Local couple recreates former D6 bar
Share this article:
A YOUNG local couple whose family were among those forcibly removed from District Six by the apartheid regime is reconstructing and reopening the only bar in the area where all races and religions were free to be who they were at the time.
Lynrae October and her fiance Michael Anthony from Elfindale are the new owners of the Castle Hotel Bar in District Six and are calling for families affected by the forced removals to share their stories to be displayed on a “wall of remembrance” for all patrons to view.
The Castle Hotel Bar is over 120 years old and has a history of being entrenched in the District Six community as it was also the only building at the time that allowed whites and people of colour to be in one area, while inside.
October, aged 37, said that her grandparents Thomas and Jeanette Schiebe were among the families removed from their homes.
“The Caste Hotel was one big building and it used to be in the heart of District Six. Now we have acquired ownership of that building.
“It used to have different entrances for black, white, and coloured people, but once inside it was the only place where all these different races could be free to be who they are and have a drink together.”
She added that District Six was a place of diversity, which the Castle Hotel Bar would be again.
“District Six now is coming back to life and there are new businesses and cultures that are coming back together to breathe life into the place.
“My mother was born there and it’s very close to my heart, and Michael and I want to give back to the community through it.
“We have called on the community to bring their black and white pictures to be put in the wall of remembrance, we want to make it like going back into time in a time capsule,” she said.
The wall will enable visitors and tourists a peak into the history of the area while enjoying a cup of coffee with a koeksister, pastries, Bobotie and curries that are sourced from local small businesses.
October and Anthony opened the Castle Bar Hotel on May 1.
For more information, follow The Castle Hotel Bar on Facebook @thecastlehotelbar and Instagram on @thecastlehotelbar