Tucked away in the Southern Suburbs is a compact little neighbourhood centred around its vibey Second Avenue. Restaurant owner Duane Weiss gives us a local’s tour.
‘A gentleman by the name of Chris Parsley started the restaurant 20 years ago, but sold it in 2003 to open a Da Vincis in town. I worked for Chris there as his manager for four years. In 2014 I ended up buying this original one. Although it’s named after the Italian artist, Da Vincis is not strictly an Italian eatery – we do ribs and burgers (including a Banting burger in a bowl) plus pastas and wood-fired pizzas.
I am originally from East London and have been here for seven years. Harfield Village is very community-driven. People are friendly and everyone looks out for each other. When you walk down the street, everyone greets you. From as early as 5 am, locals are out walking their dogs.’ 37 Second Avenue, 0216835453
‘Banana Jam Cafe is the best place to have a drink in Harfield Village. It has happy-hour specials and they brew their own craft beer’ (including a Coconut IPA and Pirate Porter). 157 Second Avenue, 0216740186. ‘Home Bar is the place to catch up with locals.’ 53 Second Avenue, 0216836066
‘My favourite cappuccino spot, to get the day started, is Twigs with Beans.’ 0216741193. ‘I also enjoy going for a smoothie at August Deli – it’s small and intimate and has a homely atmosphere.’ 0827344007 Both are at 48 Second Avenue.
‘Hampstead Park on Princes Road is very popular. It has an area where you can play table tennis, a jungle gym and everyone takes their dogs there.’ The park is maintained by the Friends of Harfield Village.
‘The Avenue Restaurant & Grill (in the old Avenue Dairy building dating from 1931) makes delicious, tender steaks.’ 45 Second Avenue, 0216710623. ‘I usually order the pulled pork tacos at (Caribbean-style) Banana Jam, further down the road’ at No. 157
‘Select Books buys and sells rare books, including some signed by the author, and limited editions. One of our objectives is to source out-of-print books that are no longer available on the shelves. We assess and repair them if we need to before sending out a catalogue to readers who may be interested. We then post books to people all over the world. We have been in business for almost 32 years now, and recently moved from Long Street to Harfield Village.
It’s peaceful here and the businesses are all well managed. When we first moved here, we had to find a locksmith and a plumber – we didn’t have to go too far as both were down the road. I had to get a puncture fixed – there’s a mechanic right here! My dentist is also in the neighbourhood.’ 56 Surrey Street (just off Second Avenue), 021 424 6955.