Return of the Bull Run
Sandton’s famous grillhouse has reopened after a R20m refurbishment, and enters a new era in the life of the CBD
For the past few years, The Bull Run, a cornerstone of the Sandton dining scene directly opposite the JSE, has been somewhat smothered by the massive developments taking place around it.
“It seemed as if there was a big new building going up on every corner,” says Jörg Zwinscher, general manager of the Bull Run and the adjacent Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton.
The biggest and closest one was The Marc (an acronym for its location on the site of the old Village Walk shopping centre, “Maude And Rivonia Corner”). Its distinctive gold patterned façade, which prompted its nickname “The Pineapple”, is a new landmark visible for tens of kilometres around in all directions. The Marc officially opened at the end of July after nearly seven years in the making.
It’s part of a mixed-use precinct that includes the new 17-floor headquarters of legal firm ENS Africa, as well as shops, restaurants, offices, a gym and more.
Along with all the other burgeoning development in the Sandton CBD — just take Discovery Place, Alice Lane Towers, Alexander Forbes, E&Y, Werksmans Attorneys and Old Mutual as a fairly random sample of shiny new buildings that have recently sprung up in the country’s richest square mile — the opening of The Marc has radically changed the surrounding landscape for the Bull Run. After all, it opened 18 years ago to coincide with the arrival of the JSE in Sandton in 2000, when the surroundings were distinguished by little more than a few eccentric shops and townhouse blocks. Now Sandton even has a new tallest building in the as-yetincomplete Leonardo.
As the construction sites gradually cleared and The Marc readied itself for its opening, the Bull Run quietly closed its doors for three months to undergo a R20m refurbishment itself, opening freshly minted to coincide with the launch of the new urban landscape around it. “It needed a shake-up to reestablish and revive it,” says Zwinscher.
While it retains its niche as a favourite local grillhouse specialising in beautifully aged steaks — and its identity still derives from the stock exchange across the road — a lot has changed. Ivan van Rensburg (owner) commissioned Tristan du Plessis of Studio A, who’s well known for award-winning restaurant interiors in a plethora of Joburg hot spots such as Rosebank’s Mesh Club, Saigon Suzy, Gemelli and more, to reinvent the interiors.
Even before you get to the interior décor, the Bull Run has been reorientated and extended to plug into the new urban landscape around it. If you’re not arriving by
What it means: New-look venue that offers the discerning diner an exceptional lifestyle experience