As Yard 41 begins opening it’s doors… I’d thought i’d share a little about how the development evolved from a walk around the site over 10 years ago.
In 2005 we were living in the UK, we weren’t married and I had absolutely no idea the twists and turns my life would take over the next 10 years. We often visited my future husbands family here in SA. They ran a glass, framing and garden centre in Howick, I routed back through my holiday pics and found these! This was the Ruby Orchard in 2005!
The land next to the family business was unbelievably beautiful and only used occasionally for community music events. With breath taking views across uMgeni Valley, we would often walk there and image what it could be…
Years later my father in law purchased that very plot of land known as the ‘Forgotten Falls’. It does have a waterfall, but it is far down the gorge and inaccessible at present, although you can hear the cascading water from the plot. He had no plans to develop straight away, but knew one day he would do something with this corner of Howick.
In 2012 we packed up our little family and relocated to Howick SA to join the family business. The ‘forgotten falls’ has been the discussion around many dinner tables ever since. Ideas, plans, sketched and shared, we’ve walked and talked and and shelved ideas and reopened them months later.
We knew we wanted a restaurant or eateries on the plot but were not going to settle for anyone or anything! In 2014 we heard about a new restaurant creating a stir in the Midlands… The Farmers Daughter. My husband and brother in law drove out one afternoon in muddy work gear to check it out. The buzz, the style, the food… quaint yet simple, quirky and delicious. Jen (The actual Farmers Daughter) recently posted this which reminded me of this day….’Nearly 2 years ago 2 strange men sat at table 4 in our restaurant, looking suspect in their muddy work boots. 2 years later we are embarking on the most amazing project of our lives with these fabulous strange men (and their awesome family) tomorrow we open Lucky Fish Deli at Yard 41 and just a month from tomorrow The Farmer’s Daughter opens doors right next door.’ We knew we had found the girl for the job!
Then we met Nick Crooks, more of an artist than an architect, he got excited when we shared some of our ideas, who also had vision and extraordinary suggestions we knew we’d met the man for the job! The artist Nick, Jen The Farmers Daughter my husband and I hopped on a plane to Cape Town. We wanted to be inspired, to share ideas and photograph buildings, streets, signs, restaurants, gardens and brick detail. Our whirlwind trip started the planning. Nick drew thoughtful architecture at Yard 41 with an industrial yet modernist feel. The gentrified warehouse and dock style buildings sit alongside the original 1941 built shop at Yard 41 housing The Ruby Orchard. Hence the name ‘Yard 41’.
All I can say is WOW, this has been one amazing journey! The buildings are up and tenants are moving in… just the finishing touches now – the magical play area, the viewing platform, the gardens, lawns and signs. We have such an amazing group of like minded businesses joining the development… keep watching I’ll be posting about them next.
You can follow Yard 41 on facebook and instagram @yard41, for updates and the web space dedicated to the development will be up and running soon soon: www.yard41.co.za
Pop in and take a look soon!