City Inn, Pablos to be demolished
MBABANE – One of Mbabane’s landmark buildings that houses the popular City Inn and Pablos Restaurant will soon be demolished.
Reports indicate that the colonial structure, situated along Gwamile Street (formerly Allister Miller Street), will be brought down in about six months time to give way to the construction of a shopping centre.
When it was built to its present shape in about 1925, the building, which stands opposite the Deputy Prime Minister’s office structure, was home to Central Hotel until 1975 where it became known as Jabula Inn.
Three years later, it became home to popular eatery, Wimpy, who operated in the place for 12 years until 1990.
It was later revamped and resumed operations under the trade name City Inn.
The inn has 26 rooms for accommodation and three conference facilities.
Back in the days, the building was also the ‘hub’ of Mbabane’s nightlife as it accommodated the once-popular Studio 21 nightclub which was at one time also known as Ten Toes and later became Galaxy disco.
Presently, the bar operating there is known as The Greenroom.
So famous was Studio 21, its resident DJ Sandile Mango drew crowds in the late 1990s when he hosted shows at Theatre Club using the goodwill of the defunct nightclub.
People who patronised Studio 21 as well as the ‘new generation’ flocked to Sandile’s shows to dance to oldies.
Daniel Ward, who is owner of Pablos Restaurant, said they were now waiting for the expiry of their lease agreement before they vacate the premises.
"We will be moving out in six months time when the lease ends. Pablos will just close down. The information we have is to the effect that the building will be brought down.
"That is what the owners of the building have told us," Ward said.
The building is owned by a South Africa businessman who has only been identified as Soondka.
Other businesses to be affected by the demolition as they are also housed in the building include African Boutique and SS Trading.
A King Pie outlet located next to The Greenroom opposite Miller’s Mansion is also said to be affected.
History has it that Central Hotel was the first inn in Mbabane where most of the upper class dinned during the colonial era.
Today, the inn has regular customers who do not miss the English breakfast served there and the lunch whose aroma still fills Gwamile Street.
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