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Roxanne Thangwane and Noni Mokati
The Radium Beerhall, one of Joburg’s oldest bar and grills, faces the possibility being shut down.
The 83-year-old business in Orange Grove has been placed under suspension by the Gauteng Liquor Board compliance committee over confusion about its title deeds document.
A liquor board official who visited the bar recently is thought to have mixed up the title deeds of the bar and a residential home next door. Now the beer hall is assumed to be “trading illegally”.
The Saturday Star understands that an official from the board went to the venue last month to conduct an inspection. A source said that during his visit, the official demanded that the owner of the bar produce the venue’s title deeds and trading permit.
The source explained that the beer hall and a house next door were owned by one person. However, both buildings had different stand numbers. It is unclear what the house trades as.
“The official clearly didn’t understand how to read the documents because he mixed up the two venues and their title deed numbers. He assumed the title deed for the house was for the beer hall. But this is not so. The beer hall has its own title deed which shows that it has not contravened any laws,” the source said.
While it was business as usual at the beer hall yesterday, some people associated with the venue said they felt nervous about speaking to the media for fear of reprisal.
The owner of the pub and grill also declined to comment.
On its website the Radium Beerhall is said to have been opened as a tearoom by the Khalil family in 1929. It is described as having also traded as a shebeen selling liquor to customers who were barred from drinking “white man’s booze” at the time.