Just as Oliver, in the play/movie/book “Oliver Twist” was told about the magical streets of London that are paved with Gold, so is the reason so many millions have flocked to Jozi. Jozi is filled with delicate beauty but the thing to remember is that what really attracts people here is the money. Jozi may not have streets paved with Gold but the Gold does permeate society as the Gold dust from the mine dumps travels far and wide touching the millions of business parks strewn like the gold bearing rocks tossed into piles by the miners under your feet.
The ludicrous amounts of money that is being spent needs to be spent somehow. That is how capitalism works after all. When you make money, you don’t go and uplift your fellow human being, you go blow it on booze. The Baron in Sandton is synonymous with this. On a Friday, it’s strictly standing room only. The entire establishment is completely packed with suits, ties and skirts that end before you know it. In all honesty, it’s a really great vibe. As packed as it is, it does show you the machine that keeps Jozi running. Even though the heart and soul of Jozi resides in the townships and the fanciful boutiques in Melville and Parkhurst, the money is what keeps Jozi breathing and allows it to venture off into its organic markets and designer cupcakes. This is what truly makes Jozi.
As much as Friday is pretty damn awesome, I had to be different. My friends and I went by on a Monday evening. It wasn’t really a special Monday. But it was a Monday. I think that was reason enough to go. The Baron is very pretty. The red lighting has a really cool effect which is accentuated with the red-kissed water feature outside. It’s a setup that’s tailored for large crowds but has this scattered yet not really, beauty. Also, inside the restaurant is an outside section with an open roof. It will make sense when you see it.
The food is also pretty impressive. The Baron is a franchise and I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food there before. The casual platters that we ordered were really good. I guess this works hand in hand with the amount of alcohol you are consuming though. The Baron has this effect that makes you drink more and more and more…
So why is Mondays the new Fridays? The Baron, in itself, is actually a great venue. The manager was super cool when he came by to have a chat with us and the place is set up really well. It’s something you can’t enjoy on a Friday when it’s packed to the brim. This Monday was just superb. A bunch of good friends sitting around, drinking eating and laughing (a lot) whilst being told that caramel vodka is not really vodka (but we drank it anyway.) I guess that is actually all you want and need in life.
When to go: You should actually go on a Friday just to experience that vibe of the place. Many love it whilst many hate it and insist on some indie bistro in Linden. But hey, I can’t predict what will float your boat. I do actually like the venue so Monday worked out great for us. Who knows, maybe we can start this Monday trend…
How to get there: This Baron is situated in the heart of Sandton on Fredman Drive in the 24 Central complex. It’s a quick walk away from both Village Walk and Taboo.
Cost: It’s not cheap. It is situated in the heart of Africa’s financial district so don’t expect your R5 Kara Niccha’s sandwiches here. If you are broke, make friends with someone with at a big table. That bill might be paid by their company so you can drink till you’re in 1973. All at their expense!
Anything Else: The cops in Jozi are extreme so have a sober driver or call a cab. It really is not worth getting caught for something as stupid as drinking and driving. Also, this place is fancy. Don’t be like me and rock up in sandals – wear some formals and look the part.