The story of BB Bistro goes back many years, and the next time you bump into BraaiBoy, he’ll gladly tell it to you over a beer or two. The short(ish) version however goes as follows:
For the love of braaing
Back in 2011/12 sometime, Park Acoustics was still allowing people to bring their own braais into the festival. It became a safety problem as the festival grew and the organisers approached me to help solve it and we created a bring-and-braai area. Not everyone remembered to bring their own meat, and soon I had a cooler with some BraaiBoy Boerewors that I was giving away for free. Before long I was giving away actual boerie rolls, and it grew to a point where I had to start recouping some of these costs, and so I put up a gazebo and did just that.
The perfect justification for attending festivals
… a proper hedonistic & bohemian life \m/
Fast forward several years: After many festivals, travels and private gigs here and there, I had fined tuned my Pulled Pork Burger (whose fans claim it is the best thing since… well since music festivals themselves. I couldn’t resist bragging) & Monster Cheese Griller “hotdog” (aka BB-CheeseDog) that had the most South African of South Africans forgetting what a boerie roll was.
Then one day a mate was facing a problem with a venue he owned: He just wasn’t feeling the idea of running the kitchen… He needed one, but wanted to focus on the bar and bringing live music to his stages. A few beers later (yes, I realise that’s how 90% of my stories start), I somehow agreed to run his kitchen for him. Something I swore I would never do, fearing it would interfere with my hedonistic lifestyle goals … The reality though was that I was milling about aimlessly, and needed to do something with my life.
BB Bistro… An actual kitchen?
Running a kitchen selling “festival food” wasn’t going to be that hard, right? In fact it would be easier because I didn’t have to cart braais & gazebos and a trailer full of cooler-boxes and what-nots that I needed for a festival… I could do this with my eyes closed!!!. Woohooo \m/
Word spread of what was happening at Platteland and before I knew it I was opening another 3 similar setups for other mates over the next few months. Still easy, right? Hahahaha… I laugh now, but it took a lot more blood, sweat and beers than I had imagined.
LATEST UPDATE: Technically my latest Bistro in “The 420 Village” is my 6th Bistro… but’s that’s a long story involving a dodgy landlord at one venue and another good-intentioned, but naïve, mate at another… and of course the impact of lockdowns that came with Covid. Some hard lessons needed to be learned… more than once… so ask me about it one day, because now I’m just rambling.
Not even a week after I started scribbling down this post, and a few days before I was going to make this post live, South Africa goes into “Corona social-distancing mode”, and a week or so later into full lock-down. It’s now the 10th of April 2020… Just 7 days before a party I had planned to trump all previous parties I’ve had in the last 10 years. The goal was to both celebrate 11 years as BraaiBoy and for what would have been the perfect opportunity to officially introduce BB Bistro Hatfield to the world. Unfortunately all 3 my BB Bistros have been closed now for about a month… at least another month before I can even think of re-opening (probably much longer)… and there’s a 90% chance I’m not going to be re-opening 2 of them. 🙁
This page is becoming more of a “journal” now than an ‘official BB Bistro’ info page, but I’m going to leave it here for 2 reasons:
1) As a reminder to my future self of all the shit I’m going through right now, and hopefully keep me grounded when BB Bistro is a massive empire… because I WILL rebuild it, and it WILL become an empire #WatchThisSpace
2) It’s therapeutic… jotting down this moment in time, and day-dreaming of better days has got me excited, and (if anyone is actually reading this) hopefully it excites/inspires you too.
As I sit here, I’ve got 0 income, mounting debts and no clear plan for the way forward… BUT… The very reason I’m even sharing any of this with you is because THERE IS GOOD NEWS: This time in lock-down has got me working on items from my TODO list that I “just never had time for”. A poor excuse if ever there was one! Some of them are legit just not feasible because of our lock-down situation, but others such as this very website have helped me dream up opportunities & solutions that would have otherwise never crossed my mind.
If you’re reading this, then is means that BB Bistro is now available online too. I might write a blog post about it, but until then: please go order your favourite BB Bistro chow online right now, even during lock-down I can hook you up with lockdown essentials delivered. YES PLEASE!
Those of you that know me, know that I live by a simple motto now: If it ain’t fun, I ain’t doing it!
That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be grafting hard… ‘work’ can be fun too, and with the help of some LEGIT AWESOME people: My business partners George & Berto and for sure my sweetheart of a mother, Gail… and of course TONS of friends that I didn’t even know I had and are too many to mention individually. THANK YOU to each and every one of you! Together with a handful of long-standing partners the whole journey has been exactly that: FUN!!! #HeeltydSpeeltyd
We’ve still got a loooooooooong way to go. Hell, BB Bistro doesn’t even have a website yet, and will probably only have 1 BB Bistro store come the end of lock-down… but I’m ready to jump “hande viervoete” into this when the time comes and we’ll figure out the details as we go along. For those of you that have been on this ride with me for a while, and those that are just getting onboard… I look forward to sharing The BB Bistro story with you as it unfolds!
So #LetsMeat we’ve got a lot of #HeeltydSpeeltyd lying in wait!