Cape Town - Jaco 'Snakehead' Venter and Wynand Myburgh sat down with Channel24 to chat beer, burgers, and the lekker new Fokof Bar.
Fokofpolisiekar's drummer and the bassist gave us all the dirty deets on how the Pretoria venue wasn't what they originally had in mind but how they have transformed into the perfect drinking hole.
Fokof Bar officially opened its doors on Saturday, 2 February at 12:00 - and the whole gang was there.
HOW THE IDEA FOR THE FOKOF BAR CAME ABOUT:
Wynand explained how the idea for the bar started out as little more than a joke and then came together over time: "When we started Fokofpolisiekar 16 years ago, we would always say if the band gets successful, we should have our own beer, but only ever as a joke. And now, when we made our own beer, we said ‘it would be cool if we had our own place.’ And of course, if you’re lucky, you meet the right people and over time things become more real.
"So, if you look at it now, as we were joking about all the things that would be possible with this band, we set everything in motion. It’s all been coming for a long time as with everything in the Fokof camp."
Snake went on: "In our minds it was always like a little rock and roll dive bar. Max capacity 50 people."
Wynand continued: "And then things quickly changed. Because we realised to get the space that we wanted and what we wanted would be more complicated. It doesn’t just come that easily."
"We realised that the mechanics of running a bar are different than what we thought. Like for instance that your costs are set in a certain way. So, if you have bit more space you can probably get more people through the door and it will easier to make a good turnover," said Snake.
Wynand explained the process of finding a venue: "So we went to go look at this bar and it was…weird."
Snake described the place: "It looked like shit. It was this club that got run without a liquor license and got shutdown by government. And the guy who ran it, ran away and there was this whole court case against him and right before we moved it, it was actually a church."
Wynand joked: "It must have been weird to have a minister with a Corona sign behind him (laughs)."
THE LAYOUT OF THE BAR AND HOW IT WAS RENOVATED:
Wynand explained the layout of the space saying: "The venue is three spaces: We have an outside area and then the massive bar area and seated area with a stage." Even though the band have renovated the venue, there’s still more they want to do: "We have done a lot work. We’ve widened doorways and really updated it; the longer we’ve sat with it, the more we’ve done. We’re happy with where it’s at right now, but there are still things we would like to do as time goes on. The more time goes on, the more naturally cluttered it will become. Which is what we want," he adds jokingly: "We want some puke on the walls, we want some chips on the floor. We want it to be lived in."
LIVE MUSIC AT THE VENUE:
Wynand said that even though they want it to be a place where people can see their favourite band in an intimate setting, there’s nothing booked just yet: "At this stage there are plans to have live music at the venue, but here are no events booked yet."
Snake added: "There is a stage though."
Wynand explained: "We’re not a live music venue. It’s a space where people can hang out. We want to start a hangout culture. A place where people live if they’re not at home."
Snake then elaborated on their laid back approach: "We’re not really rigid about it. The place will find its own identity. So, we built the stage in their because there eventually be live music in there, but at the same time I don’t want it to be one of those places where there is live music every night."
THE BAR FOOD’S MAIN PURPOSE WILL BE TO SOAK UP THE BEER:
Wynand says the emphasis will be on drinking but there will be snacks: "We want people to sit down and have a beer or two and then realise, ‘you know what? I’m hungry.’ So, they’ll order a burger, which we’ll call the Fokken Burger and that’s like R35. The idea is that you can sit down and have a Fokof lager and a Fokof burger and end up with it costing you like R70."
Snake explained: "I think the initial idea is that it’s a bar first and food is fuel for you to drink longer. So if you want uncomplicated food that is simplistic but good, then this is the place for you. That’s our manifesto right now."
THE OVERALL FEEL OF THE BAR:
The two men said that when it comes to the overall feel of the bar, it’s about their own taste. Wynand remembers: "When we started Fokof, we said we would make the music we like and then if people like it that’s great. That’s kind of the same approach we took to making the bar. It’s what we’ve always wanted as a hangout or a drinking hole."
(Photo: Andre Badenhorst/Supplied)