The guys behind Vovo Telo, a coffee shop chain springing  up all over SA, seem to have a knack for sniffing out the  “it” spots and setting up shop. One of their newest is in the recently established outdoor shopping space in Norwood 
that’s single-handedly gentrifying the area. The Factory on Grant is the work of property developer Craig McLeary, a professed mall-hater, who’s turned an average building with shops below and flats above into an inviting oasis. 

There are spectacular views across Joburg from the upstairs, open-air bar. The idea behind the centre is for creatives to inhabit spaces from which they both produce and sell their (mostly) handmade work, so shoppers can watch the process of making the things they buy.  The space has a strong community feel about it – the tenants in the shops know each other and the atmosphere  is really friendly. There’ll also be night markets in the centre soon. 

Image: Karl Rogers

On the street level of The Factory on Grant, Smelt Glass Blowing Studio shares outdoor space with Vovo Telo and an antique furniture shop. There is also a shop selling screen-printed cushions and clothes with South African-inspired designs. The Bayliss Gallery is on the mezzanine level. Paul Bayliss says his gallery aims to provide young and emerging artists with an opportunity to grow their brand and to gain a foothold into the visual art industry. 

The focus of the gallery will be on young and emerging artists. A second floor of shops includes a boutique where the clothes are made on site and a funky 
vintage store selling bags, shoes and sequinned gowns. There’s also a florist shop called Beautiful. The crown is Crafter’s, a bar from which you see jacarandas all the way to Northcliff Hill.

Florist shop Beautiful
Florist shop Beautiful
Image: Karl Rogers

Weather permitting, it is open from 11am to 10pm every day.  
70 Grant Avenue, Norwood,  Johannesburg.


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