House of the Machines in Cape Town: Bikes, brews & bros


The House of Machines is the Mother City’s preferred destination for all things cool, thunderous and fast. Housed in a historic workhouse smack-dab in die heart of the busting CBD, this decidedly rugged space offers everything from coffee and craft beer to live music, menswear and custom bikes.

The House of Machines (THoM) is the passion project of craft beverage innovator Brad Armitage, fashion designer Paul van der Spuy, and custom bike builder/entrepreneur Drew Madacsi, who came together to create a purpose-built space to share and show off their shared passions. The result is a space that defines the cutting edge of cool and is about as manly as a dire wolf with tattoos and monster truck.

The heart and soul of the rustic coffee shop is La Macchina Speed Shop, a glass-enclosed bike workshop where Drew and his crew create once-off, custom café racers, street trackers and extremely sexy cruisers. The front of the upmarket shop functions as a café, specialising in well-balanced, full-bodied coffee and a tidy selection of breakfast items and lunch bites. Once dusk settles on the city bowl, THoM shifts gears and becomes a bustling live music venue with a delicious assortment of small batch barrel aged cocktails, spirits and craft beers.


Where? 84 Shortmarket St, Cape Town City Centre. Your best bet for parking would be Riebeek Square parking lot above Bree, between Church and Shortmarket.

When? Monday – Friday 7am – late, Saturday 9am – late, closed on Sundays.

Who? Awesome spot for a laid-back daytime date or a quick coffee and catch-up with your hipster mates. Also, great for a hungover brunch over the weekends. If you prefer to work remotely in a slightly gloomy atmosphere, this could be the perfect day-time refuge – just clear out by 4pm, which is when the cocktail brigade starts to descend. Unless you’d like your workday to spill over into a bit of a jol, in which case you should definitely stick around!

What? Evil Twin coffee made from 100% organic, shade-grown Arabica beans from the fertile soils of a single estate in the Honduras. The food is tasty and to the point – breakfast includes sandwiches (e.g. avocado and tomato on rye; toasted bacon and brie) and granola with milk, yoghurt, berries, banana, honey or a combination thereof. Lunch brings more sandwiches – meat, veg or the day’s special – as well as raw pizza and soup. Bar snacks include meat bowls or bacon strips.

MUST TRY: Veggie? Go for the raw vegan pizza. Carnivores – indulge your predatory appetite with a Frankie Fenner biltong and droëwors meat bowl.

Photography: Kleinjan Groenewald / Writing: Anna-Bet Stemmet

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