Deli-cious ready-to-heat meals are a highlight of this Joburg food shop
One of Johannesburg's favourite restaurants, The Leopard, has reinvented itself as a food shop catering to the 44 Stanley crowd
The Leopard in Melville, owned by Nick Gordon and Andrea Burgener, was a much loved Joburg institution, well-known for its eclectic menu and the superb quality of its dishes.
They’ve recently moved to 44 Stanley in Milpark, reinvented themselves as a food shop and changed up their menu offering.
Gordon tells us more.
What prompted the move away from a sit-down restaurant?
We were looking for a lifestyle change. We've got three young children who are growing up fast and we were missing out by working at night.
Also, we wanted to focus on what we're best at, which is making food tasty, and explore new ways to extend our reach, without the overheads associated with tables and chairs and trying to operate inside the Friday night 7 - 9 pm crush.
How has the move from Melville to 44 Stanley gone?
We've been incredibly well received as most of the Stanley locals were already customers of ours, or contemporaries we've known for years.
Andrea's second restaurant Deluxe was one of the centre's original tenants more than a decade ago, so it's a bit like coming home.
Tell us more about your pre-prepared food options.
We sell hot takeaway food which is ready to heat and eat and prepared food which is ready for cooking (like pasta). It's the ‘ready to heat’ items which are most popular in store, as well as on UberEATS.
You say you're going to be offering things other delis may not – how so?
We don’t really see ourselves as a deli – that seems very specific. I see us as more of a food shop, selling things you need (free range eggs and bacon), as well as things you want (imported chocolate and wine). But we're also making this up as we go, letting the customers lead us.
Tell us more about your catering options.
We offer an extensive catering menu based on dishes from our restaurants and this is listed on our website. This menu gives our customers a sense of who we are but really, we can make pretty much anything you might want. We cater for parties of four up to big events like weddings.