My love affair with Aces ‘n’ Spades is the stuff of running jokes around the CTE.com office, so you better believe I was first in the door when owners Reg McDonald and Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker opened their latest watering hole, The Village Idiot.
You heard it here first: Loop is the next Bree, and TVI is the spot that’s starting the zeitgeist. It’s all of two-and-a-half weeks old and is already the most popular new kid on the block, with a queue snaking down the block by 8 pm last Friday.
Inside, the team has pulled out all the stops decor-wise to create a hip, cosy space that marries the feel of a hunting lodge with their usual balls-to-the-wall, irreverent style.
It’s all warm wood, face brick, leather booths and taxidermy, with a roaring fireplace you’d happily elbow your granny out of the way to nab a seat beside. Oskar, the original village idiot, keeps his beady eye on things from a perch above the bar. Don’t forget to toast him before your first sip.
The bar itself has some serious length to it, so while it’s always packed, service is fast, efficient and friendly, with a lot of Aces faces making it feel like home already.
It’s well stocked with everything from craft beer to wine and Brooksy’s ever-present bottle of mescal, but you have to try the witblitz and passion fruit shots. They’re lethally moreish. You’ve been warned.
Prefer to line the old stomach before lining up the shots? The TVI menu includes proudly South African shareable tapas and main meals. We can recommend the charcuterie and biltong board with roosterkoek and the Mrs Ball’s boerewors burger, which is already proving legendary.
While the original intention seems to have been to create a quieter spot than Aces to get your drink and snack attack on, The Village Idiot is open till 2 am and a combination of live gigs, pumping DJ sets and happy atmosphere sees a dance floor forming almost every night.
You just can’t keep a good party down. Welcome to the tribe.
Photography Laura McCullagh