Go well Lambropoulis family, we will miss you in town!

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
– Winnie-the-Pooh

This week I said goodbye to the Lambropoulis family, Alexi, Jacqui, Anais and Cruz, who over the past 8 years have built City Perk Cafe into a vibrant inner city landmark.

Situated at the leafy part of Main Street Mall, City Perk Café is a great place to enjoy Alexi’s trade mark coffee blend and fantastic meals as the many office workers who visit daily will testify. The surrounding historic markers like the Cullinan Building sign and public art works like the Bear & Bull and Marco Chianfanelli’s gorgeous mosaic make it a popular tourist destination.

By offering their walls to talented Joburg artists to exhibit their work and outside stalls to booksellers and other entrepreneurs, Jacqui and Alexi made their place an integrated part of the Joburg community. And let’s not forget the vibe from the buskers playing live music on Thursdays and Fridays!

When Jacqui told me a few weeks ago they’d sold the place, I realised how much my visits to City Perk Cafe have become a valued part of my everyday life. The regular stops on my walks with out-of-town visitors who can’t believe such a place exists in the inner city. The enchanted lunch dates with my beloved. The hours I just sat there and watched city life go by while enjoying a glass of wine.

Whatever the occasion, Jacqui always stopped at my table for a welcoming chat. During the difficult COVID years those chats became more serious as we discussed how the pandemic impacted us and our work. However serious, those chats always made me feel lighter. I’m full of admiration how Alexi and Jacqui and their children Anais and Cruz navigated the horrible lockdowns and subsequent harsh economic downturn and managed to keep all their staff employed.

It is that Lambropoulis magic that gave the vibe to City Perk Café and sets an incredibly high bar for the new owner.

I’m happy that the opportunity to sell came at the right time for you, dear Alexi, Jacqui, Anais and Cruz, but oh how you will be missed.

Thank you so much for all the joy you brought to town and go well!

Josine Overdevest, 2 October 2022

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