Real Foods Group has opened an innovative concept in Kloof Street, Cape Town which reconceptualises what is needed for patrons to eat out stress-free in a time of Covid-19.

Kloof Street Village houses four fast-casual dining brands in a post-Covid dining setting: Nü Health Food Café, Schoon Bread Café, and newcomers Free Bird and Kofi.

Dean Kowarski, CEO of Real Foods, says, “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. Technology is used to facilitate contactless transactions and there is a large outdoor seating area for fresh-air and summer socialising.”

All staff must wear masks at all times and they are trained on strict hygiene protocols. Buzzers go off every 30 minutes to remind staff to sanitise or wash their hands.

What’s on offer?

Kloof Street Village offers more than each of the brands’ commitment to high quality, wholesome and artisanal food made from fully traceable ingredients.

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.

Use the app to order ahead, and collect take-aways from a dedicated contactless area. Customers who prefer to place their order in person can make use of the counter service, which will have perspex screens to protect customers and staff.

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

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 separate entrance for delivery drivers, limiting the number of people in the store.

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

Two new concepts make their debut at Kloof Street Village: Kofi, which serves exceptional small-batch roasted African coffee in addition to a curated wine, beer and spirits list; and Free Bird, which offers delicious free-range crispy chicken burgers and hand-cut fries.

Free Bird

Free Bird had been trading as a virtual brand in dark kitchens around Cape Town, Sandton and Pretoria and its success led to the opening of the first physical location. “It offers a differentiated, premium, free range crispy chicken burger and strips concept including hand-cut fries. It’s re-imagining comfort food for a modern era.”

Launch of Kofi

Kofi’s 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.

Water and milk for the baristas at Kofi will be piped into a bespoke espresso machine to minimise handling of liquids, in line with Kloof Street Village’s focus on Covid safety.

A safe space

The Covid-friendly design was a collaborative effort from four South African architects and designers. The challenge was to ensure that each brand retained its own unique identity, while complementing the overall design.

Kowarski concludes that Covid-19 has elevated the importance of wholesome eating to keep communities healthy. “In that sense, Covid-19 fits with our mission to ensure that healthy food is easily accessible and convenient. 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,” he concludes.

Address: Corner of Kloof and Rheede Streets in Cape Town

Operating times: Monday to Sunday, from 07:00 – 22:00 daily