Wake me up when it’s all over

It’s been 16 months since the first lockdown was announced due to Covid-19. We've endured 3 total lockdowns prohibiting the sale of alcohol and we've been closed for a total of seven and half of the last 16 months.


Since the end of the first lockdown, which lasted 5 months, we’ve been operating under extremely restrictive conditions which have significantly reduced the number of guests we’re able to accommodate as well as our trading hours. Curfew and the related early closing times for bars and restaurants have had the biggest impact and while we’ve done everything possible to trade as best we can, the combined effect of the lockdown restrictions have brought us to the point where we are unable to continue to operate under these conditions.


There is some good news though: 𝙒𝙚 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙉𝙊𝙏 𝙘𝙡𝙤𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙙𝙤𝙬𝙣.


After discussing the situation with our team and finalising an agreement with our landlord, we’ve made the decision to go into hibernation until such time that all Covid-19 related restrictions have been lifted and we're able to once again operate at full capacity. Doing so ensures that we will survive and get to the end of the pandemic with our resources intact. We intend to be here for the long run and by hibernating for the remainder of this tough time, we'll have jobs to offer and a bar to come back to when all this is over instead of closing permanently. 


We’ll be open for the duration of August, after which we’ll shut down operations for a few months. At this point its impossible to say when we’ll be re-opening but one thing is certain, WE WILL BE BACK!


We hope to see you often throughout August. We’d like nothing more than to have a fun-filled month, seeing our locals and regulars before we close temporarily at the end of the month.


We have some exciting things planned while we’re hibernating. We’ll be updating the look and feel of the interior, ensuring that Proof is better than ever when we reopen. We’ll be celebrating our 5th birthday in January and we remain hopeful that we’ll be open by then to celebrate with every one of you who’s been part of our journey so far.


We’ll keep you updated as and when we have news but in the meantime, we have four full weeks to enjoy so let the good times roll!


Cheers,

Dan and Wayne


We’re back again!

Lockdown number 3 (or is it number 4? Who knows anymore?) has come and gone and we're back in business.


While we are happy to be back, we're operating under strict restrictions which include limits on the number of customers we can accommodate as well as an enforced closing time of 21h00.


Covid protocols are in place so please ensure you arrive with a face mask and ensure you're wearing it when not seated at your table. 

 

With shorter operating hours and the enforced time limit on alcohol sales, bookings are encouraged but not essential. 


Happy hour continues from Tuesday to Saturday from 16h00 to 18h00. A 25% discount will be applied to all drinks ordered between these hours. 


We have some exciting new wines on the list and our full menu can be viewed here.


We're looking forward to seeing you again. Your ongoing support is greatly appreciated!


Cheers!


Updated opening hours

We’ve officially finished our first week back in the saddle and we couldn’t be happier. Thank you for all the support. It was fantastic seeing so many familiar faces and a bar full of people (within Covid regulations) having a great time. It almost felt like the good old days.


We spent a lot of time during lockdown re-evaluating our business and the way we operate. We’ve made some big changes behind the scenes (don’t worry if you don’t notice, you’re not supposed to) which will have a positive impact on the future of our business. One of the major changes you will notice, is that of our operating hours. We’ve had a lot of questions about this so let us explain. For the time being, we’ll be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 16h00 to 21h30. We currently have to be closed and locked up by 21h45 due to the national curfew which is in place. 


The idea behind this is simple: We want Proof to be busy and have a great atmosphere every night we open. That means limiting the number of evenings and only opening more frequently as demand increases. 


Over the past 4 years we’ve always been open 6 nights a week and unfortunately, those weeks included a number of quiet nights which did not always deliver the experience that we wanted for our guests. In short, we’d rather have fewer, busier nights which will deliver a better time for everyone involved.


Cheers!

Wayne and Dan

August – Week 1 Schedule

This past week saw us opening our doors for the first time in almost four and a half months. It was incredible to have guests back in the bar and while it felt like our first night of service all over again, everyone had a great time!


In August, we'll be open twice a week as we slowly start getting back into a regular schedule of service. Here's the lineup for this week:


Wednesday 5 August: Quiz Night

The quiz starts at 19h00.

Maximum team size: 4 players

Bookings are essential - Whatsapp 082 967 5129 to book your seats.

Walk-ins are welcome from 17h00 but all seats are reserved for the quiz from 18h00 onwards.


Friday 7 August:

'Regular' lockdown service. Think snacks, drinks and good times with friends.

Due to curfew restrictions we will be closing at 21h30.

Bookings are preferred. Seating is limited due to social distancing measures so avoid disappointment, book a table.


We're operating under Covid-19 restrictions so our capacity is limited for the time being BUT the curfew has been extended so we're able to squeeze in an extra hour of fun!


Opening hours:


Wednesday and Friday

16h00 to 21h30



Ironic Wine Tasting – Wednesday 29 July

We kick off our Proof of Life series on Wednesday 29 July with our best attempt at hosting a wine tasting in these strange times.


Join us for pizza and a non-alcoholic drink or two, followed by a tasting of some of the de-alcoholised wines currently available on retail shelves. If nothing else, the pizza and company will be great! Get out of the house for a few hours, spend time amongst a few other human beings, pretend that everything's normal for a short while and get home safely to make curfew by 21h00.


We WILL be bringing the vibe. We WILL be taking every health and safety precaution. We WILL have a great night. We WILL be contact tracing. We WILL NOT be checking the contents of your hip flasks or water bottles on arrival.


Bookings are now open and seats are extremely limited (24 seats in total) due to social distancing restrictions. A non-refundable booking fee of R200 per pair is payable to secure your seats. The booking fee covers the 'entertainment' portion of the evening i.e: Wine Tasting.


Please e-mail drinks@proofbar.co.za or Whatsapp 082 967 5129 to make a booking.

Proof of Life

Sunday's Presidential address held no good news for anybody. While there's no doubt that the re-imposed ban on the sale of alcohol has set us back in terms of reopening with a full bar offering, it has highlighted just how much we have been relying on the government to lead us through these uncertain times. We've been following the rules they laid out, hoping that they had our industry's interests in mind but it seem they do/have not. As such, it's time for us to move forward and, in the absence of any direction or good news from our fearless leaders, we have to forge our own path into a brave new world.


With that, we give you 'Proof of Life'...


Starting on Wednesday, 29 July we'll be opening once a week. The format is simple: We'll be serving dinner (check out our new menu) paired with an experience giving you the opportunity to get out in a safe, controlled environment for a few hours a week.


Wednesday 29 July: Dinner and an ironic wine tasting


Our Menu will be available for an early dinner, followed by a tasting of the 'finest' alcohol-free wines we can get our hands on. Who knows, maybe we'll find something worth drinking at home!


Wednesday 5 August: Dinner and Quiz Night


Come in for a pizza and a special Quiz Night: Lockdown Edition! 12 Teams of two will compete for the top honours as we avoid the complete and utter boredom of spending yet another evening in front of the TV.


Each night is limited to only 12 pairs of tickets to ensure adequate distancing between guests. No alcohol will be served or consumed on the premises but we will a selection of non-alcoholic beers, cider and cocktails available.


Bookings are essential and a booking fee of R200/pair (this covers the entertainment) is payable to secure your seats.


Hand sanitiser will be provided and our staff will be following strict health and safety and cleaning protocols to ensure the very highest level of cleanliness. Our menus are digital and we have no-touch payment options available. Screening of guests temperatures will be done on arrival and we will require your contact details to ensure contact tracing information is captured.


Due to the government-imposed curfew which starts at 21h00, we'll be open from 18h00 until 20h30 at which time we will need to close to ensure we all get home on time.


More info about future evenings to follow shortly.


Bookings can be made via e-mail: drinks@proofbar.co.za or Whatsapp: 082 967 5129



Covid-19 Pandemic Update

It's time to get back on the horse

Wow, what a year! Like many others, we went into #twentyplenty with big plans for our business. Little did we know that every single plan we had would be laid to waste and that we'd be unable to trade for 1/3 of the year (and counting...). While this certainly wasn't the year we had in mind, we're alive, we're kicking and we're itching to get back to the business of providing good times for our guests.


There's no doubt that the hospitality and entertainment landscape is going to look very different when this is over. For starters, very few bars and restaurants are going to survive and with every month that passes, more and more establishments are being forced to permanently close their doors. The ones that are left will be forced to operate under restrictive conditions for some time after lockdown is eased and there's no telling when, if ever, things will return to 'normal'.


For 3 years, with the exception of 1 week in February 2019 when we closed for our expansion, we ran service 6 nights a week. Throughout that time, we got progressively busier and this meant that while we had to adapt to the ever-increasing number of guests, drinks served etc, we never had time to make meaningful changes to the way we ran service or operated our business. The past few months have given us the opportunity to take a step back and reconsider what is important to us and our guests, what works, what doesn't and what we can change to make the experience even better. We're committed to not just surviving this crisis, but to coming back better than we've ever been. We won't bore you with the details but we will say this: All our planning and internal restructuring is done with one goal in mind and that is to be the best damn bar we can be.


Re-opening full time with a full bar offering may be further off than we think so the time has come to take the bull by the horns. The easing of alcohol sales and our ability to sell alcohol for off-consumption use at the beginning of June, while entertaining for a few weeks, simply highlighted to us that we are very much an entertainment venue. We enjoyed the brief interactions with a number of our regulars (thanks for the support!) and we were grateful to give our team some work for a while but the experience highlighted that our product, while revolving around the sale of alcohol, isn't actually alcohol at all. Proof, like many establishments in the hospitality industry is an entertainment business. Alcohol is just one of many factors which goes into creating an environment where people can relax, spend time with their friends and enjoy time away from home.


With this in mind, we'll be opening for limited service hours in the coming weeks. We have some VERY exciting new offerings and we know that many of you are itching to get out for a couple of hours. Rest assured that we'll be following the same stringent Covid-19 protocols as restaurants are following. Seating will be very limited and we'll be operating on a booking-only basis. We take our responsibilty as a public-facing space very seriously and we will make sure that all possible precautions are taken. We will be serving food (more details to follow very soon) but there will be no sale or consumption of alcohol permitted on the premises.


Make sure you're following us on Facebook or Instagram for updates.


Cheers,

Wayne and Dan