A spirit liqueur with a more than 200 year history is set to light up trendy De Waterkant, when a bar in its name opens within Andiamo in the original Cape Quarter next month. The history and richness of the Lanique brand will match the heritage of De Waterkant, which is one of the oldest suburbs of Cape Town.
The Lanique Bar within Andiamo is a collaboration between Nigel Price and Andiamo owner Bruce Walker, who got to know each other as Nigel’s company aqua v supplies Andiamo. Andiamo previously had a delicatessen inside the restaurant, and when Bruce did the sums as the new owner, he worked out that it was not lucrative. Nigel had been offered the rights to distribute Lanique in South Africa, and a brainstorm between the two led to the idea that the Lanique Bar within Andiamo be established.
Nigel walked me through the previous Deli space, which is being cladded with red brick, to give the space an old world feel. A stage for live music, a dance floor created by moving the tables out of the space into Andiamo, a door separating Andiamo restaurant and Lanique Bar within Andiamo when the restaurant closes at night, old timber ship decking, corrugated iron, floating shelves, rich opulent fabrics for the upholstery of the chairs, new tables, and chandeliers are planned to create an old world and opulent luxury feel. During the day the Lanique Bar counter will be closed off, but breakfast and lunch will be served and its coffee bar will be open throughout the day, giving Nigel the opportunity to run the business up to 18 hours a day. The Lanique Bar within Andiamo will stock a full complement of spirits, beers, and wines, and its liquor licence will allow it to remain open until 2h00. Electro Swing lternative will be played when the dance floor operates. Free wifi will be offered. Andiamo will become the headquarters of the Lanique brand, where tastings will be held, to introduce South Africans to the luxury brand.
Nigel shared that Lanique is a Polish crafted liqueur made with Attar of Rose, the oil said to be worth its weight in gold. Lawrence Huggler liked the liqueur so much that he bought the brand! Nigel had previously worked at Mr Huggler’s family’s Michelin star restaurant Bohemia Bar & Restaurant in Jersey, and is delighted that Mr Huggler has invited him to become his local distributor. The brand will be launched in the UK and the USA too, with other countries to follow. Nigel described Mr Huggler as a perfectionist in everything he does. Mr Huggler said that it took him eight years to ‘wake up to the opportunity right in front of me and a further two years to broker the deal for Lanique’. He has had the pack and label redesigned to modernise the brand, which was a highly regarded drink until the First World War broke out, disappearing until the Eastern European countries opened up to the West again. The signature drink is Lanique and Lime, but other cocktail suggestions are Lanique mixed with Champagne, Lemonade, Tonic, Soda, or Bitter Lemon.
Andiamo has undergone changes since Bruce took over ownership last December, with red and white striped awnings on both entrances to the restaurant, inside Cape Quarter and on Waterkant Street. Bruce has been in the hospitality industry for 25 years, at such hotels as The Ambassador, The Alphen, Pigg’s Peak Hotel & Casino, Santé Hotel & Spa, Velmore, as well as at Trinity. Bruce launched Cobra beer a number of years ago.
Nigel’s has twelve years of hospitality experience, and currently supplies more than 100 restaurants in Cape Town, the West Coast, and Winelands, with aqua v mountain fresh spring water sourced and bottled in Paarl.
POSTSCRIPT 14/8: Lanique Bistro & Bar has opened.
The Lanique Bar within Andiamo, 72 Waterkant Street, De Waterkant, Cape Town. Tel (021) 421-3687. www.andiamo.co.za Twitter: @Andiamo_CQ Nigel Price of aqua v: (021) 820-3591/074 191 4976 www.aquav.co.za Twitter: @Aquav
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage