, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
A word of warning – if you’re going to party in Joziburg, consider it leg day. They don’t call them Forever Stairs for nothing! When I finally reached the rooftop, I had three bars to choose from while I caught my breath. There were ciders I’d never heard of, more tequila than I could stomach, and plenty of colourful fruit to add to my glass. If you’re having a vodka and lemonade, I suggest throwing a slice of grapefruit in because it tastes good and makes you look kind of healthy.
The music started off soulful; a DJ played some Erykah Badu and later on a singer who could be the next Jill Scott took the stage. As the sun dipped out of view, a beautiful view I might add, the music got a bit more commercial. Not Taylor Swift commercial, more like Drake commercial.
The precinct is managed by a company called Molten Black. They plan on refreshing the whole area of dilapidated buildings so that part of town no longer looks like the forgotten middle-child. I was pleased to hear that they aren’t trying to turn the city into New York, but rather something creatively chaotic like Bangkok.
Before the ubers line the street, before the Sandton crowd finds out, get in there and see what the beginning of a hot new neighborhood looks like.