Restaurant Review & Interview with Co-Owner Nigel Pace
A brand new (version 2.0 due to a fire) French brasserie and Members Club has opened in Cape Town. Located in Gardens in the historic Leinster Hall, The Stack inspires with décor, style, service and food! We've asked one of the owners Nigel a few questions about their testing journey, from building to despair to rebirth and now the realisation of a dream.
"Everybody always warned me that running your own business was about taking risks. Well, we certainly feel that we have now faced and overcome the most extreme adversity and that is certainly a good feeling. Every minor glitch will probably pale in comparison from here on.”
Nigel Pace, one of the brains behind the Stack, has had quite the journey to bring his dream to fruition.
But what is The Stack you may be asking? Well, simply it is the latest restaurant & Members Club to grace the streets of Cape Town. Boasting fabulous décor by the very distinguished interior designer and co-owner, Sarah Ord, plus exemplary service, delicious French brasserie cuisine. Situated in Gardens, at the old home of the Cape Town Club (behind The Mount Nelson Hotel), “The historic Leinster Hall is a unique building, and one of Cape Town's only remaining Georgian buildings of its kind. It is the perfect place to run a vibrant brasserie/bar, and the garden space is a very rare luxury in and around Cape Town city centre. The first floor of the building is ideal for The Stack’s private members’ club, with wonderful seating space in the lounge and on the balcony, and three meeting rooms which are extremely comfortable and versatile.”
This, however, is The Stack 2.0. The original stack opened briefly last year, as Nigel says “In July 2015 we opened our doors quietly and we were extremely proud of what we had achieved. When a fire broke out and spread out of control, all we could do is watch our dreams go up in smoke - literally. We had to lay-off 23 team members who had become like family to us and the tedious task of picking up the pieces is something I hope nobody else ever has to go through. Although we vowed to rebuild (even as the building was burning down), there were times when The Stack’s future was in the balance and the process of getting our hands back on the building was extremely tedious. Today we feel that we have come back even stronger. The place is looking fabulous, the food and service are getting rave reviews and The Stackers (which is how we affectionately call the team) are an absolute pleasure to be around.” A heart wrenching yet inspiring story, that proves one can overcome the odds and come back stronger just as Nigel and Sarah and their Stackers have.
We were proud to be The Stack’s first lunch guests. Parking in their designated and private bays at the front of Lenister Hall, we saw the Grandeur of this classic Georgian building standing before us. A stark contrast is visible, with a white façade and the classic lines, being marked against splashes of vibrant colour schemes and the modern classy tables out on the verandas. Worship, the Maître D greeted us with a beaming smile and genuine warm hospitality, excited almost to show us what the whole team of ‘Stackers’ are most proud of. Everything was just perfect; every detail thoroughly thought out, the fireplaces, the light fittings, and the table decorations all fit together as one and gives a fantastic, luxurious feeling. But whilst it is luxurious and stylish, it is not pretentious and one truly feels at home the minute you walk
through their doors. The waiters, wearing bright orange blazers, are all fantastic; everyone is smiling and happy to help with anything.
But we haven’t even gotten to the food! Well it’s a turn out for the books, no words that I could write would be able to portray the menu, the presentation let alone the taste. Quite simply, Sarah (Director at BACK IN TOWN) said, “This is the best fish I’ve ever had in my life”, I hope that provides some insight into the flavour! The dish was, grilled Atlantic line fish (Kingkilp) with aubergine purée, garlic roasted tomatoes and beurre blanc au citron. I went with a French classic Steak Frites with Béarnaise Sauce which was also exceptional. But wait there’s more! Not just great food, but also dazzling cocktails, made fresh ingredients and delicious home-made syrups. The bar area is bright with different colours but everything somehow clashing beautifully, which is Sarah Ord’s signature style. Take a look at the cocktail menu and choose your favourite (maybe you’ll have to try all of them to make sure, like we vow to do).
Then there’s the Members Club. The top floor, dedicated to Members of The Stack, with its own bar, a beautiful lounge area and a balcony perfect for an evening drink. The Members Club also has 3 meeting/function rooms that are highly adaptable, it feels like they’ve thought of everything here. Not surprising as Nigel was the General Manager at some of the top hotels worldwide, as he puts it “As a hotel General Manager, I always treated the property I was managing as if it were my own. But ultimately it wasn’t, and not all aspects of running the business were within my control. The Stack is the realisation of a dream Sarah and I have had for a while - to create a space which taps into all the things we love in life - great food, beautiful decor and warm, slick hospitality.”
So head on down to The Stack, Cape Town and see what all the fuss is about. You can even make a booking online, view the menus and get more information about the history, membership and meeting rooms at thestack.co.za
Also find them on:
The Stack kindly hosted us for a complimentary lunch
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