Image: Charles Johnstone

What used to be a shabby intersection has gotten a stylish makeover and a whole new cluster of attractive tenants.

The most visible addition is on the corner, the restaurant and bar Bolton Road Collection.

High on design and energy, this vibey spot attracts after-work bankers, schmoozers, wheeler dealers and trendoids.

The menu is fashionable: short rib burgers, pine smoked bacon, asparagus arancini and Eton mess.

Drink an apple julep cocktail (bourbon, apple, cinnamon, mint and bitters) and listen to the business deals at the next table.

For a haircut or a shave and a stiff drink, walk up Bolton Road to Bar Ber Black Sheep.

The interiors of this barber/bar are gentlemanly: leather Chesterfields, white subway tiles, old-school metal lockers and pressed ceilings.

Treat yourself to a hot towel shave, buy a tin of cool Australian haircare product Muk and try Monkey Shoulder whiskey.

Next door Proof, "purveyors of fine liquor", stock a collection of artisanal booze.

Avoiding the bottles that are available everywhere else, Proof searches out rarer styles and brands of hooch.

For instance they stock a good Brazilian style cachaça called Agua Zulu, Ancestors Absinthe, La Leona Karoo Mezcal and Moonshine.

For those who have been bitten by the gin bug they stock Red Stone, Durban Dry, Woodstock Gin Co, Jorgensen's, Musgrave and The Botanist.

All this talk of curated cachaça shouldn't scare you off, the prices are competitive and the pretension levels acceptably low.

Image: Charles Johnstone

Two steps up the hill you'll find Coalition Pizza and through the secret door at the back of the pizzeria an unnamed speakeasy.

Although the bar-in-the-back is not actually ''illegal", it has all the illicit aesthetic appeal of a prohibition-era watering hole: leather, cocktails, dark and smokey attitude.

Before ordering an old-fashioned cocktail, get a table at Coalition and tuck into an excellent approximation of a Neapolitan pizza.

Cooked in under 90 seconds, the doughy base of this pizza style is famous for its lightless and complexity, coming out of the oven bubbled and blistered.

The toppings are curated; so no pineapple, ham and chicken pizzas.

Start with a Aperol Spritz (sparkling wine and a splash of Aperol and soda), then have a white anchovy salad followed by a classic margarita pizza made with handmade mozzarella.

At the end of your outing, as you make your way to the state-of-the-art parking off to the side, look up at the mammoth graffiti wall commissioned for the new hippest corner in town.


WHAT'S WHERE

BOLTON ROAD COLLECTION
2 Bolton Road, Unit 1 Park Corner, corner Bolton Road and Jan Smuts, Rosebank, 011-327-6104

BAR BER BLACK SHEEP
4 Bolton Road, 011-037-3660

PROOF
Park Corner, corner Bolton Road and Jan Smuts, rosebank@proofliquor.com

COALITION PIZZA
2 Bolton Road, 010-900-4987


This article was originally published in The Times.

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