Finally you can get a decent cup of coffee in Sea Point! Bootlegger, the latest addition to Regent Road and purveyor of the best caffeine fix in the ’hood, is a super cool coffee-shop-cum-eatery. For early birds, the trendy doors open at 6:30 on weekdays and although Bootlegger is dedicated to great coffee, resident chef Richard Saunders whips up breakfast classics like eggs Benedict and a selection of sandwiches. If you’re not a morning person, try his tapas for lunch or dinner. They’re open until 11pm so if you’re after a glass of wine they have you covered too.
The décor is industrial and cool but it still enhances the old building’s charm beautifully. Don’t think this one’s just for the cool kids, though. You’ll rub shoulders with businessmen concentrating on their laptops, mums running in for a coffee after gym and Sea Point residents enjoying a cuppa while watching the passing parade.
We chatted to owner Pieter Bloem.
What makes a good cup of coffee?
It starts with the grower. Once you have good green beans, half the battle is won. Add a good roaster with a good knowledge of roasting and a passionate and consistent barrister, and you’re set.
What’s behind the name?
We wanted something ‘Old New York’ with the look and feel of New York during Prohibition, which is, of course, synonymous with bootleggers. The menu, the décor and the atmosphere all combine and reflect the things I like. That’s how we settled on Bootlegger. Besides, it rolls off the tongue quite nicely.
Sea Point is picking itself up again. As more coffee spots and restaurants pop up, you see more and more people outside again, enjoying the neighborhood. And I say the more the merrier. We need more coffee shops around Sea Point.
– Pieter Bloem
Olga Barrow took care of Bootlegger’s design from start to finish and there is industrial lighting, an imported Dutch Giesen coffee roaster and beautiful wood counters. Almost everything you see has been custom made. It’s simple but very New York. Cool touches like the ‘back in black’ light and the subtle gold in the lettering on the menu as well as the matte black coffee packaging are what make Bootlegger slick.
Olga designed the monochrome tiles herself.
The coffee roaster is housed in the rather small garage at the back that has been converted into a mini showroom for the machine. Because Bootlegger starts with early-morning coffee and finishes the day with drinks and dinner, we wanted a darker space (black, brass, grey), which would work for day and night. Luckily the building’s beautiful large windows let in natural light so the space never feels too dark during the day.
– Olga Barrow
And the coffee?
We source from a local agent and, yes, we have our own blend. It is a combination of beans from Guatemala, Burundi and Costa Rica. I intend adding two more from Ethiopia and Brazil at some point to freshen it up but I’m very happy with the blend we have right now.
Not so keen on coffee? Try Bootlegger’s iced tea made daily from loose-leaf rooibos. Expect a new flavour every day!
What we love?
The coffee. Obvs. The tapas menu is great too and we recommend the three-egg omelette with goats cheese and spinach for breakfast.
Open 6:30am – 11pm weekdays and 7:30am – 11pm on weekends.
021 434 0060
082 448 5348
39-41 Regent Road, Sea Point
Photographs: Cindy Taylor