In downtown Johannesburg, often the coolest places to hang out are not immediately easy to find. The trendiest cafes and bars are often discreetly tucked away in a gentrified warehouse or perched on a rooftop overlooking the city. Poolside, in the trendy downtown Maboneng district, is one such space.
Named for the small swimming pool and sundeck at its centre, Poolside is a lively bar located in an old courtyard adjoining Maboneng’s Museum of African Design, known as MOAD.
Look up and you can catch a glimpse of the tell-tale signs of urban regeneration, such as the formerly industrial windows and stairwells of the smart loft apartments that overlook the courtyard.
When the sun is shining this is a brilliant place to enjoy the weather from the comfort of a sun lounger or cool down with a dip in the pool.
The bar menu is said to have been inspired by the Italian tradition of enjoying early evening aperitivos,and the refreshing Italian Aperol spritz (Aperol liqueur, sparkling wine and soda water) is one of the most popular cocktails on the menu.
If the weather takes a turn for the worse there’s also a cosy indoor bar area that looks out over the courtyard from where the local house DJs spin tunes.
Hours: Thursday to Sunday noon to 10pm; closed Monday to Wednesday