Walking into The House of Machines is like stepping into the ultimate man cave. From the white subway tiles in the bar area, to the face brick wall directly opposite sporting a compendium of biker photographs, to the moody assemblage of every item of cool in the back room, ‘THoM’ is as masculine, slick and sophisticated as it gets.
The vision was to create an environment to honour both man and machine. Housed in a historic workhouse in Shortmarket Street, THoM is the consummate fusion of café, custom bike workshop and fine purveyor of essential menswear and accessories. Not just a fine concept store, THoM also boasts a menu that will guarantee you return for more. And more.
Wait at the dark wood bar counter, dully lit by Hoi P’Loy bulbs (or the like) while a friendly barman whips up a signature cocktail – ask for the specials, you won’t be disappointed.
Take your pick of the Dark & Stormy (dark rum, ginger ale and lime juice), Vodka Gimlet (vodka, bitter lemon and lime juice), the Alchemy (our personal favourite: gin, vodka, Indian tonic and lemon juice).
The selection is short and sharp but a breath of fresh air in today’s over-sugared and under-flavoured selection. For the bourbon fans, the Old Fashioned is an absolute must (bourbon, bitters and maple syrup). The space gets crowded at night so head there early if you fancy something small, or stick around when local musicians take to the stage on select nights.
If you’re feeling peckish, opt to have breakfast or lunch at the House from a similarly simple and American-style menu. Open from 7 am weekdays, Evil Twin coffee, exclusively sourced, will give you a kick in the right direction.
On the first Sunday of each month, between 11 am and 2 pm, THoM joins forces with Cape Town’s acclaimed Mexican restaurant El Burro for a food truck brunch. Sit in wooden fold out chairs under the shade of trees while sipping your chosen beverage and savouring Mexican staples.
The music is always good, the staff always friendly and the crowd cool and stylish. We’ll certainly see you there again. And again…
Photographs Bernard Myburgh, Words Lisa Wallace