Fat Back Soul

Having heard murmurings of a hip new watering hole on Long, I set out in search of Fat Back Soul on Friday night, and ended up getting more than I bargained for. A meander away from Royale and the Waiting Room, Fat Back’s is fast becoming the joint of choice for Cape Town’s stylish and soul-lovin’.

Getting in is the only obstacle presented by the oldschool blind-striped façade of the place, as the bouncer told me on both Friday and Saturday that there was a ‘private party’ going on inside. This turned out to be untrue, which I discovered when Carina, an old school friend and Fat Backs’ resident long legged door lady, did me a favour and ushered us into the amber, mirror-lined parlour that is Fat Back Soul. Sexy lighting and retro fittings form the bar’s molten belly, with a shiny, beautifully stocked bar to keep the patrons primed.

Apparently Rui Esteves of Brewer’s & Union and Vida fame makes up one half of the Fat Back’s partnership, and it shows, because each and every detail has been selected by someone with a fine eye for retro cool and downlit luxeness. I especially love the girls’ bathroom – one of the cubicles is fitted with a curve of mirrored panels, a kaleidoscopic sweep of Blow-like kitsch under diffuse light.

But best of all, for those with a sweet spot for downright groove, is the music – an irresistible slide of Motown, funk and soul classics, from Stevie Wonder, to Earth Wind and Fire, Marvin Gaye and Al Green. And it seems that they take requests, within reason – I chanced a foolish Boney M request and it was met with a firm ‘nay’. It’s really great to go somewhere in Cape Town and be able to get down to some real oldschool music that has yet to morph into some kind of fixed weekly playlist. People were really getting into the groove, with some unbridled white-boy-jitterbugging and heartfelt frugging. Loved it! In fact, I liked it so much that I went back on Saturday night, too, and it was even more groovy. Saturday saw some very stylish men and women lighting up the dancefloor and swigging their Berne’s and Steph Weiss’s on the leather lounge areas.

The dress code is stylish, but laid back – although not as laid back as somewhere like Neighbourhood or Julep. You could definitely get away with a serious party frock. In fact, my next trip to Fat Backs most certainly involves my new sky high ruby babies (see previous post).

I spotted one dress, a calf length sweep of a thing with a deep racer back and dramatic cut aways on the straps, worn over a long sleeved Tshirt. Didn’t get a good enough look!

If you want to do some interesting people watching, see something new or you’ve got a latent love for Stevie like I do, put on your grooving shoes and head on over to Fat Back Soul.


Here’s some musical inspiration to get you in the mood for some Fat Back Soul two of my most favourite songs ever.

{Please note the white people gettin’ down in both cases, and especially the more stiff ones, who seem completely unaffected by the groove and utterly oblivious to the fact that they are in the presence of Stevie Wonder and The Sugarhill Gang. Ongelooflik.}

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One response to “Fat Back Soul

  1. this sounds like my kind of place! will be getting my groove on soon.

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