Having recently swung open its doors to the public, Cape Town Fish Market Windhoek took like a fish to the water and now demands a right to feature on a revellers night out in Windhoek. Situated in Klein Windhoek on Jan Jonker road, Cape Town Fish Market Windhoek is one of the latest franchise extensions by the famous brand now in operation for almost 20 years.
The birth of Cape Town Fish Market begun in 1997, when Founder Douw Krugmann bought a small fresh fish restaurant in Cape Town’s famous V&A Waterfront.
The restaurant sold fresh seafood to customers who loved the idea of consuming fresh seafood compared to the frozen seafood other restaurants had served, and so Cape Town Fish Market was born.
The restaurant has now found a home in Windhoek. Run by Swiss owners Sirkka and Valentin Messerli, The Lounge sat down with Sirkka to tell us how Windhoek got its very own Cape Town Fish Market.
“It was actually by chance, we come from Switzerland and we came to Namibia as tourists and fell in love with the country and decided to create something in Namibia. We saw Namibia as special and we wanted to bring something different to it”.
A bubbly Sirkka told The Lounge that her husband Valentin has always been in the restaurant industry and the couple went back and forth between choosing whether they were going to open a lodge or a restaurant.
After conducting the much needed research, the Messerli’s decided that a restaurant was a better idea.
“After doing market research we found that there was a demand for a high end restaurant in Windhoek.
We were approached by the Am Weinberg Estate owners because they had heard about us. They told us that they wanted to open a Cape Town Fish Market here because it is a very well-known South African chain.
We did not know the chain, but we eventually got acquainted with the owners of Cape Town Fish Market in South Africa. They were convinced that the establishment of the restaurant in Namibia was a great idea”.
Sirkka further confides in The Lounge by stating that opening up a restaurant in Namibia was not scary even though Namibia found itself in an economic crisis.
Considering the tourism industry that is doing very well in Namibia, the pair found that their target market would focus on tourists as well as locals.
The restaurant specializes in seafood and fish but it also caters for those who like their steak. To date the restaurant has created much needed employment for over 60 people which includes kitchen staff, cleaners. culinarians, and waiters.
“We have such a big menu, we serve fish soup, fish cakes, prawn spring rolls, tempura prawns, squid heads, mussels, tuna ceviche, sushi, salmon, wasabi, salads, lamb among other things as well”.
Since its opening, Sirkka highlighted that the restaurant has been very busy and has been mostly booked out in the evenings. “We aren’t as full during the day but during the evenings and the weekends we tend to have a lot of people that come here”.
As with anything brand new, the restaurant still experiences challenges.
The feedback from the patrons has been mixed but the majority of them are happy.
She notes that as a new business they are still overcoming the challenges that they experience at times.
“We are working on them because we take it very seriously and we are doing what it takes to get it going but I must say we are happy with the way things are going.
Training our staff in such a business takes time and greatness won’t come over night”.
Sirkka further described that the birth of Cape Town Fish Market in Namibia is a good initiative because it strengthen the Government’s attempts to promote fish consumption in Namibia.
“Every time the place gets full it goes to show that there is a great demand for fish. What’s even better is that the pricing is affordable and reflects the great environment and set up like that of the one in Cape Town.
We only hope that we can keep the standard and enhance it as well” she concluded.