I’m on my stuck record again, but I can’t help it if I have so many memories of Sea Point. This restaurant (pictured), Caponero, just opposite Posticino, I remember clearly from 1973, when I was a little boy.
My mom was friendly with the owners, so we would often pop in just to have coffee and a chat. When they were quiet, that is, because at one stage there was a queue in the evenings that snaked all along the pavement, that’s how popular they were. They had wine bottles hanging from the roof, the smell of garlic and pizza dough all around, I think, absorbed even by the walls. Pizza Bomba, made with whole wheat, was my favourite for years. Later, as an adult, I still frequented it.
There was one elderly couple who got up every Friday night and danced to Dean Martin’s That’s Amore. (“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie / That’s amore / When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine / That’s amore.”)
Before the Waterfront, Sea Point was THE place to visit for dining. The Waterfront was the end of Sea Point, once known as Little Tel Aviv, or Little Manhattan. The area folded, restaurants closed, everybody flocked to the bright lights of the Waterfront. The mood was bleak, but slowly, as with most suburbs the tide turns—yes, even a worm turns. I’ve seen suburbs collapse and then emerge a few years later like shining diamonds.
Just as an aside, my childhood memories are of a period during apartheid, and many of my friends today would not have been allowed at any of these places. I’m aware of how complicated and hurtful memories of the past can be.
It also reminds me of the Greek restaurant Ari Souvlaki’s. Back in the day the real Ari owned it, and it was in another spot. It was so popular that the actor Telly Savalas dined there on a visit to Cape Town. But Ari wasn’t going to be told by anybody whom he could take as a lover and partner.
He had a so-called “coloured” girlfriend who worked with him in the restaurant. I can’t remember her name now. They openly touched each other, and she could be seen doing some shopping for the restaurant while she drove in his gold-coloured Mercedes.
Oh, she was a feature of Sea Pont in that car, and people would openly say: “Oh, there goes Ari’s wife, I must make a booking to eat there on Friday night.”
On Saturday mornings, when you walked past Ari’s, thousands of shards from white plates would lie on the pavement. Ari and she would be sweeping away, preparing for another day and night. They’ve both died in the interim, as one does.
Back to Caponero, today it’s Bella Italia. I don’t know what the point of this article is, never mind. Maybe because I saw this picture somewhere, jirre tog.
PS: The two people standing there were waiting for the bus, there was a bus stop for years. And the old car is a Fiat 1500, circa 1964. So, this pic was taken around the time I was born.