Mr Pants

A Wine Bar that Delights the Palate and Fosters Community
Shayne Holt, the owner of Mr Pants, has had a longstanding passion for the restaurant and bar industry. With a background in hospitality and a growing interest in wine, Shayne became a certified sommelier in 2019, expanding his knowledge and appreciation for global wines.

It was then that he noticed a gap in the market for wine bars that offered a diverse selection of international wines. Holt took matters into his own hands and opened Mr Pants in 2020. Since then, there’ve been plenty of highlights along the way: “The friends we’ve made in the bar, the passion that some people have for good booze and by far the biggest highlight: the wine we’ve gotten access to over the years,” says Shayne.

BEHIND THE BAR

The Mr Pants team, consisting of Shayne, Desire, and Candice, work together to create a welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere for their guests. “Desire and I have worked together in five different restaurants over the last 10 years or so,” says Shayne. “We seem to work very well together and balance each other out in the best way possible.” Candice, a recent addition to the team, is studying for her Cape Wine Academy diploma and has quickly become an integral part of the trio.

The success of Mr Pants is down to several factors – a fantastic selection of rare and sought-after wines, all served by the glass in quality stemware without a hefty mark-up. However, it is the unique ambience of Mr Pants that truly captivates patrons.

“I think what makes Mr Pants successful is that it’s fun,” says Shayne. “We aren’t snobby about the wines we serve (even though some of them run into the thousands of rands per glass) and the space is an extension of how I would treat guests at my house. You’d struggle to find a night where our guests don’t end up behind the bar, hanging out, helping clear plates, polishing glasses and picking the music. It’s quite interactive and relaxed and I think that’s really what sets us apart.”

GROWING THE COMMUNITY

Memorable moments at Mr Pants range from opening extraordinary and highly coveted bottles of wine to witnessing winemakers’ astonishment at the bar’s impressive selection. However, the most gratifying experience for Shayne is the loyalty and ongoing support from fellow wine lovers. “I think the best feeling has been getting to know the wine-loving community in Joburg and when they return, week after week, it’s validation for what we do.”

And now it’s not just Joburg that will benefit from Shayne’s hospitality – Capetonians are buzzing with the arrival of Cooper Wine Bar (named after Shayne’s puppy). “To recreate what we have in Joburg would be impossible,” says Shayne. “It will have to morph into its own thing and I’m both excited and terrified to see what that might become.”

Q&A with Shayne

Wine you can’t stop talking about?
Anything from Lopez de Heredia in Rioja


Best Brunch Spot?

I hate brunching – rather wait an hour and eat properly!

Best Coffee in Joburg?
Father Coffee. But I’m always amazed at the consistency of Seattle.

Local Business shout out?
Curds and Whey – deadly Burrata.

Best thing about living in Joburg?
The energy and hustle.

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