The well-loved, family owned Walnut Grove in Sandton City has reopened with new décor, menu and new brand. Opened in 1975 by Yianni Drakopoulos, the tradition continues with the addition of Elle Ruschioni and Fotis Drakopoulos, his daughter and son.
"The New Walnut Grove has undergone a complete transformation, seeing a new and modernised brand, new décor and most importantly a new and exciting menu," notes Ruschioni, an art director from London and creative director and designer of the new store. "The atmosphere will reflect the juxtaposition between old and new but will continue the family tradition and ethos."
She is bringing creative flair to the décor and dishes, whilst Fotis and Alessandra, his wife, are skilled in the culinary arts and will be heading up the kitchen and general management respectively. The siblings have had an important role to play in the re launch and regeneration of the brand and in ensuring current and modern public appeal. Both children married into Italian families and so bring additional European flair to the venue.Mommy space by day, music events by night
The 700 square metre space will now feature a fresh produce deli and a library area for those wanting time to work whilst sipping their unique coffee blend, perfect for the Sandton executive or international business traveller, with the cocktail bar offering monthly music events. There are board games in the library area and free papers.
An exciting addition is also the child friendly inclusions, such as the free 'babychinos', so 'Mommy and me' can enjoy a meal in comfort with the 'sapling' menu catering healthily for little people's tastes. Décor revamp, team effort
The décor has seen a complete revamp, combining glamour with nature to create an exciting and refreshing combination of modern and rustic.
The most striking feature is the Walnut tree chandelier with over 50 000 reclaimed and vintage crystals sourced from all over the world. The tree features in the centre of the restaurant and epitomises the family heritage and values that form the foundation of the venue.Décor team
- Designed by: Elle Ruschioni
- Assisted By: Samantha Muhlbauer
- Technical Designer: Craig Nerwich from Design Quest
- Shop fitters: Albert Moffat from Moffat Creations & Jaco Fourie from Chez Moi Woodcrafts
- Menu design: Fotis & Alessandra Drakopoulos
The restaurant hosted media and VIPs in celebration of the relaunch on 16 July 2012. Guests were treated to samplings off the new menu, entertainment and a taste of the new ambience. BizCommunity's editor-at-large, Simone Puterman
, described it as "Yum" and said that "[t]he restaurant doesn't look anything like it used to look like." For more:Updated at 12.41pm on 23 July 2012.