Ernie Els

The legendary golfing great, the Big Easy, is coming to Durban.

Well, that’s the name of the new restaurant at the Hilton Hotel, which has partnered with superstar Ernie Els and will open in October.

Els himself would visit the restaurant for the first time in December, after competing in a South African golf challenge, the hotel’s general manager, Markus Fritz, said.

The Big Easy Winebar and Grill would be the first of its kind in the world, Fritz said.

The partnership has been two years in the planning and Fritz said Els was “thrilled” with the idea of linking his brand with that of the hotel and having the restaurant in Durban.Els has restaurants in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Dubai.

The Big Easy will be in the old Polo restaurant, next to the hotel’s lobby. A hospitality interior design firm from New York and Paris has been called in to create the “beautiful, friendly and open” restaurant.

A lounge area will be stocked with wines from the Ernie Els Wines portfolio and there will be a display of replicas of Els’s trophies, and a small shop to buy memorabilia.

The open plan interior of the restaurant will boast a chef’s table and open kitchen, where diners can watch the chefs at work.