Felicia Mabuza-Shuttle’s Back O’ the Moon shuts down

Closed last month, it was previously owned by socialite and philanthropist Dr Felicia Mabuza-Shuttle.

Popular for its 1950s-inspired replication of the iconic Sophiatown shebeen and fine dining in lavish, it closed doors after more than 20 years’ in operation.

A select media and guests were invited to the pomp farewell ceremony, although a bittersweet pill to swallow.

What led to the shutdown of the restaurant, I posed the question to newly appointed marketing manager at Gold Reef City Feron Somiah, who indicated Gold Reef City is committed to providing the best in food and entertainment, and although Back O’ the Moon was one of the longest and loved restaurants with a rich heritage in on the property, we’ve decided to move with the times and introduce new things.

“Yes, change is painful and the decision was not taken lightly but we have to move with times,” he said.

The original Sophiatown-based Back O’ the Moon was a unique place for people from all walks of life to meet and enjoy great food and music.

The venue was immortalised by Miriam Makeba in the late-50s stage play, King Kong, when she sang Back O’ the Moon as a tribute to the rich history of Sophiatown.

“The new venue and changes taking place at Gold Reef City promises to offer our visitors an unforgettable experience. This is exciting times for us,” opined Somiah, looking dapper in blue suit.

As we feasted and imbibed the night over, patrons of Back O’ the Moon danced the night away from karaoke provided by a pair- local and international singers.

Asked what will happen to the staff, Somiah pointed out they will be absorbed in other developments taking place, and without hesitation remarked ‘no retrenchments or job-losses will be experienced’.

Dr Mabuza-Shuttle was not available to provide her side of the story on the closure of the restaurant that over the years, visitors have enjoyed excellent food, impeccable service and superb entertainment in a venue which was as much a feast for the eyes as it was for the palate.

Some guests also watched the premiere of Three Days to Go, a satirical movie about Indian family love dispute. And no it ain’t your Bollywood type.

It features top SA actors/actresses. See it, it’s worth a cent.

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