Word has slowly got out that the husband and wife team Graham and Gina Neilson who own 9th Avenue Bistro are opening a new eatery. The Boiler Room Café is scheduled to open at the start of October at the Lion Match Factory. This is bound to be good news for Durbanites and their appetite for café-style eating.
“We always wanted to start something from scratch, as we didn’t have that opportunity with 9th,” explains Gina. “It was probably two years in the making. We’ve had many ideas for different spaces – from underground whiskey bars and Mexican eateries to doughnut shops. We knew when we found the space we’d know what would suit it.
The restaurant is in the original boiler room of the Lion Match Factory, one of the city’s most beautiful and iconic buildings. In keeping with its history, the interior will maintain an industrial feel, but there will also be trees growing inside and a 9 m park bench.
One of the prerequisites of the space was that the eatery had to cater for tenants of the Lion Match Factory Office Park, so everything from breakfast to simple sandwiches and cakes will be served. The focus will be on interesting salads like charcoal roasted vegetables, chevin, toasted almonds and balsamic, or a version with steak, biltong butter, avocado, sliced tomato, rocket and croutons. Specials could include a fresh tuna burger and Saturday brunches will definitely be a highlight.
Graham will be busy in the Boiler Room kitchen daily (and at 9th Avenue Bistro for dinner service) but they have taken on a new head chef, Charles Lakin, at the Bistro. “He started following 9th Avenue on Twitter four months ago and I thought, how strange it is that this Michelin-starred, Great British Menu finalist is following us – he must have us mistaken for another place,” says Gina. “Then just as we were looking for another member to join our team, he emailed us his CV. Needless to say, we snapped him up straight away!”
Keep an eye out for new listing information on this restaurant on the Eat Out website, which will be updated as soon as they are open for business.