The Perseverance Tavern
Did you know?
The Percy received its first liquor license in 1836, 28 years after it opened.
Reputed to be the oldest surviving pub in South Africa, the Perseverance Tavern in Cape Town was built in 1808. Amazingly, after all these years, it remains one of Cape Town's most frequented taverns, popular with locals and visitors alike.
Owner Ian Sutcliffe, a Yorkshireman who knows a thing or two about pubs, wisely decided to do as little refurbishment as possible, electing instead to retain this Cape Town tavern's history and old world charm.
This tavern in Cape Town first became popular in the early 1800s with travellers disembarking from ships at Cape Town's Castle who needed a cheap place to stay that was close to the harbour. Persies fitted the bill perfectly.
The Perseverance Tavern has counted many notable South Africans among its regulars, from Cecil John Rhodes back in the day to current sports and showbiz celebrities and politicians from across the spectrum.
The appeal of the tavern is easy to understand: the atmosphere is typically friendly and warm. It's the kind of local pub where you can while away some time feeling as if you're a regular. Much of the tavern itself remains unchanged, lending it an old-fashioned charm lacking in snazzier modern pubs.
The bar counter is a beauty, crafted from ancient wine casks. Illumination is provided courtesy of the Cape's oldest electric street lamps while historic portraits of the Mother City adorn the walls along with a copy of the original Perseverance Tavern menu.
Outside in the spacious courtyard is the oldest vine in South Africa, planted in the 1830s and pre-dating the famed Drostdy vine in Graaff-Reinet by at least 30 years. There are even plans, though tentative at this stage, to create a Perseverance Tavern house wine from the vine.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
The Perseverance Tavern
Tel: +27 (0)21 461 2440
How to get here
The Perseverance Tavern is located in central Cape Town, on historical Buitenkant Street, near the Castle of Good Hope.
Best time to visit
Any time of year.
Around the area
Visit the Book Lounge on the corner of Roeland and Buitenkant Street if you want a relaxing place to browse and even have a cup of coffee downstairs.
Catch a taxi if you're planning on sampling the wares!
What will it cost
Prices have risen since the tavern first opened in 1808 but the Percy still offers great value for money.
Where to stay
There are many accommodation options, from budget to luxury, in both the immediate area and in greater Cape Town.
What to eat
The Percy serves typical pub food alongside a few traditional South African dishes.
Live music and a spit braai on Friday evenings. Trivia quiz nights every Thursday. And sport (especially rugby) is screened whenever big matches are played.