This eatery and gallery is Braamfontein’s coolest spot

Posted by A on 7 September 2018

The Artivist combines an eatery, bar and gallery in one beautifully designed, open space. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto the street, a marble bar counter takes centre stage, and there’s a mezzanine level to give patrons a view of the space.

The interior decor at The Artivist. Photograph by Welcome Lishivha.

“We brought art into the space so that people can start questioning and being curious about the art on the walls while why enjoyed great food and music,” says co-founder Kenneth Bekizizwe Nzama, aka DJ Kenzhero, as he points to the provocative photographs by Leroy in black frames hanging on the grey walls.

Kenzhero and his business partner, former DJ Bradley Williams, felt that the area needed something to bridge the gap between the student and mature crowds in Braamfontein. ‘You have The Orbit jazz club, which is nice and upmarket, and then there’s Kitcheners, which draws a much younger crowd. There wasn’t much in between.’

Also read: 6 do-not-miss jazz spots in Joburg

DJ Kenzhero and business partner Bradley Williams. Photograph by Welcome Lishivha.

It’s a celebration of art of all kinds – from what’s on the chic grey concrete walls and who’s playing on the sound system to what’s on the plates. DJ Kenzhero describes the menu as ‘Afro-nomadic’ (inspired by his and Bradley’s travels): it offers Kenyan-inspired nyama choma, SA-inspired mogodu (tripe) and dumplings and soon to be offered Nigerian plantain-based dishes. There is also a free-range burger served on a black bun (the color infused from coal), and Mediterranean-inspired dishes, including the popular vegetarian Good Life Bowl.

Downstairs you’ll find Untitled Basement, a hidden gem that hosts musical events like We’ve Got The Jazz and What’s Wrong with Grooving, organised by renowned DJ Kenzhero himself – who has played at Rocking the Daisies, OppiKoppi and he’ll be playing at the Delicious Festival later this month.


A view from upstairs where there’s also an exhibition alongside the chairs and tables. Photograph by Welcome Lishivha.


They have plans to offer more musical, culinary and artistic experiences through art clubs, performances and pop-up exhibitions. However, DJ Kenzhero says that being located in a trendy place like Braamfontein means that they are also aware of how people choose to respond to space and notes that they are ready to co-create the space with people who choose to embrace what they have to offer.

While remaining unpretentious, the elegant décor and architecture, the grey walls that offset the art, the lingering aroma of food and the soothing music creates a unified and relaxed bar atmosphere. It’s worth a stop if you’re in town.

Where: 7 Reserve Street, Braamfontein
Contact: 0113391647 & follow ArtivistJhb on Instagram.
Open: Mondays to Wednesdays from 7:30am to 4pm and Thursdays to Saturdays between 11am 11:30pm.

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