The House of Machines vision was to create an environment to honour both man and machine.Housed in a historic workhouse on Cape Town’s Shortmarket St., ‘THoM’ is the consummate fusion of café, custom bike workshop and fine purveyor of essential menswear and accessories.
An eclectic collaboration that is as much a reflection of its founders lifestyles, as it is a purpose-built space in which they can share their passions. Vida é caffe and Brewers & Union co-Founder Brad Armitage, fashion designer Paul van der Spuy and long-term custom bike builder, serial entrepreneur Drew Madacsi and business partner Rupert Smith, came together to build THoM as that quintessential store that they had been searching for themselves for sometime. “The space complements the kind of lives we like to live. The philosophy behind it is simple: we’ve combined things we really dig and think others would like too.”
The heart of the store is La Macchina Speed Shop, a glass-enclosed bike workshop that rests right at the back of the store, which, through various collaborations with US-based bike builders offers once-off, custom-made café racers, street trackers, and bobbers, combining a classic aesthetic and styling, with the latest in technology to ensure top-notch performance, and great ‘ridability’.
This juxtaposition of ‘old vs new’ is a theme that is woven into the fibre of ‘The House’, as it constantly plays with the dichotomy of old world versus new school. “Our apparel is the sort of stuff that Steve McQueen would be wearing if he were still alive.”
Most notable is the curation men’s apparel and accessories available here. THoM Workwear, and its associated in-house brands are an interpretation of ‘modern traditional’. Alongside this polished selection of apparel, THoM also stocks wallets, jewelry, gifts, and shaving goods. Boasting a brand mix including men’s grooming staple Baxter of California (a South African first), Izola’s range of manly essentials (think inscribed hip flasks and pocket knives), and the Field Notes range of stationery basics, THoM has sourced the finest items they could get their hands on. Unique coffee, food made from the heart, crafted apparel, small distillery spirits & craft beers, hand built motorcycles and a few of those sneaky little ‘must haves’.
Open from 7am on weekdays, the café offers an range of locally-source healthy meals, such as cashew granola and ‘avo on toast’, and serves up a devilish cup of the black gold, in their exclusive espresso brand, Evil Twin.
The 100% organic arabica bean is grown in the rich fertile soils of Honduras, sourced from a single estate, where they are shade-grown, free from any of the pesticides, chemicallydrenched fertilizers or crap that might find its way into your cup. Wednesday to Saturday nights, the windows are boarded up, and the Prohibition Bar kicks in, offering a hand selected range of small batch spirits and craft beers, sourced from the US. The bar is open Wednesday to Saturday 5pm until late.