moyo decided to put confidence back into the city by being the first to open a business in the very trendy, up and coming Newtown. The African Bank Market Theatre in Newtown has, through the years, maintained its reputation for bold cultural innovation and was therefore the perfect match to continue the tradition and innovation of the African continent.
moyo at the Market boasts a multi-level emporium design with unique ethnic twists. Exquisite décor, atmospheric lighting, recessed alcoves, elevated mezzanines and live Africa music envelop guests in an intimate exclusive ambiance.
A core team of six artists, specialists in steelwork, woodwork and pebble art came up with the distinctive design of the restaurant. They stayed true to their philosophy of bringing out the natural feel of materials – rusted steel; gates, carved wood, cowry shells and various oxides.
As one of Africa’s top restaurants, moyo offers an unparalleled dining experience in an exceptional setting that embodies modern, sophisticated Africa. Sophistication is synonymous with the Moyo experience, as the restaurant embodies the sleek elegance of an up-market restaurant, while still exuding the generosity of Africa.
It took nine months to create the spectacular moyo at the Market in the heart of Johannesburg – Newtown. Considering that Newtown was a township back in 1911, the ground has become something of a phenomenon. The properties of Newtown were purchased by the City Council who then demolished the old houses and those buildings that occupy the new market were burnt down due to an outbreak of plague. The City’s engineer designed the new market building, a great hall that was, at that stage, the largest single under cover structure in South Africa. The Mayor of Johannesburg officially opened the market in 1913 and afterwards, free tram rides were offered and a small band provided entertainment to lure customers.
Part of the hall was to be demolished to make way for a motorway, but thankfully, the market survived and in 1986, the “Africana Museum” and the “Bensusan Museum of photography” were moved into the empty hall. Today the hall houses the “Market Theatre”, “Museum Africa” and of course, “moyo Restaurant”.
Newtown is the most happening place to be at the moment, first with the opening of the Nelson Mandela Bridge which was described as “the Bridge across the world” and now with moyo, the restaurant that has given us the art of African dining!
moyo means “soul” and that is felt in the passionate style in which it presents the best of Africa in a modern and sophisticated manner, while simultaneously drawing on the respect of ones heritage.
moyo at the Market is open 6 days a week for lunch and dinner and is closed on Mondays. We offer our diners a sensory adventure, featuring a range of flavours and taste sensations drawn from the best the continent has to offer. Our entertainers come from all over Africa and bring tales of their homelands in the form of music, dance and make-up. All this incorporates the moyo experience!
So, if moyo means soul and the Market Theatre is the heart of Johannesburg, and Johannesburg is the pulse of South Africa, this is where we belong!
moyo at the Market Theatre opens 11:30 am till late.