While many businesses have been forced to take a step back during lockdown, the Labia family and Ideas Cartel have continued to charge ahead with exciting new plans. Antonia Labia and Count Natale Labia, along with Schuyler Vorster of Ideas Cartel, have announced an exciting new partnership to reinvigorate Casa Labia into a restaurant and Member’s Club.
Casa Labia, situated at 192 Main Road St James, is the much loved ‘grande dame’ of the Southern Peninsula with its long-standing Italian and South African heritage dating back to the 1920s. The majestic old lady will undergo an extensive refurbishment in order to reopen within the Ideas Cartel ecosystem as a members’ club and restaurant as soon as the ending of lockdown allows it.
Well known as an operator of members’ clubs, restaurants and hotels in the City of Cape Town, Ideas Cartel, will use this latest venture to explore a new part the city where they haven’t yet established a presence, but always wanted to reach.
Originally built by Prince Natale Labia in 1929, as the Italian Ambassador’s residence and private family home for his wife, Ida Robinson and their two sons, Luccio and Joseph, Casa Labia is a unique piece of local history.
Up until recently, the building has served as a vibrant and dynamic cultural centre for the Cape Town community, drawing on all the best of Italy and South Africa. The not-for-profit project housed a busy restaurant and was a popular venue where locals could enjoy musical concerts, lectures, poetry readings and art classes. Casa Labia, with its unique and glamorous interior décor had also become a well-known and extremely popular destination for special events, film and photo shoots.
“As a family we have decided the time has come for reinvention and we are extremely excited to inject a new sense of life and vitality into the building. Ideas Cartel is the perfect commercial management partner with which to do this.” said Antonia Labia.
Part of the reopening will be a comprehensive refurbishment to ensure that the Members’ Club is able to deliver a world-class culinary and entertainment experience. The project will be phased with the first phase seeing a restaurant and members’ club complete with a gym. Further renovations will then be initiated in order to recreate the original residential layout of the house with ten en-suite bedrooms and swimming pool for an upmarket boutique hotel offering. The venue will continue to be available to hire for events, film and photo shoots.
In the period leading up to the official opening, forecasted to take place late in 2020, Casa Labia and Ideas Cartel will be organising a series of entertaining evenings hosting celebrity chefs cooking themed, three-course dinners at Casa Labia. During lockdown the meals will be delivered to patrons in the area. Details on these themed dinners will follow in the coming weeks.