Railways Cafe opened officially on the 7th of February 2013 but was established in 2011.. We are a privately owned and independently operated bar and restaurant, located in the heart of Irene(corner Pioneer & Main road). Railways Cafe is the Core Business on the D'Afrique Fairtrade Foundations property. Railways Cafe provides the sustainability aspect for the D'afrique Fairtrade Foundation to be operational.
D'Afrique Fairtrade Foundation is a NPO (Non-Profitable Organisation) that focuses on community development. Providing a platform for "side walk" artists to gain access to Storage of product,raw materials and basic machinery to create their product. DAFTF also helps bring business to the crafters by means of social media advertising through Railways cafe and Irene Trading post (the craft store). Return clients for the hospitable aspect are then exposed to the crafters through small markets or daily walk by clients that see them in action.
Railways Cafe is owned by TJ Bryant( Anker Euntreupeneur of D'Afrique Fairtrade Foundation), TJ Bryant Has experience in the field of Hospitality Management and has been working in the industry since the age of 15. At the age of 19 TJ Joined the D'Afrique Fairtrade Foundation with the vision of providing hospitality to those who want to give back to the poverty stricken people. The concept helps provide constant exposure to the crafters that are involved with the D'Afrique Fairtrade Foundation through regular "feet through the door". Getting the community involved is the main drive for Railways Cafe and D'Afrique Fairtrade Foundation and bringing different types of people to one destination puts one foot in the door for endless opportunity with regards to community development.
The menu at Railways Cafe is home-style related as all meals are freshly prepared with a "local is lekker" concept, keeping all the fresh vegetables, meats and poultry within a 80km radius when purchased. Trainee's are rotated to expose them to different sorts of environment and thus providing them the opportunity to experience different lifestyle's and possibly open their eyes to a passion that was never recognized by the sub-conscious mindset.
The service at Railways cafe is friendly and slick. It aims to provide a memorable experience for each and every person no matter the background, and to leave our patrons wanting for nothing. Our patrons are encouraged to interact with the client; this relaxes the environment a lot more and makes people feel at home. Hence the fact that we call everybody that enters a "family member".
All of our staff have a thorough knowledge of, and genuine interest in our product.
With initiative, personality and style, they provide professional and consistent service with genuine concern.
Railways Cafe strives to help empower members of our team as this makes one feel that they have an important role in the community development project.
-The "woodmen" (Carpentry Workshop "owners") do the door takings on a Friday & Saturday evening for the up-Coming musicians that perform at Railways.90% of the door will be allocated to the bands to be split evenly & the remaining 10% will be allocated to the woodmen. This helps them sustain their workshop as the small percentage helps contribute to the buying of raw materials and possible machinery that they might require to further establish their carpentry workshop.
- "Mr Marimba" ( Xylophone producer and Musical Talent)
Over weekends "Mr Marimba" gets the opportunity to sell small delights such as coffee ( winter related) & Slush Puppy( summer related) to the customers for his own profit. This assists him in making a small income to further establish his workshop by getting the necessary raw materials or machinery that he might need to grow or improve his xylophone production process.
- Railways cafe up- coming musicians
This is a very important category for Railways Cafe as this reaches a massive market outside of the venue. Weekly submissions get posted to Railways Cafe for up- coming artists that just want a platform to play & expose themselves to the public. We pride ourselves in giving these musicians the opportunity to do so by putting them on our stage and providing them with the necessary sound engineers and music systems to allow them to get a "real time performance" experience, With the benefit of a meal on the evening as well as a cut of the door earnings to give this slowly fading industry a glimpse of hope, or a way forward to show people that doing what you are passionate about can also provide you a living to help support your family. A common example of this scenario is:
Meesh Mash Band- Situated in the heart of Johannesburg ( Belville, Yoville east) These 4 Rastafarians came to Railways Cafe in need of a platform to do what they love. Play music. They did not request any funds, just the platform and earned their money through "hat money" performances. This means that people tipped them if they liked them. Over the last 3 months they have played at Railways Cafe and have grown their fan base from 5 people appearances to over 150 people every Saturday and now earn a cut of the door that sustains their music career and allows them to provide daily consumables and education for their children. Railways cafe further assisted by starting a Facebook page for the "Meesh Mash Band" to help them reach out to their fans and provide them with performance times and the opportunity at any other possible bookings such as birthday parties, corporate bookings etc.
- Greyline Photography
Being a sustainable project to help assist D' Afrique Fairtrade Foundation makes budgets much lower than your regular commercial hospitality venue. Greyline Photography is an example of our diversity in terms of people we would like to reach.
A postgraduate student at open window that has joined us to help expose both Railways cafe & Greyline Photography(his company). He does all the photography for Railways Cafe at a low cost and in return we cross market to help expose one another. When functions are hosted at Railways cafe he is the suggested photographer to the client. Greyline is also assisting Railways Cafe in exposing the crafters and up-coming bands through video footage that we will run through youtube and use in proposals for possible sponsorships linked to each and every crafter involved.
- Goliath Studio's
Goliath Studio's are also a relatively new company in need of exposure, Railways cafe helps promote them through our social media pages. We are soon looking to join ventures in providing up- coming artists a platform to record albums and help generate funds through the selling of CD's, ITunes etc.
- Dowe Digters Poetry Evening
The Dowe Digters have been with Railways Cafe since the beginning of time and both the society and ourselves have built a healthy relationship as time has passed. Railways cafe provides a platform for artists such as the Dowe Digters to expose poetry asnd open mic evenings to the general public. Through this journey the Dowe Digters have grown their society and gotten Railways clients to join the poetry family & in return Railways cafe has been exposed to new clients that have in turn become regular clients to Railways Cafe on a weekly basis. The door fee covers the sound and guest performance on the evening. Our goal is to one day make this evening a free event and get a potential sponsor for the evening so exposure to these types of events have no price tag to it.
Being young Businesses, Any sponsorship or donations toward selected crafters is always appreciated. This makes it possible to allow dreams to turn to reality.
Railways Cafe is open 5 days a week, and closed on Mondays & Tuesdays. We open for Breakfast at 9pm and close at 5pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays We are open till 2am. Sundays- 9am- 3pm. All trading ours are fixed unless stated otherwise.
First Time Here. What An Eclectic Place. You Need About 30min Just To Walk Around And Explore The Hidden Nooks And Crannies Of The Place. The Structure Makes No Sense But Somehow It All Works As A Venue. Great Place To Catch Local Live Music On Most If Not All Nights.
Love Railways! Always Love Playing There As Well. Excellent Sound And Sound Technicians! Cool Community Vibes With Merch Stores, Craft Coffee, Multiple Bars And They Are Now Expanding The Venue Even Further! Growing Fast!
Videos & Live performances