Pull up at Die Opstal for old-school sluks and warm hospitality

HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Die Opstal barlady Melody Uys and owner Andre van Niekerk. PHOTOGRAPH: MIKE HOLMES
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Die Opstal barlady Melody Uys and owner Andre van Niekerk. PHOTOGRAPH: MIKE HOLMES

THERE is an old-school slukking pozzie hidden in a corner of Port Elizabeth that is just way ahead of its time.

Among other good reasons, this is because the clock hanging prominently above the bar in Die Opstal in Newton Park is always set at least 10 minutes ahead.

And as this stand-in City Slukker will attest after a time-constrained visit there this week – there is nothing quite as thirst-quenching as discovering extra time to squeeze in another cold one …

Die Opstal – for the sake of those more colonial slukkers, is the Afrikaans term for “the homestead” and, interestingly, this Newton Street watering hole is one of very few in Nelson Mandela Bay with an Afrikaans name.

With a huge majority of its patrons being genuine regulars, this aptly-named drinking spot is a second home to many slukkers and their families, some of whom spend entire Saturdays there.

But while this bar has a traditionally Afrikaans-speaking slukker base, it attracts jovial tipplers from all sides of the boerewors curtain. It’s not just the mix of languages and cultures that make this cozy pozzie tick, it is also the age-group mix, with both laaities and old-timers making up the bustling trading hours there.

It’s the good combination of friendly patrons, really good prices and the great entertainment there, which according to owner Andre van Niekerk, has kept the business vibrant since it was established about 17 years ago.

A centrepiece of the venue – which also draws revellers from across the Bay for its gambling machines, popular live music and karaoke sessions – is the pub’s pool table.

This is where old school and new school clash in competitions and friendly games that arguably attract some of the best pool players in the province.

Slukking prices are distinctly old school, wide-ranging and served ice cold at Die Opstal, which also offers ample seating, well-placed TV sets, and clean, easily accessible ablutions.

At an easy-to-swallow R10 for locals beers on Wednesdays and R13 during the rest of the week, this spot can teach any new bar a few lessons, while the prices of imported beer and hard tack are also guaranteed to lift any slukker’s economic spirits.

Pub grub, at very palatable prices, is also up for grabs by ordering from Punters Inn, which is situated directly above this bar.

With a large range of dishes, from burgers and steak to Sunday lunches, nothing on the menu costs more than R28.

For a great day or night out, Die Opstal is highly recommended as a slukking home away from home. – City Slukker


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