A well-kept secret.
Behind a veil of secrecy and hessian the building of the legendary
Spotty began in 1937 on Main Road Retreat, close to the Polsmoor
Road turnoff to Kirstenhof.
Mr Barnes and the architect, Mr Leslie Smith, took great pains not
to let slip the goings-on behind the hessian.
Rumour mongering flourished among the residents of the South
Peninsula with all sorts of wild and bizarre suggestions. The
general consensus was that it was surely an Elephant!
Eventually, in 1938, the hessian was removed and Spotty was
unveiled as a roadhouse restaurant.
While Spotty’s body was quite sturdy the head was a rather flimsy,
The brain area was, of course, the perfect spot to house the hot
Spotty soon became well known for its hot dogs, ham-burgers,
coffee and ice creams and fitted into the weekend itinerary of many
a Cape family outing.
Young folk were Spotty’s greatest supporters and stopping there
was an essential part of a student’s evening activities.
Spotty was the only road-house restaurant between Wynberg
and Muizenberg and his popularity grew to such an extent that
a kennel was built directly behind him to provide better catering
During WWii the armed forces based at Polsmoor were also
great supporters of the road-house hound. Again rumour
mongering, however, persisted. Because troops were stationed
it was alleged that an enemy spy operated from inside the dog’s
head sending information overseas regarding troop movements.
The inevitable prank had to be played on such an icon!
Trigger-happy soldiers apparently took pot shots at his spots,
climbed his flanks and painted his nose red.
Unfortunately during the 1970s Spotty met his end and was
demolished after being hit by a truck.
A second Spotty was constructed by Andrew Louw of Cape Concrete
with the help of the artist John Andrews in 1988. When Spotty’s
Auto moved up the line the landmark disappeared.
With public encouragement Cape Concrete once again came to the
party and the much loved local icon and legend was reinstated.
Today the 2.5m replica that proudly stands outside the Tokai branch
of Pennypinchers serves as a reminder of a memorable bygone era.
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Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
Professional Public Speaker, Trainer and Corporate Entertainer,
Motivational speaker, Guest & Key note speaker, Seminar &
Conference speaker, Team Builder, Comedian, Master of Ceremonies,
For your Strategic Planning sessions, Management or Sales meetings,
Conferences and/or Seminars, Award functions, Year end parties,
Cape Town, South Africa.