Cafe Focus: Pablo Honey

Monday, 19 June, 2023

By Ayanda Dlamini

If Pablo Honey were to be personified, it would be that person who has a very intriguing fashion sense, the person who collects statement pieces and values vintage over anything modern or commercial. 

This little cafe in Hillcrest, Durban is the embodiment of offbeat creativity. It’s clear to see that Pablo Honey values the craft of coffee alongside the art of design and decor. It’s anti- minimalist style filled with textures, patterns and cluttercore, fabricates so many feel good sensations. This space can feel like a personal museum, while also being nostalgic, colourful, warm, cosy and homey. 

To keep me warm, I ordered an Americano with hot milk on the side. The coffee was served in a small Chinese porcelain cup, so unusual yet fitting for Pablo Honey’s identity. When I asked what coffee they use, I was told it was a local brand called Coastal Coffee Roasters, where their coffee is “Roasted near the sea in Ethekwini, RSA”. A dark roast, typical of its robust, bold and cocoa notes.

As I sat comfortably on their velvet purple couch, observing the yellow shelf and its delicate mug sets and tea bag trays. I couldn't help but notice their recurring theme of Frida Kahlo portraits, plastered on the walls, shelves and even on their chair designs. Each piece uniquely displays a different design of her portraits.

I found this all very symbolic to Pablo Honey’s identity, their sense of vibrancy resembles a core theme in Frida Kahlo’s art, which was constant in her use of bright colours. Similarly, Pablo Honey’s prominent style of cluttercore, to me, mirrored Frida Kahlo’s unique and authentic personality as well as her multifaceted life. 

This wasn’t an easy Cafe to leave, it fulfilled not only my desire for coffee, but also my creative mind. As a constant indulger of all things coffee and art, this space was a great creative stimulant, a great place to unwind and keep you inspired at the same time. 

Got something to say? Then leave a comment!