This place has been around to see the rise and fall, and rise and fall of Orange Grove at least three times over. Nestled in its corner on Louis Botha Avenue, it’s a proper Jozi establishment. How many of Joburg’s heroes, sinners, real-estate agents and off-duty mechanics have leaned into that worn, polished and slightly sticky wooden bar and drunk their drunks, smoked their shmaffs and diluted their woes in the ears of their pals or the random strangers sitting next to them, it’s hard to say. But you can tell from the wood and the ambience, there have been generations of them.
The Radium’s heart beats the same thick black steel as the city itself.
The same stuff that makes people dig for gold, shoot guns or smack golfballs at Voda World. But the Radium is laidback too. Old school, yet comfortable. Like a good friend’s hot mom. Confident. Easy. Secure in the knowledge that if she just does her thing, the punters appreciate and return so regularly they become family. The beers come quick. The staff are reasonable, even if the crowd is not. Sometimes. Mostly it’s mellow vibes. Some nights they play live music. Normally, good musicians consider it a privilege to serenade the heroes leaning into the bar. You can get food at the bar, or in the rows of tables that constitute the beer hall in the back. Some people call it a restaurant. They’re mistaken. It’s mainly Portuguese inspired chow in the beer hall. A fine prego or a juicy, tender espetada dangling on a kebab. They also have a fine mozambican peri-peri. Ask for it. Spicy meat and cold beers. There are worse things. The old Lion Lager ads in the men’s room confirm the Radium’s heritage. You’re lucky to be able to drink here. – Andy Davis
282 Louis Botha Avenue, Orange Grove, Johannesburg