Much loved Bo-Kaap landmark, Biesmiellah Restaurant, damaged in blaze
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Cape Town - A treasured cultural landmark in Bo-Kaap, the Biesmiellah Restaurant, has been damaged in a blaze.
The fire at the restaurant on the corner of Wale and Pentz Streets started on Tuesday night.
The City’s Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, confirmed that its services received an emergency call of a building alight in Wale Street, Schotsche Kloof at 9.36 pm on Tuesday.
Fire crews from Roeland Street, Sea Point and Milnerton were dispatched to the scene.
“It was found to be the Biesmiellah Restaurant which was on fire. Crews managed to contain the fire to the rear of the kitchen,” said Carelse. “The fire was extinguished at 10.24pm and the building was handed over to the owners.”
The cause of the fire is not yet known, said Carelse. Police were on scene on Wednesday.
The owners of the restaurant were approached for comment but declined.
Meanwhile, Bo-Kaap resident Shafwaan Laubscher said: “It's devastating and sad regarding the damage the fire has done to Biesmiellah Restaurant. Besides being a convenient café and restaurant in the area, the entire complex has always been more than that – a landmark and an institution, not just to Bo-Kaap but to the broader South Africa.”
Laubscher said many would gather there, from locals to tourists, for either casual conversations or meetings or for hosting distinguished guests.
“For as long as I can remember growing up, Biesmiellah has been there. The family and shop have always stood the test of time. Hopefully the business can be restored to its former glory in terms of restoration and be that convenient store again to the people of Bo-Kaap and the rest of Cape Town. I can't imagine a Bo-Kaap without Biesmiellah,” Laubscher said.