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Brass Bell Restaurants & Pubs

Food, Fun, Sea and Sun...

Brass Bell Restaurants & Pubs
The Brass Bell is 42 years old and has had the same owner for nearly three decades.

“The Brass Bell has, perhaps, done more than anything else over the past 30 years to put Kalk Bay on the international tourist itinerary and amazingly will continue to do so. It’s a special place.”

The Brass Bell is 42 years old and has had the same owner for nearly three decades.

The original ground floor of the Brass Bell used to be change-rooms for bathers.

In 1939, the second floor was built on and the City Council administered “European” Pavilion Tea Room was opened.

The Council, however, was not known for its restaurant-business acumen and the Tea Room eventually closed down and the building sadly became derelict.

In 1967 or thereabouts, a Dutchman called Frans Otten opened a restaurant called the Brass Bell. After a few years he applied for a liquor license. To finance the alterations required for the license, he took on a sleeping partner, Ralph Iorio. As so often happens the partnership didn’t work out and the Brass Bell was put up for auction.

The two former partners were the only bidders and Ralph was successful. He owned and managed the restaurant from 1978 to 1981. Ralph was an extremely interesting person. During the Second World War he worked for the CIA. He was fluent in Russian and Italian, and was a P.O.W in Japan where the atomic bombs went off in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

When he decided to move on, a local attorney, Tony White, bought the Brass Bell.

Tony recalls how Ralph advised, “if you have a good cow that provides good milk, look after it!” So Tony sold up his practice and hopped careers to become a restaurateur.

It was a recipe for success and the Brass Bell has never looked back.

Food, Fun, Sea and Sun...

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