In 1967, across from the old Post Office Tower in the basement of a garage in Hillbrow, Eduan Naude and Brian Shalkoff decided to breathe life into their dream of starting a South African restaurant where no one would ever be turned away because of cultural barriers or any such pre-distinctions.
This took Brian, Eduan and the Gramadoelas Restaurant on a journey from Goldreich street in Hillbrow through 10 years in Bok street in Joubert Park and finally, the last 12 years at the Market Theatre in Newtown , Johannesburg .
The first license that could be obtained for the restaurant was only a “Boarding House” license and only allowed people in the building to dine there. Brian recalls a specific day in 1970 when a non-European gentleman entered the restaurant for a meal. The political atmosphere at the time not only frowned upon this but considered it illegal. Of course no coloured people where allowed.
Brian remembers Eduan's distinct words back on that day, trying to save the coloured gentleman from embarrassment: “Well at least the colour of everyone's money is the same.” Gramadoelas has been open to all cultures ever since and it is exactly this approach of cultural change, that enticed the Market Theatre to invite Gramadoelas in 1992 to share their unique building.