Retreat and Spotty Dog

March 06

Here is another pic of iconic Spotty Dog the roadhouse on the Main Road of Retreat, taken in the mid or early 1960s. I’ve previously written about Spotty Dog in another post so go here to read about the history. The building is so iconic and so often photographed without context that it was nice to find a second drive-by photo in the same collection of the nearby Retreat Shopping Centre. Grandly named but actually a small, traditional Cape grocery store situated right on the Main Road and displaying a large array of fresh produce. Together the images give one the flavor (if you’ll excuse the pun) of the area.


Long forgotten by some is the fact that Retreat was once one of the largest ‘locations’ in Cape Town – an area where black South Africans lived. It saw forced removals under Apartheid throughout the 1950s with many people being moved to the new township of Nyanga. In 1961 the area was declared a ‘colored’ group area. Spotty dog witnessed all this South African history (maybe that’s why he’s showing a few cracks). The building is fondly remembered by people all over the world.


Where does the name Retreat come from? “The suburb of Retreat in Cape Town was so named because the Dutch retreated to that area when they were losing the Battle of Muizenberg (1795). The Dutch landed there after the Retreat and declared the area to be ‘Terugtrekking van de nederlandse 1795′ or in English, Retreat of the Netherlands 1795.The signage with Terugtrekking van de nederlandse 1795’ written on it can be found at a Museum in Cape Town, South Africa.” (Wikipedia)


Posted by on March 6, 2016 in Bars&restaurants, Political, South Africa

1 Comment

One response to “Retreat and Spotty Dog

  1. Sanet de goede

    April 3, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    This brings back childhood memories, we lived in wens road, no 7, my uncle no6,my grandparents no 2 , first the old checkers shop then came the blue route in the 70s,,,,the blue route was our playing grounds, running and hiding on a Saturday, playing and swimming in the river ,,,,then for a nice cone from pick n chicken,,,,,


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