Grahamstown’s newest restaurant, Rustic Route, opened its doors to the public on Wednesday 23 August, and to date has gained positive feedback from offering customers a pleasant outdoor dining experience unique to Grahamstown.
The food market style restaurant boasts seven food stalls and two bars, which combine with an open-air courtyard for patrons to sit to complete the dining experience. Owners Chris and Marian van Aardt decided to open their new family business after identifying a niche in Grahamstown’s dining market for unique and intimate restaurant experiences.
They employ a number of strictly local entrepreneurs that provide different food and beverage offerings to customers daily, and then remunerate with commissions according to offerings respectively. “Very few people can afford to start their own business,” says Marian. “Rustic Route gives our people opportunities to learn the ropes of running a business.”
It was a significant career jump for Chris, who has made his living farming on a family farm in Seven Fountains for the past 30 years. “I wanted to get more involved with giving back to the community, and being involved,” he claims, and after experiencing a lot of similar style restaurants in places such as Cape Town and Stellenbosch, he decided to bring the idea to Grahamstown.
“Grahamstown needed something different,” says Chris, “and so I decided to take the plunge and start up The Rustic Route.” The couple purchased the property, located on the corner of Scott’s Avenue and New Street, in April of last year and began renovations immediately. In the formative stage of the business, they’ve committed to closing when the last people leave. We welcome the Rustic Route, owners and staff to the Grahamstown community!
Published in Grocott’s Mail