Friday, November 7, 2008


A whole chain of events leads to today's post... Gillian of the Fworld did a post on the demise of PE's roadhouses, and I commented on it. We got an e-mail from regular London visitor Jeanne (she of award winning food blog Cooksister fame), who saw the comment, and sent us a link to the website for the Casbah Roadhouse. I wrote to them and got permission to publish a couple of their old PE pix.

This is the old Casbah on the beachfront, taken in 1992, in what later became the sailing club building. Check out how bare the hill is behind it! We'll go and get a current view of this later and hopefully post it tomorrow.
A history of the Casbah was also sent by Darren Theologo, thanks...........
"On the 29th of January 1955, Smittys Teapot, in Brakpan, was taken over & transformed into Casbah Roadhouse by Sylvia Kongos and her brother Peter Theologo. The other brothers, Evangelo(Ponch), Russel(Lucky), Costa & Johnny soon joined them.The name "Casbah" was taken from the show Casablanca.After gaining experience in that first family venture, the brothers went their separate ways and opened their own roadhouses.Evangelo, or Ponch as he was known, started his roadhouse career in Brakpan, but then went on to open roadhouses in Alberton, Wemmer Pan, Johannesburg, Malvern, Benoni, Vereeniging, Krugersdorp and Port Elizabeth.Ponch always believed in VFM. Value for money. Everything that you made for a customer you had to make as if you were making it for a friend.Evangelo(Ponch) Theologo is known as the “King of Roadhouses”."

If all this reminiscing about the good old days in PE makes you nostalgic, do yourself a favour and hop across to the Facebook discussion called "Do you remember PE when....." .... great memories there from PE people all over the world!


  1. yummy - their double chicken burgers after a late night out were the BEST!

  2. I agree with ordinarylife. They had the bestest chicken burgers anywhere. We used to go and stop there between classes to chomp some down. Oh how I miss that now.

  3. Hey - glad you got permission to repost this blast-from-the-past pic! It seems like another world, doesn't it? I'm not on Facebook, so can only read the memories - there are some terrific ones, especially the children's museum with the little mousehole!

    Thought I'd add a few here:

    Rember PE when...
    ... the ONLY place to be on a Wednesday night was Ladies' Night at Valentino's (the former Skyroof on top of the Marine Hotel)?
    ... Rathmead Farm Stall still operated in the little Walmer shopping centre at the corner of Main & 8th Ave?
    ... going to parties at the North End Lake powerboat club on a Friday night did not sound like a bad idea at all?
    ... Tribal Gathering nights at the very much missed Jack Ruby's?
    ... they used to have two-for-one specials at the airport bar on a Saturday night?
    ... Dodds Farm was still a farm and there were horses grazing in the Baakens Valley?
    ... the Midnight Flyers used to be the resident band at Lillies (the club at the Holiday Inn)?
    ... Dulce was a single hole-in-the-wall ice cream parlour in Western Road, behind the old Up the Kybher?
    ... there were still cinemas at the Elizabeth Hotel?
    ... Mikes' Kitchen let ladies dine half price on a Tuesday - and also men dressed as ladies!
    ... Mr Shakes was the resident DJ at Club Tonight?
    ... there was still a Putt Putt course at King's Beach?
    ... UPE (now NMMU) still had a rag procession through Main Street (Govan Mbeki)?
    ... shopping at the big Garlicks store in Main Street (now Govan Mbeki) was considered a day's outing?
    ... buying sheet music and vinyl records at the teensy Michael's Record Centre in a side street between Main & Strand Streets?
    ...the waiters and waitresses used to dance on the bar counter at Cadillac Jacks every night, and they used to play only rock 'n roll?
    ... Fruit & Veg City in 1st Ave Walmer used to be Body Concept Gym - and it was THE place to train?
    ... all the houses in Cape Road were residential?
    ... Damelin was the Walmer Gardens and they had jazz every Sunday night?
    ... the folk festival took place in Mannville every year?
    ... the only late-night place was It's Country in Evatt Street?
    ... The Galleri in Parliament Street was the ONLY place to see and be seen?

    Aaaaah, good times, good times!

  4. Where was the Galleri in Parliament Street ?

  5. This building was originally Sugarbush.
    Galleri was across the road from the Mini Market - it was a dismal failure, run by Brenda Francis (ex of Cliffie Francis, who owned several successful night clubs over the years)

  6. I loved Mr Shakes and Club tonight!!!! The good old days. Do you have any photos to upload from the club??

  7. thanks for the interesting info King, and Jasmine, we are old fossils so I'm afraid we don't have club photos, sorry! Anyone else able to oblige?

  8. This was in fact the old Sugarbush; my grandfather, Henry (Hank) Wilson had this built around 1971. The original Sugarbush was on Grace Street. My dad used to work there with the first soft-serve ice cream in Port Elizabeth!

  9. This used to be next to Playland, which came around in the summer. I remember watching tennis at the Davies Stadium and going there for lunch

  10. An Absolute memory of PE! I'm now living in Australia and loving it -one thing was missing- Casbah food- well I just found a local takeaway that does burgers just like they used to be!!!!Now I'm settled here.Wayne

  11. anyone have photies of PE city centre say 60's or 70's ? want to show someone what it looked like before it turned to crap

    1. Try the ExPE 60's 70's 80's group on Facebook. They often post old pictures there. But I disagree. PE hasn't turned to crap

  12. Does anyone remember the name of the trendy boutique just off main street in the 60s/70s. First trendy fashion shop with strobe lighting etc. I was alway a little intimidated by it but remember the feeling when entering - Bob Dylan music and neon lights.

    1. Mera Surat? Lots of incense and Indian hippie-style fashion?