Eating Out in Johannesburg CentralThe Radium Beerhall
Where? 282 Louis Botha Ave, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
When? Please enquire.
How? Call +27 (0)11 728-3866
The Radium Beerhall is the oldest bar and grill in Johannesburg, steeped in history, tumult and legend. The Radium's history reaches as far back as 1929, when the Khalil family opened it as a tea room, but it lived a double life as a sheen, which sold liquor to black customers who were barred from drinking in that era. After 13 years, a wine and malt license was eventually acquired and the Radium Tearoom, became the Radium Beerhall. In 1944, Joe Barbarovich, one of the soccer players immortalized in photos on the Radium's walls, took over the wine and malt license and the Radium began to enjoy a legendary status. The Radium became the local community pub and an Orange Grove landmark. This era ended in 1986, when Manny Cabeleira added his special brand of Portuguese flair to the beerhall, and transformed the billiard room into a restaurant.
Ahead of its time, the new Radium welcomed a cosmopolitan mix of new patrons, including blacks - and women, who had been previously banned!
The Radium began to host live music - a 19-piece jazz band on the first Sunday of every month - the start of a tradition that would boost them into the status of 'living' legend. Due to the success of these musical Sundays, The Radium now hosts live performances by various artists four nights a week. The Radium Beerhall is now firmly entrenched in local culture and history, winning international fame since being featured in travel guides as a 'must' for tourists seeking a real South African experience.