Station Drive, Durban
Written by Will Bendix
Sandwiched between the beachfront and the trendy suburb of Morningside is Station Drive, a former industrial precinct that has become the creative capital of Durban.
“I love the cultural diversity of Durban and the fact that we live in a warm, vibrant city, which is reflected in our people,” says Athos Euripidou. “Durban is an exciting part of South Africa and very different from Cape Town and Joburg. It’s a unique melting pot of energy and creativity that’s now been concentrated along Station Drive.”
The Foundryis an old clothing factory that’s been stylishly renovated into “the heart of Station Drive”. The sprawling warehouse is home to artisanal studios, creative agencies, and venues such as S43. Owned by top restaurateurs Marcelle and Shaun Roberts, “it’s a cool space to hang out or meet people, and the food’s excellent, especially the tapas.”
Next door is the MakerSpace Foundation, a collective of artisans handcrafting everything from jewellery to furniture and skate decks. They also run workshops for kids and adults.
Not far from The Foundry is Savior, who make beautiful bespoke leather products. “The craftsmanship is incredible and everything is hand-stitched, from iPhone covers to saddlebags for your bike.” Renowned fashion designer Max Pienaar started Savior to create “slow fashion with a conscience” and runs a joint programme training disadvantaged young adults. “They also pour one of the best espresso shots in Durban since they opened Savior Coffee last year.”
A few steps down the road is The Commune, a chic space inside another renovated warehouse that’s shared by clothing designers, bands, and artists. “‘First Thursday’ are exhibitions on Thursday nights where top Durban designers and artists showcase their latest work. You can buy or just have a look. It’s great for keeping your finger on the pulse, and there’s always a good vibe.”
If you’re feeling hungry, The Plant hosts a rotating assortment of pop-up gourmet eateries. Tuck into a matured-beef panini with aioli, chimichurri, and rocket, or try the seared tuna and kale salad tossed in roasted sesame seeds: “It’s life-changing.”
Every Sunday sees the Morning Trade Market set up at 15 Station Drive. “This is where I get all my fresh veggies and produce. It’s all organic, direct from the farmers around Durban. You can also find some amazing cheese and other artisan goods. Get there early though, they sell out fast.”
Athos Euripidou is a foodie, events manager, and promoter of all things Durban. He works closely with the city council coordinating everything from local festivals to international music events, and is a fixture on the arts scene. Dubbed ‘the unofficial mayor of Durban’, he also claims to make the best souvlaki south of the equator.
Follow Athos on Instagram @letsbelocal
Durban, South Africa
Distance: 6,392 km
Flight Time: 10 hours, 50 minutes
Frequency: Four flights a week