TRE Steampunk Club, Restaurant & Bar

If you are enamored of the eccentric feel of the English steampunk movement, lapping up pages and pages of books like Around the World in Eighty Days or The Adventures of Sherlock Homes then TRE Steampunk Club, Restaurant & Bar is just the spot for you.

We had a quick Q & A with restaurateur Justin Whittaker about his love for this wondrous era, being an entrepreneur and working with our revolutionary cloud based point of sale…



We have to ask: Why Steampunk?

My first love was getting stuck into a good book!! One of my first memories of buying something for myself as a child was Jules Verne around the world in 80 days, and I had always loved reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. We have always loved the idea of Steampunk bringing to life the era of innovation, adventure, exploration and mechanical engineering at its height. We need to continue on at all costs and persevere just like Phileas Fogg or even Nikola Tesla had to during this time.

As an entrepreneur, what are the 3 most valuable lessons you have learned in business

  • Never stop innovating continually find new avenues of income
  • Hard work doesn’t cut it! Work meticulously and better systems in place to work smarter.
  • Marketing and Advertising is the key for brand awareness and bringing your creativity across is best done visually and verbally

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice before you started this journey, what would it be?  

Every person on this Planet is out for themselves. Trust no one, only the strong survive

Locally, or internationally – who is your entrepreneurial role model and why? 

I have so many…

Cliché I suppose is saying Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, and Anthony Bourdain but honestly I respect these gents and what they achieved and how they did it, all of them came from some disadvantage when growing up, it’s about making the most of your chances and the small number of advantages thrown your way.

In my career I have looked up at so many colleagues and managers, learning and stealing their styles and methods, each of which had a different strength. You wouldn’t know the names of these people and they are not entrepreneurs just good hardworking employees like most of us from Tyron for operational technique, Anja for customer relations, Julian for wine knowledge, Gary for selling techniques, Andre for cost management, Wayne for general & hotel management, Gallo for staff relations.

Every one of the above has modeled me into the operator that I am today.

How has using TabletPOS (Powered by iKentoo) changed the way you do business?

I was first introduced to the awesome and easy to use TabletPOS was at Boschendal, unfortunately Michael was a bit late as we had already spent R60 000 on a POS that was all integrated (ironically I continuously had issues with the system), but loved the idea of staff using an iPad and furthermore the capabilities that the waiters can use the iPhones at the table instead of nasty shitty notepads also interested me. When I started my business I called TabletPOS up immediately to get started within three days we were ready to go, and it cost me a sixth of the price than what I had just spent at Boschendal.

Find TRE Steampunk Club, Restaurant & Bar at Corner Leeuwen and Buitengracht Street, Cape Town

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