Night on the Square Founder Baran Lakay and project organiser Fatima Seedat. Picture: Supplied.
Night on the Square Founder Baran Lakay and project organiser Fatima Seedat. Picture: Supplied.

Roll up, roll up for a Heritage Day night of fun on Greenmarket Square

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Sep 24, 2021

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Cape Town - In an effort to help reignite the nightlife economy in the Cape Town Central Business District, a local restaurateur and his team are looking forward to officially launching a series of night-time markets on Heritage Day.

Cape Town businessman Baran Kalay, who has owned Baran’s Coffee Shop and Restaurant in the CBD for more than 20 years, officially announced his new initiative, a series of evening markets called Night on the Square, earlier this week.

Kalay said the idea of hosting a series of night markets was inspired by him wanting to revitalise the CBD he knew before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and to help preserve the remaining shops, cafe’s and restaurants.

“We are so excited and proud to announce the launch of our first market this coming Saturday, the day after Heritage Day, at one of the city’s most iconic sites, the Greenmarket Square.

“Our aim was not only to breathe life back into the CBD, but we also wanted to host something that would unite the greater Cape Town while working to reignite our economy again.

“Following the downturn of the hospitality industry, which forced the closure of numerous restaurants and hotels in the city’s CBD. It wasn’t an extreme thought to want to turn the situation around. Night markets are important as much as they are unique and useful.

“The process of creating a vibrant and safe 24-hour city. The likes of which we last saw during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, when locals flooded the CBD for evenings of family-friendly fun,” said Kalay.

Night on the Square operations manager Fatima Seedat said for the initiative to come to life Kalay had engaged with various stakeholders, including the City, the CCID, and business owners with shops around the market square.

“This initiative is a good example of public-private partnerships that create opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs and vendors in the city. The City-backed initiative, which reflects the City’s commitment to help reignite the local economy following the devastating impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on all our lives.

“We also hope to mark this Heritage Month by bringing together South Africans of all backgrounds,” said Seedat.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said: “It is the City’s responsibility to ensure that we create an environment that enables business and events in Cape Town to grow, which means job opportunities for residents.

“We need to all work towards the revitalisation of tourism, events and business in our city and this is why we are collaborating with entrepreneurs who want to achieve this goal.”

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Cape Argus

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