Friday, 3 July 2015

Exploring Jozi- Melville's New 27 Boxes

This morning we explored the newly opened 27Boxes in Melville, a unique shopping centre which replaced an old abandoned park with shops made up almost entirely of shipping containers.

If the thought of shipping containers makes you picture dark and dingy, think again, while it is of course very hipster (as expected for the very Bohemian Melville area), this development is also very chic and trendy. It is surprisingly light, airy and colourful inside, contrary to expectations.

The development has a good mix of stores, ranging from designer clothing, jewellery and homeware to flowers, candles and art pieces. Oh and there is food, lots of food, from quirky takeaway stores, deli's and coffee shops to quaint little patisseries and a home-made ice-cream store. This is a foodie's dream. As expected, there are also stores that cater for those seeking food of the organic, green variety.The sweet aroma of coffee, waffles, macaroons, cronuts and cupcakes wafting through the air made me wish that I was not fasting today. 

My two favourite stores were a baby store upstairs, which had very cute little formal outfits for boys (something that is hard to find) and Krag Drag, an eclectic store downstairs with funny t-shirts and all sorts of proudly South African ware. I loved the Marie biscuit scatter cushions and Black Cat peanut butter chairs.

There is an outdoor area with an amphitheater which will apparently be used for live performances. There is also a little play area above the amphitheater, which was a bit on the sad side but looked like they were still busy working on it.

A couple of minor complaints- the centre is not particularly wheelchair or pram friendly, I had to leave the pram behind in the basement parking lot (which is made of brick and concrete by the way) to navigate the steep staircases up to the shopping levels. I am happy to see parking in the area though- we often frequent Bambanani just across the road and I always battled to find parking on the road.

Also, most of the shops are a bit on the pricey side, but I guess this is to be expected given their bespoke offerings.

It seems like work was still being done in some areas so it will be interesting to see what things are like when everything is done. One thing is for sure, this is nothing like your typical Johannesburg shopping center. 

Where to find it: 4th Avenue, Melville (aka the famous '7de Laan').

(Disclaimer: this is NOT a sponsored post and I am in no way affiliated with 27Boxes.)