First Covid-Designed Dining Experience Opens in Cape Town

Kloof Street Village

Real Foods Group, the brains behind much-loved health brands like Kauai, Nü Café, and Schoon, has opened an innovative Covid-19 friendly food concept on Cape Town’s popular Kloof Street. The new-aged food court brings together a number of Real Foods Group’s healthy-eating brands under one roof and reconceptualises what is needed for patrons to eat out stress-free in a time of Covid-19.

Housing four of its fast-casual dining brands — Nü Health Food Café, Schoon Bread Café, and newcomers Free Bird and Kofi — in a post-Covid dining setting the all-new Kloof Street Village is sure to give diners peace of mind when grabbing a bite to eat or socialising with friends and family.

Kloof Street Village

Dean Kowarski, CEO of Real Foods, explains, “Covid-19 has changed casual dining, so we’ve embraced the new requirements for a safe dining experience at Kloof Street Village and have considered how people want to socialise. We completely redesigned the restaurant during lockdown by conceptualising what it would take for maximum health and safety. The store features perspex screens to cordon off certain areas, while still allowing for a social vibe between socially distanced tables. Technology is used to facilitate contactless transactions and there is a large outdoor seating area for fresh-air and summer socialising.”

In addition to the social-distancing-enhanced design, all staff at Kloof Street Village are required to wear masks at all times and are trained on strict hygiene protocols, like sanitising and hand-washing. Buzzers go off every 30 minutes to remind staff to sanitise or wash their hands.

A technology-led dining experience

Kloof Street Village

Technology plays a big role in the Kloof Street Village experience. The technology includes self-order kiosks as well as a mobile app using QR codes for ordering from any of the four restaurants for take-away or sit down. The mobi app can also be used to order ahead, and all take-away orders can be picked up in a dedicated contactless area. Those customers who prefer to place their order in person can make use of the counter service, though all counters will have protective perspex screens to protect customers and staff.

The space was designed with additional measures to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19, including sanitisation stations and handwashing facilities, and large fold-stack windows were added to the design to allow for better ventilation and air circulation.

Schoon bakery

Kofi and Nü have outdoor ordering hatches so that customers can order coffees or Nü’s healthy juices and smoothies without having to enter the store. There is also a completely separate entrance for UberEats & Mr.D Food delivery drivers, limiting the number of people in the store at any one time.

The Covid-friendly design was a collaborative effort from four South African architects and designers: award-winning architects Jon Jacobson and Jean-Mari Steyn of Metropolis Design led the project, working alongside Tristan Du Plessis of Studio A, Marco Simal of Simal Studio and interior designer Nina Du Plessis. The architects and designers worked together to create a clean, modern space that flows beautifully, with Covid-safe functions.

Tuck into healthy eats

Free Bird

Kloof Street Village patrons have an array of healthy food options. The established Nü brand includes trademark healthy salads, juices and smoothies while Schoon sells wholesome bread and pastries made with 100% South African stoneground flour using hand-baking methods.

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Two new concepts make their début at Kloof Street Village: Kofi, which serves small-batch roasted African coffee in addition to a wine, beer and spirits list curated by Publik Wine; and Free Bird, which offers free-range crispy chicken burgers and hand-cut fries. Kloof Street Village marks Free Bird’s first retail location as the brand has been trading as a virtual brand in dark kitchens around Cape Town, Sandton and Pretoria.

Free Bird

Serving comfort food for a modern era, Free Bird offers a premium, free-range crispy chicken burger and strips concept including hand-cut fries. The hand-made brioche burger buns are from Schoon bakery in Stellenbosch, and condiments like pickled vegetables and authentic kimchi are made in-house using fresh ingredients.

As for Kofi, this exciting new Kofi concept centres on great coffee sourced directly from small-scale African coffee farmers, small batch-roasted in Cape Town, with a meticulous focus on quality from bean, to roasting, to brewing. What’s more, water and milk for the highly trained baristas at Kofi will be piped into the bespoke espresso machine to minimise handling of liquids, in line with Kloof Street Village’s focus on post-Covid safety.

Stay safe and enjoy

“It’s been a challenging few months, but we are excited to innovate and introduce more new products and brands. Kloof Street Village is a comfortable, safe space where friends can socialise over coffee, breakfast or lunch, or meet up for an after-work drink and casual dinner,” Kowarski concludes.

The venue is situated at the corner of Kloof and Rheede Streets in Cape Town, and is open Monday to Sunday, from 7:00 – 22:00 daily.

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