Driving through the Joburg suburb of Auckland Park I am immediately transported back to my university days, having studied down the road at the Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Joburg). I see a space that is in the process of change, for the better. New developments are taking place, the slightly grimy feel from all those years ago is being polished into the rich gem that the potential of the area holds.
I drive on, headed for the small enclave of Richmond, wedged between Melville and the start of The Parks in Joburg.
Entering the shop I’m greeted by Ruthie as I walk through an oversized wooden door. Inside my attention is immediately captured by the old camera bodies which have been converted into light fittings. And the homely, come in and sit down vibe I get from the place. To my left, a wall covered in polaroids features some of those who had previously sought out today’s My Saturday Find beaming as they pose for a quick snap with Ruthie.
The Richmond Studio Cafe embodies a celebration of all things photographic, with some added videographic inspiration. I sit talking to owner Antoine de Ras, himself a professional photographer who used to work at Media24 just a few blocks up, about his new venture opened just over 14 months ago.
Having decided a new challenge was in order, Antoine took the bold step of bringing to life a space that celebrates community, and art. And so a rather non-descript art deco-esque building in Richmond became the centre of his new passion to create an espresso bar and eatery.
Considering his pursuits to that point, Anton has crafted a menu that seems to work, if only measured by the movement of clientele on the day I visited The Richmond. This is thanks to expert input from culinary consultant Emily Dyer. Open from 06:30 every day of the week, The Richmond serves breakfast and lunch, with plans in the making to stay open later. All the classic deli type items are on both menus, named for famous international and local photographers and videographers.
But the melts caught my attention, being a lover of cheese.
I opted for the Backlit Bacon melt, finding myself rather excited at the prospect of a cheddar, bacon, tomato and jalapeno combination. The lunch menu has a great variety of other options too, including salads, burgers, ribs and chicken wings. The Richmond is fully licensed, something that many new eateries find a challenge obtaining here in Joburg.
The Richmond is all about community and utilising the space that Antoine has so cleverly crafted. Everyone is welcome, whether you are looking for a place to do some work between meetings, a spot to catch up with a friend or just an on-the-go coffee you won’t be disappointed at The Richmond.
Antoine takes the security of his patrons seriously and you will most likely be greeted by Patrick upon entering The Richmond. Patrick ensures you and your goodies are safe at all times while taking some time out in the awe-inspiring setting of The Richmond.
The Richmond is open seven days a week from 06:30. Find them at 14 Menton Road, Richmond, Joburg. Alternatively hit this Waze link to take you straight there now!
Also find The Richmond on Instagram.
The Low Down
The shop has WiFi for customers and a cappuccino goes for R29, for the large option.
That One Thing
The one thing you have to know when you visit The Richmond? It’s all about community and the space is continually morphing. Expect it to look different each time you visit.
Check out more about The Richmond Studio Cafe on Eat Out and jump onto their app to rate your experience.
Oh, and Ruthie is a classic 1952 BMW R51/3 motorbike, proudly standing at the entrance to The Richmond. Snap a selfie with her when you visit!
Have a good one!