I’ve been keeping an eye on the development of 27 Boxes for about a year now– seeing the shipping containers being moved into the old derelict Faan Smit Park, watching the construction and the containers coming together and turning into stores, and now – it’s done! And it is absolutely amazing.
27 Boxes is in Melville, close to our Johannesburg Guesthouses and is a new indoor / outdoor retail development made entirely of containers. It’s contemporary, cutting edge and the most gorgeous and clever architectural space. The park is home to 80 stores, each completely unique. There’s décor, fashion, a specialist cake shop, great coffee, art galleries, craft stores, stacks of restaurants and a sunny amphitheatre with a children’s play area and Von Pickartz Belgian Waffles which are to die for. I know that because I ate two and nearly passed out from pure joy and deliciousness.
The containers have been beautifully decorated with wooden or tiled floors and modern lighting, doors that open out on both sides, some have small balconies with outdoor tables and chairs, and it is easy to wander around and amble from store to store, exploring, looking, buying.
The garden area has been perfectly landscaped. There are large crates filled with indigenous plants, hilly spots where kids can run up and down the stepping stones and nice outdoor tables and benches where the adults can watching them and soak up the sun. The florist has one of the nicest spots too and it’s impossible to leave 27 Boxes and not have a bunch of flowers in hand.
The Philly Cheesesteak Restaurant is definitely the talk of the town, and they have the sunniest and hippest upstairs spot, with views over the Melville Koppies. There was a family who were all elbow deep in their fillet steak Hoagies that looked ridiculously delicious, dripping in cheese, and I think that is what I am going to try next.
I went just to ‘have a look’ and came home with a gorgeous Black Coffee designer dress, a hand printed tablecloth from Yda Walt, and butternut soup from The Ritual Food Bar that I could keep and freeze at home . There are quite a few health and organic restaurants although I am especially keen for the cronut shop to hurry up and open, it looks quite divine.
So. Whether you are looking for a good cup of coffee with a macaron, a painting or even a new sofa, you’ll find it at 27 Boxes. It is a fabulous place if you’re looking for gifts and I would definitey suggest that all tourists visit. Your Johannesburg Guesthouse owner can arrange transport for you or give you directions. There’s plenty of parking.
The official opening is on 01 July, and there’ll be tons of giveaways. And waffles! Have fun.