Union Kloof was the name chosen for the area between the corner of Buitengragt and New Chruch Street, at the bottom end of Kloofnek Road. Kloof Street is at it’s heart and beats with the metropolitan sounds of the bustling area. Union Kloof combines two street names, but was hotly contested during the voting stages of the 2011/2012 campaign because of its colonial sound name, UK. Ubuntu was the alternative, the name of the 400-year fig tree on Kloof Street where a large community of sangomas come for solace. But, this was a democratic vote and not everyone’s, out of the 15 000 that were involved, favourite could be finally selected.
In the early days of colonial Cape Town the area around Kloof Street comprised of expanding farmland, catering for the growing settlement along the shoreline below. Gradually the fields made way for housing, and wagon trails turned to cobbled streets.
Remnants of this early architectural aesthetic are still seen in quiet back streets in this area, with some low, double-storied Dutch buildings to be found. The more recent Edwardian and Victorian influence is also on show with elaborate “broekies lace” verandahs fronting Kloof Street in places.
By day it is a bustling creative retail zone, a pedestrian marvel, truly catering for all its inhabitants’ urban lifestyle needs. Original boutiques, salons, fashion stores, interior design studios, spas and cinemas combine with hotels, coffee shops and restaurants to offer a compelling mix of shopping delight. Trendy bars and restaurants take over in the evening. Establishments on Kloof Street and surrounds are well-liked by locals and tourists who prefer a more refined night life to the raucous upper end of Long Street nearby.