Choose your country and language:
You’d expect to find a shopping development like 44 Stanley in an upmarket part of San Francisco, Madrid or Rio – certainly not in a former industrial area in the not-so-glam part of Johannesburg where chop shops and garages once ruled. Today the site has been transformed into a wonderful retail space, while the area around it has been remodelled for office and residential use.
Take a collection of old dilapidated industrial buildings between Braamfontein and Auckland Park, knock some down, renovate and restyle others, and you end up with 44 Stanley, a decidedly different collection of shops, galleries, design studios, coffee shops and restaurants.
Even though the ambience has a contemporary designer feel, there’s a lingering sense of its historic past: you have only to check out the evocative 1930s industrial architecture.
It’s not only residents of The Refinery – a nearby loft apartment complex converted from what was formerly a drab warehouse – or the office workers in the many repurposed buildings nearby who frequent 44 Stanley, but also shoppers and visitors looking for something different to more ‘plastic’ shopping malls.
If you’re looking for something to wear, choices range from African-inspired creations and the best of South African contemporary fashion design to handmade designer jewellery and traditional African beadwork.
If it’s furniture you’re after, select a genuine 18th-or 19th century antique or handmade reproduction, go back to baby boomer days with 50s, 60s and 70s designs, or opt for contemporary styles.
There are speciality shops too, offering everything from bespoke tailoring, décor and arty kitchenware to the perfect bonsai. You can even visit the hairdresser and barber for a quick style makeover.
By now your appetite will be whetted by the evocative smells of freshly baked bread from the artisan bakery Vovo Telo, which bakes croissants, baguettes and sourdough breads daily. Take time for a break at any of the 9 restaurants, coffee shops and lounges.
These venues present a range of cuisine, as well as those two essentials: coffee and chocolate.
After filling up the tank, you’ll be ready to meander through the rest of this delightful venue.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)11 482 4444
How to get here
Take the M1 Empire Road off-ramp and head towards Auckland Park. Go under the bridge, left into Owl Street and then 2nd right into Stanley Avenue.
Best time to visit
Any time of year is good, but in summer it’s particularly pleasant to sit outside in the courtyard.
On foot within the precinct. You can self-drive to get there, although the area is also on bus routes, and a metered taxi or Uber is also an option.
African-inspired designer fashion, African beadwork and jewellery, contemporary art and collectibles.