When top chef and restaurateur Liam Tomlin and his partners opened The Bailey in June 2022, it cemented Bree Street as the culinary epicentre of Cape Town. The decision to brave three floor levels of gourmet eateries and an equally gourmet cocktail bar marked the bold return to the city’s vibrant dining culture.
The Bailey is located at 91 Bree Street, right opposite Heritage Square. Originally started as a family home in the 1800s, the building plays host to hit restaurant Chefs Warehouse, The Bailey Brasserie with its French-inspired menu, and the venue’s lofty Old Bailey Lounge Bar.
Today, the historical building still features classic lines, original textured walls, staircases and high ceilings, with stunning flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Here’s what you’ll find during your visit.
As any fervent food culture maven can attest, Chefs Warehouse needs no introduction. The restaurant courts a steady stream of locals and visiting tourists for their unique way of presenting a Global Tapas offering. Chef Tomlin moved the space from Heritage Square where it launched in 2014 to The Bailey in late February 2023 and once again raise the stakes for restaurants in Cape Town.
The original small plate concept of the restaurant still holds firm to some old menu favourites such as Salt pepper squid with chilli, pineapple and caramelised ginger; Vietnamese rice paper rolls; and a signature Risotto dish. This time around, Executive Chef Asher Abramowitz joins Tomlin to expand further with an á la carte menu of vegetarian, vegan and meat dishes, as well as fish dishes prepared at the open seafood bar.
When: Daily from 12pm to 9pm
The Bailey Brasserie makes a strong case for semi-formal dinners and post-work drinks with a dash of modern-day elegance. This spacious restaurant leans heavily towards the French side with fresh takes on age-old cuisine classics, a maître d team that’s on the ball, and a great wine list to boot.
Interiors are washed with tasteful design elements including contemporary art, exposed brick walls and fine touches of elegant glassware and starched tablecloths for that classic dining experience.
While the restaurant’s signature Chateaubriand is undoubtedly the star of the menu, it’s worthwhile exploring their take on some other popular French cuisine stalwarts. Go all out and start with the escargot drenched in herby butter, a hearty Bouillabaise for two or Ratatouille for the vegans, and a decadent dessert trolley.
Keep the Paul Du Toit Studio Dining Room in mind for special get-togethers with colleagues, friends, or family. The space amps up a mod industrial atmosphere with archival works from the late South African artist mixed with fragments of cement and transparency.
If you want to keep the party going, there’s plenty for that, too. Head one floor up to The Old Bailey Whiskey Bar where you can watch masterful mixologists whip up smashing cocktails.
When: Mon to Sat, 6pm – 9.30pm
The Old Bailey Whiskey Bar in Bree Street comes with its unique edge, as you would expect for a lounge bar perched atop two dining establishments by Liam Tomlin. This concept whiskey and cocktail bar in Cape Town is modelled after the high-end member’s clubs of London and New York, so you’ll definitely want to dress up a little.
The space is pretty versatile, too. It’s easy enough for you to take in the balmy summer evenings for after-work drinks on the balcony, or head indoors where you can sink into the plush seating among the heaters.
Make some time to try the whiskey tastings that can be booked a day in advance – reservations for 10 or more guests require a 2-day notice. These relaxed yet educational tasting sessions offer a deep dive into whiskey is made, how to do proper whiskey analysis, and the best ways to bring out the true value and flavour in a serve.
To add to the ambience, there’s live jazz Thursday right through Saturday nights, and a DJ spinning French vinyl sets on Fridays and Saturdays until late.