“My first business partner had a whippet called Jozi,” says Divan Botha, when asked where the name of the restaurant, The Whippet, comes from. It’s a fitting name for a restaurant that serves lattés to dogs.
If you have ever been to The Whippet, you’ll know they take care of our furry friends. Not only is the restaurant dog friendly, it has menu options such as a puppuccino. And it’s no surprise that it holds a Dogs of Joburg event. The date will be announced soon.
It’s located on 7th Street in Linden, Johannesburg, where the old Linden Hotel used to be. The Whippet has enjoyed 10 successful years — even through the hard lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Botha recalls a time when he drove along 7th Street from his job at First National Bank. “There used to be restaurant upon restaurant on that street, and I thought, ‘if only I could open something there’,” says Botha.
Botha, his sister-in-law Suzanne Botha and friend Braam Heiberg started The Whippet and Izelle Mostert, PJ Heiberg and Siya Ndlovu later became business partners.
Known for its bottomless mimosa cocktails and delicious simple meals, this breakfast and brunch spot is now a sought-after hangout spot in the city.
Prior to the pandemic The Whippet had a branch in Melville but it closed in 2021 because of financial pressures brought on by the pandemic. To sustain the Linden branch, The Whippet Support Fund was launched. Supporters donated more than R120 000, saving the restaurant and ensuring more than 12 jobs were secured.
Botha and his team have always wanted to open in the evenings so, to mark their 10th anniversary, the restaurant is hosting night events. The official launch of Whippet @ Night was on 9 June in collaboration with Barcadi. The head mixologist from Barcadi hosted a pairing of some of the world’s best rums with a winter four-course meal, with music by a local DJg.
The next Whippet @ Night will be a brandy appreciation evening on 7 July with KWV. KWV South Africa was recently awarded five medals at the International Spirits Challenge.
To also mark its 10-year anniversary, The Whippet will host Linden Heroes. The suburb’s residents have been asked to nominate a local hero and The Whippet will host the event to celebrate their contribution.
The Whippet is much more than a place that serves bottomless mimosas for Joburg’s stylish people. It is their connection with people and sense of community that makes the restaurant what it is.
Follow them on @thewhippetcoffee on Instagram.