The Greenhouse: Rosebank's new tapas bar is a leafy urban oasis

Lush vertical gardens abound in this bar providing fresh ingredients for the cocktails and food on offer. Co-owner Thomas Hughes tells us more

24 January 2020 - 00:00 By CATHERINE BLACK
The decor of The Greenhouse is a nod to Joburg's famously leafy suburbs.
The decor of The Greenhouse is a nod to Joburg's famously leafy suburbs.
Image: Supplied

Drawing inspiration from Joburg’s reputation as the largest man-made forest in the world, The Greenhouse is Rosebank’s hottest new bar.

Located in the Oxford Parks development, it marks a new partnership between Heinz Rynners and Brad Cilliers (of Babylon Bar in Illovo and Jacqueline’s Night Club in Pretoria) together with seasoned entrepreneur and chef Thomas Hughes (of Perron and Winner Winner, Greenhouse marking his ninth venture).

Head chef Carolina Rasenti, owner of The Great Eastern Asian Restaurant, also brings a wealth of skills and talent to the mix.

We spoke to co-owner Hughes to find out more.

What's the main concept behind The Greenhouse? 

As the name suggests, we want to bring the outside indoors. To do this, we’ve melded vertical gardens, glass, wood and metals with fresh, inventive cocktails and authentic sharing plates.

Our vertical gardens provide fresh herbs, botanicals and other greens for use in our menu.

We want to provide an experience that is wall-to-table; in doing so we hope to encourage our patrons to move to a more natural, organic lifestyle.

Why did you chose this location?

Rosebank is growing. There’s a trend of big business leaving Sandton to move here as it’s more centrally located with better access from all sides of the city. On top of that there are several five-star hotels all within a 3km radius.

Most importantly, we identified with the landlord’s vision of what they were trying to achieve with [the Oxford Parks] development, which includes a five-star Marriot hotel as well as new Sony recording studios.

What can we expect from the food?

Greenhouse is about organic, sustainable local ingredients; we support Joburg’s food community by using as many local farms as possible – from their farms to our tables, but also from our walls to our tables.

With all our dishes, we champion the suppliers and simply finish off where they started.

Some of the delectable food on offer at The Greenhouse.
Some of the delectable food on offer at The Greenhouse.
Image: Supplied

The menu has food that we hope will resonate with both the local and international market – tapas with a truly South African twist.

What are your signature drinks?

We’ve got a range of carefully curated cocktails, as well as some really leftfield wine estates that will hopefully surprise the crowd. We’re also offering a weekly brunch aligned with a bubbles offering.

Tell us more about the feel of the space?

We see Greenhouse as an urban oasis, an ideal place to while away the hours sipping on gloriously refreshing cocktails and enjoying a menu designed for sharing, while listening to the coolest beats spun by our resident DJs.

• Visit The Greenhouse at 199 Oxford Road, Rosebank. It's open from Thursdays to Saturdays from 12pm to 2am, and Sundays from 12pm to 9pm. Call 010-006-2323 or visit

Image: Supplied

This article is adapted from one originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit

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