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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

‘Thanks for all the memories,’ as Joburg’s Kitcheners Bar closes down

Kitcheners has invited people to come bid farewell during Easter weekend, where it will host its two-night final gig.

The announcement of popular Joburg pub Kitcheners closing down has left many reminiscing about their time at the hip bar with its velvet wallpapered walls during their student days, partying in Braamfontein.

“Due to economic circumstances the team behind Kitcheners will be moving on after 15 years of steering this ship through the choppy waters that is Joburg life,” the pub said on Tuesday.

“We are incredibly proud to have been at the forefront of the city culture for the last decade-and-a-half. Through the up’s and down’s we’ve helped launch the careers of countless performers, DJs, comics and promoters, made a huge positive impact on societal norms including perspectives on racism, gender and sexual equality, introduced wives to their husbands and most of all had a great time doing it,” continued the pub in statement.

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The outcry

Said to be the second-oldest bar in Johannesburg having been found in 1902, Kitchener’s Carvery Bar was located next to Jimmy’s Inn, and together they made up what was known as Milner Park Hotel.

The space was allegedly named after Lord Kitchener, who used the venue to sign the treaty that ended the Anglo-Boer War in 1902.

The pub continued to operate alongside the hotel well into the 2000s when Wits arts students began frequenting it for its infamous lunchtime strip show.

While comments in the Facebook post by the pub were dominated by teary emojis or that of broken hearts from former patrons, there was a sense of gratitude from those who’ve experienced Kitcheners and made lifelong memories.

“What an era. The definition of pre-pandemic Braam lifestyle. I will be forever grateful,” Jan Leidecker wrote.

“Had some good memories in that place. I remember my first time going there I was doing my first year in 2010,” said Kamo Kamzin Monaheng.

“Devastating. Kitcheners was my ground zero when I stayed in Joburg. I met so many friends there and had the honour of playing there twice, thanks. Thanks for all the memories, dance parties, and community,” commented Orla Theresa Carmel.

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Kitcheners going out with a bang

In its statement the pub invited people to come bid farewell during Easter weekend, where it will host its two-night final gig.

Acts on the line-up for the two nights are performers “who have been instrumental in building the space over the years”.

The likes of DJ Danger Ingozi, DJ Bob, Adillxh and The Cutt among others will be performing. The building will undergo renovations under new custodianship.

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