No frills, no fuss – all fun – and wine not?

No frills, no fuss – all fun – and wine not?

Shayne Holt, in his flops and tee, is not quite what we expect from a wine bar.

The Small Business Showcase visited Mr Pants Wine Bar where we could sip back and relax. We were charmed by this small business owner’s full-bodied frankness.

Love the wine you’re with!

Shayne Holt wanted to experience different international wines that South Africa never seemed to offer. Local is lekker, for sure. But now and then, you want to live on the wine side. And so, last winter, he made it so. He opened Mr Pants Wine Bar and started experiencing and selling delicious wines from all over the world.

“Yes, unbelievably, we do only serve wine.”

Stepping into Mr Pants Wine Bar is an immediate breath of fresh air. Subtle notes of sarcasm, an aroma of accessibility and textures of pure joy. From the simple wooden bar top to the houseplants outside to the unfussy pricing system (price per glass written on each bottle), this bar is a delightful detour from the norm.

On the board we’re told that snacks are available on request, that you will not be waited on and that Unicorns are available. Unicorns, by the way, are incredibly rare wines that “you’re lucky to get a taste of” says Shayne.    

This may be the wine talking but

Being able to buy and explore a wide range of international, hard-to-find wines by the glass – which are not ridiculously marked up – is a rarity in this country and Shayne has stepped in to fill the gap. The wines he sells are not ones you’ll find in the Tops down the road. And because he doesn’t ‘list’ specific wines, he’s free to sell what he wants when he wants. Unlike your local Spur.

“Life’s too short to drink bad wine.”     

We think Shayne would agree.

Sommer-sommer sommelier

Just like its range, each night the bar is full of diverse and rich characters. From younger people wanting to educate themselves to local suburbanite families to businessmen.

And although Mr Pants does serve a selection of snacks, ordering food delivery to the bar is allowed, even encouraged.

Making (extraordinary) wine ordinary again

“Most winemakers are farmers” Shayne says. The idea is to de-snobify wine – make it accessible and fun for all, wine connoisseur or not. The fact that the wine bar’s clientele is still so undefined is something Shayne loves and wants to hold onto going forward.

Can wine be refreshing? Yes, yes it can.

For a frills-free, fuss-free breath of fresh air, visit the website at:

Or call Mr Pants at +27672941673

You can also visit the Mr Pants Insta at

P.S. Know a wine-lover? Know a small business owner? Just like the sound of this guy’s ethos?

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