Being a Bartender

Photo Essay

Tuesday Night is Pool Comp night at Champ’s Action Bar, and every student in town knows that that means R10 shooters and a great vibe. The competition is open to anyone and the Top 3 winners get prizes. “The competitions are great fun, your level of skill doesn’t matter and we would love to introduce you to our pool family,” says manager, JC Bonici.

Scott’s Avenue, the quiet street where Champ’s is located, comes alive on these nights, as well as every weekend. The combination of pool and sport on the three television sets is great not only for students, but for locals and permanent residents alike, making for an interesting and diverse atmosphere. “[It’s the] only place in town I can go and chill during the day and then some,” says St John Richie, a Grahamstown local.

Although every night must be a unique experience, being a bartender is not an easy job, and it seems as though everyone is familiar with Zan Bothma and Danielle Durandt, bartenders at Champ’s. Customers range from first years asking for a glass of water for their drunk friends, to small business-owners who have been regulars since they moved to Grahamstown years ago.  Local butchery owner, Michael Repapis, smiles as Bothma passes him is drink. “You pour a good brew,” he adds before downing a mouthful.

So much more goes into running a bar than the average patron would think. General manager, JC Bonnici, helps local performers by using the venue for concerts, usually letting musicians keep the cover charge.

Another highlight of the week in Grahamstown is Champ’s Saturday night karaoke enjoyed by young and old alike.


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