29 Oct Karoo Square is brimming with life and creativity
Designed to allow the same amount of light and air that a greenhouse would, the venue is a haven where one can sit back and allow your soul to grow.
Consisting of a restaurant, art gallery, pottery studio, craft shops and a nursery, Karoo Square is the result of owner John du Raan’s dream to create a creative community. From the outset the purpose of the development has been to slowly build a commune where the members would be free to, through innovation and the pursuit of uncommon ideas, get past the perceptions that limit our notion of the possible. Once this can be achieved there exist endless possibilities to design and create environments which are conducive to living consciously, the experience of simple beauty, and culture as a way of life and ultimately personal happiness.
An ongoing objective of the Karoo Square community is to spread the knowledge and skills which flow from the creative processes of its different hubs. As education is regarded by the community as one of the most important long term needs of our society, regular workshops and classes are held where the useful results of experiments in sustainable architecture, pottery, art, horticulture, graphic and textile design, culinary art and other disciplines are taught.
John, in explaining his idea of the perfect cafe, refers to a series of paintings done by Claude Monet that portray the cafe as a free and easy environment in which free thinkers, writers and artists, and ordinary citizens could come together to experience the diversity and prosperity of 1 9th century France. For Monet, the cafe was a symbol of everything that was free from the restraints of traditional thought and it epitomised modern Parisian life. The restaurant at Karoo Square started out as an extension of John’s living room. He wanted a place where like-minded people could gather to spend a few moments playing chess, reading, having a good meal or just taking time out to breathe. The best part about having the restaurant, says John, is that unlike his own lounge, he can leave whenever he wants to.
The Cafe is airy and spacious and offers patrons a range of nook and crannies where they can submerge themselves. Side panels can be rolled open, allowing the sunshine or night sky inside. Book shelves and fireplaces create a cosy atmosphere and waterfalls provide tranquil background music. There is even a comfy-looking couch entitled “brakbank”, reserved exclusively for Olive, the resident Great Dane. Every six to eight weeks the exhibitions in the gallery are changed so there’s always something fresh and visual to feast your eyes on. Regular special evenings for music, poetry readings, astronomy meetings and philosophical and other discussions are also held.
Karoo is open Monday – Friday from 07:00 – 21:00, Saturdays 08:00 – 18:00 and Sundays 08:00 – 15:00. For more information go to www.karoocafe.co.za.