Shebeens played an essential role in South Africa’s pre-democratic social and political history. During apartheid, shebeens came to be associated with the townships, where they served as meeting places for political dissidents, but they have since crossed over from makeshift taverns to mainstream venues for relaxing and socialising.
The English word shebeen may be derived from the Irish-Gaelic word síbín. The Zulu word shibhile, meaning ‘cheap’, is another possible source.
In apartheid South Africa, two events, the 1927 Liquor Act, which among other restrictions prohibited Africans and Indians from selling alcohol or entering licensed premises, and the Great Depression, were responsible for the emergence of township shebeens.
Shebeens were mainly run by women who had skills in traditional beer brewing and found it difficult to find formal employment as a result of the restrictive pass and other laws during apartheid.
A selection of PE Shebeens and Taverns:
Barbara’s Lounge in Kwazakhele, Site 4623 Maronga Street, Port Elizabeth (041 4640 844) used to be known as Las Vegas Lounge and is run by Barbara Mhlaba.
Barbara’s Lounge, is a lavish relaxation jazz lounge/watering hole for local executives and visitors.
This stylish lounge has set itself apart with exceptional entertainment. Barbara’s pride themselves in providing the best braaivleis rooster koeks in town. A township experience with a twist.
Dopparoz is a premier Lifestyle venue that features an Afro-urban vibe. Dopparoz is situated on the Corner of Maqanda and Stofile Streets, KwaZakhele, Port Elizabeth (041 582 1338) and serves authentic African cuisine. This include the ultimate African braai experience, a full menu restaurant, bars, live entertainment, heritage stalls and car wash.
Dopparoz is owned by Improvate, a company who specialise in “creating wealth and providing employment opportunities, whilst contributing towards the sustainable development of the communities. They have an active interest in heritage and remembrance, making the partnership with Dopparoz ever the sweeter. Both teams are united in keeping South African culture alive and vibrant.
469 Bar Lounge at 1 Bhungane Street, NU2 Motherwell, Port Elizabeth (083 509 2574) is all about Lifestyle Entertainment – Its trendy, vibrant and energitic for the like minded! Whilst having a chilled one 469 Bat Lounge staff will braai your choice of meat.
469 also recently launched Kasi Craft Beer. Kasi Craft beer was founded in Port Elizabeth with the intention to service the kasi / township market and has now found its feet in other parts of the country.
The premises that 469 Bar Lounge now occupies was formally known as Kwa Mdebs (Mdebs Place):
Chilleks Place situated at 2 Bucwa Street, Walmer, Port Elizabeth (041 368 6706) is a township restaurant, “tshisa nyama” in South African lingo, that includes a butchery set-up were a variety of food including all meats are served. This is also inclusive of a sports bar, with the characteristic of the place, true South African vibe.
Great food, music and entertainment in a township environment that is signature South African townships.
Chilleks Place brings you all this with state of the art facilities that will fit in any environment.
Butchery, braai area, entertainment deck and sport bar.
Formerly Ekasi’s Pub and Grub:
Monde’s Tavern Buy and Braai is situated at 210 Mkhombe Street, NU1, Motherwell, Port Elizabeth.
Monde’s is a one-of-a-kind tavern offering three different entertainment areas. The elite bar caters to exclusive and up-market patrons, whilst the outside smoking area is finished in an African style and often has live Jazz bands that entertain patrons.
The large fireplace that makes Monde’s unique, is available to individuals who want to braai the meat they can buy from Monde’s large variety on offer, and can be eaten with pap as well. Monde’s is very security conscious and offers secure parking.
Related Reading: Return to Motherwell.
Jeya’s Jazz Corner Tavern is on the corner of Sheya Kulati and Ferguson Road, New Brighton (041 454 2666).
Jeya’s Jazz Corner Tavern in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, is everything a typical neighbourhood pub should be. It’s a drinking spot, a sports bar, a music hall, a pool room and a restaurant all rolled up into one exciting venue. But what gives it that special appeal, especially for visitors from out of town, is its unmistakeably African vibe.
Related Reading: PE’s Hidden Treasure Could Become My Local.
Patido’s Pub and Grub is a hot spot situated at 27 Jabavu Street in PE’s historical township, New Brighton (082 928 9501 or 041 454 0663).
Patido’s offers an unsurpassed township vibe. Less than 10 minutes from the city centre, it caters for corporate functions, parties, sporting events, traditional dancing and much more. It is not only redound for mouth – watering African dishes, but a perfect spot to unwind.
Patido’s Pub Grub is a smaller cozy shebeen with cheap beer and food. There are no frills here – when you buy your beer you pay a deposit on the bottle that you can get back when you return it.
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