I feel antsy when I go too long without blogging about something in Joburg. So last week during a brief hiatus between trips to Cape Town and Mozambique (more about my Mozambique trip in the next post), I headed to Rosebank and had lunch at the new Keyes Art Mile.

If you’re a Jozi enthusiast, you’ve probably been hearing buzz about the Keyes Art Mile for the last few weeks and wondering what the heck it is. The name has an interesting air of mystery. Is it a mile-long mall? An outdoor market? A massive art gallery?

Even after my visit, I’m not sure how to explain the Keyes Art Mile. But here is my best attempt.

What is the Keyes Art Mile?

The Keyes Art Mile is located at 19 Keyes Avenue at the corner of Jellicoe Avenue in Rosebank, a cosmopolitan suburb halfway between downtown Joburg and Sandton. Jozi art lovers will be familiar with this corner as it houses Circa Gallery and the Everard Read Gallery, two of the best art galleries in Joburg. (Circa featured in my Jozi Top Five Museums and Galleries post.)

Next to Circa is a huge new building called the Trumpet building. Trumpet is the heart of the Keyes Art Mile.

Trumpet Building at Keyes Art MileTrumpet was still receiving its finishing touches last week. I love the little donkey sculpture outside.

Trumpet has a huge, cavernous entry hall. It’s very arty and avant-garde.

keyes-art-mile-9748The Trumpet entry hall.

Interior design shop inside Trumpet Building at the Keyes Art MileA fancy interior design shop inside Trumpet. There are lots of expensive condos springing up in Rosebank, because of its proximity to Rosebank Mall and the Rosebank Gautrain station. I guess the wealthy condo owners will furnish their apartments at places like this.

Trumpet has several fancy design shops and galleries inside, as well as a “curated members’ club” called Mesh and a hot new restaurant called Marble. Marble is the newest restaurant by David Higgs, of Saxon five hundred fame, and I am eagerly awaiting my chance to eat there. (Invitations are welcome.)

Inside Mesh at the Trumpet BuildingI haven’t yet visited Marble, which is on the top floor of Trumpet, but I did get inside Mesh recently for a media launch. This is the bar area at Mesh, which seems to be a fancy events space/coworking space.

Trumpet is grand and innovative and all, but it’s a little pretentious for my taste. The best thing about the Keyes Art Mile, in my opinion, is the little strip of shops on Keyes Avenue next to Trumpet.

Keyes Art Mile in RosebankThe Keyes Art Mile shops.

This little strip has a couple of high-end accessory shops that I didn’t have time to investigate, and a “premium sneaker and accessory store” called Shelflife.

Shelflife at Keyes Art MileI took a look inside Shelflife, which seems like a great place to shop if you like expensive sneakers.

I’ve saved the best for last. This strip also includes BGR, one of the best burger restaurants in Joburg, and the Milk Bar, my favorite new Jozi café chain.

Burger from BGRI confess this this is the real reason I went to the Keyes Art Mile last week: I craved a burger. BGR recently moved to Keyes Art Mile from its previous location in the petrol station around the block

Milk Bar at Keyes Art MileThe Milk Bar’s new location at Keyes Art Mile. I wrote about the Milk Bar’s downtown branch — which has since closed, sadly — in a recent post. I’m sure this new branch is equally awesome.

Unless I missed something during my brief exploration, this is the Keyes Art Mile in a nutshell. Arty, pretentious, delicious, and a little weird. I like it.

Sculpture outside Keyes Art MileA floating-head sculpture outside the Keyes Art Mile. It’s weird but I like it.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

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