Inspired by similar developments like Box Park in London’s Shoreditch, 27 Boxes, a shipping container shopping development in Melville, has transformed a disused park into 80 boutique stores and restaurant and kiosk spaces geared towards starter entrepreneurs, from fashion designers to chefs, jewellers, artists, interior designers and baristas and bakers. The emphasis of many of the stores is on local design and local production and you will often find that the friendly face behind the counter is also the person who handmade the unique items that you are buying. A quirky alternative to Joburg’s mega mall scene.
Unique local fashion and design is a hallmark of 27 Boxes. Names to look out for include: Swazi-born IT graduate Stephanie Lesabe’s Moonyu clothing and accessories, must-have T-shirts from Krag Drag with their cheeky African designs and fun twists on iconic South African brands, Mantsho Lifestyle by Palesa Mokubung for elegant, contemporary womenswear in vibrant African fabrics, gorgeous leather satchels and handbags by leading local designers at Bags by Propaganda and Kuna‘s super cute kids clothing in colourful African patterns. There’s also a regularly changing selection of pop-up shops to browse showcasing everything from men’s streetware to vintage clothing.
If you need to buy somebody a gift, 27 Boxes is a great place to find it. Look out for beautiful ceramics and unique and surprisingly delicate decor items made from concrete such as candle-holders in geometric designs at Concrete Jungle, find the funkiest retro-inspired cushion covers, tea trays, T-shirts and babygrows at Krag Drag, quirky bags, rugs, coasters, jewellery, cushions and hats made from recycled materials such as crisp packets and even sweet wrappers at Republic of Recycle and cute decor items, jewellery and ceramics with a local flavour at the inviting gift shop Nickel who also have branches in Norwood and Maboneng.
WHERE TO EAT
Shopping’s not the only thing worth visiting 27 Boxes for, there are also a host of places to pick up food with various cosy corners and green open spaces to sit and enjoy your lunch. Our favourites include: cronuts from the XO Patisserie, freshly squeezed juices at Impressed, curries, stir fries and spring rolls cooked up by the friendly Thai husband and wife team at the no-fuss Thai cafe Kwan Phayao, iced coffee at the Rubi Coffee Roastery, and dinner and craft beers at the steam-punk inspired restaurant The Countess.
27 Boxes also hosts a weekly Wednesday evening rooftop market. Note that opening hours vary from store to store.
Open 09:00-17:00, Sun 10:00-16:00. Closed Mon.