Aces ‘n Spades

A good bar where bad things happen

Aching for some good, old-fashioned rock music? Or is grunge more your thing? Perhaps a little garage topped off with some alternative jams? Needless to say, if your idea of a raucous weekday or weekend night includes serenades by Shirley Manson, then Cape Town’s newest upscale rock edge dive, Aces ‘N’ Spades, is a watering hole worth a visit.

Opened just off Long Street in August 2012 and occupying the Hout Street space once filled by Boo Radley’s, the seedy-chic bar was spawned from the imagination of owner Reg Macdonald, a man who “lives, eats and breathes rock ‘n roll.”

With stained glass skulls, dark wood panelling and a wall of fame featuring some of the greatest rock ‘n roll legends of all time, the place is as perfect for happy hour as it is for live performances; so, don’t be surprised when you find yourself clasping a Maker’s Mark – Reg’s preferred poison – while some of South Africa’s best local talent strums away in front of you.

“I moved back to Cape Town earlier this year, and saw the opportunity to open a bar that I would personally enjoy going to, I love rock and so I opened a rock-inspired bar,” Reg says, his passion for live music obvious.

The intimate Aces ‘N’ Spades promises a regular line-up of Mother City acts, and with row upon row of whiskey, brandy and all the rough stuff you would expect from a ‘good bar, where bad things happen’, rock groupies are in for a treat.

Though, there’s also well-made artisan brew for the less unfiltered. Along with hipster favourites – Aces ‘N’ Spades stocks both Brewers & Union and Darling breweries beer – you’ll find yourself in the company of some new faces: Devil’s Peak and Napier breweries are on tap, making for a choice of around ten different handcrafted beers.

If, however, you find yourself feeling a spell peckish, you’re going to have to give it some time.

“Whereas some watering holes are food oriented with the addition of a bar, Aces ‘N’ Spades is the opposite. This is a bar that offers some food,” Reg explains.

While not fully conceptualised yet, plans for a bar menu that’s locally-sourced, organic and reasonably-priced are in the making. However, Aces is not the place to come and fill up prior to a big night out…it is your big night out.

Similarly, you won’t find any VIP section or preferred entrants here. Just great music, great company and an open door; besides, with Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan as custodians, you know you’re in good hands.

By Gerhard Jacobs

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Hout Street 62
Cape Town 8000 WC ZA
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Saturday 5PM–2AM Sunday Closed Monday Closed Tuesday Closed Wednesday 5PM–2AM Thursday 5PM–2AM Friday 5PM–2AM

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