After 212 years of service, the local Cape Town haunt has sounded the call for its final round due to being forced to retrench its employees in the face of the latest alcohol ban.
With no end in sight for the ban on alcohol and cigarettes being lifted, the tavern had to make the extremely difficult and heart-breaking decision to close its doors and is not sure whether they will open again.
The Percy in Cape Town
The Perseverance Tavern has a long and rich history dating back to 1766 when German Johannes Blesser arrived in the Cape for a stopover on a maiden journey to Batavia and fell in love with the city. He settled in Cape Town in 1793 and bought the then-impressive Rust en Vreugd manor on the fashionable Buitenkant Street a few years later.
Blesser built the Perseverance Tavern next to Rust en Vreugd on Buitenkant Street in 1808, using his many slaves as free labour. Captain Johannes Blesser passed away in 1824 but the Perseverance Tavern persevered and still features its original layout today with off-sales on the left and the private dining hall on the right.
A quotation on the wall honours its patrons over the years: "This bar is dedicated to those splendid fellows who made drinking a pleasure, who reach contentment prior to capacity and who, whatever the drink, can take it, hold it, and remain gentlemen."
The historic tavern is an important part of Cape Towns' colourful past and the closing of its doors brings a part of the city's history to a sad end.
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