The story of Spur, founded 54 years ago with R4000 and a taste for life

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Kabous le Roux

9 days ago
The story of Spur, founded 54 years ago with R4000 and a taste for life The Spur restaurant in Carlswald, Midrand. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

  • Spur was profitable from the start – at the time there was nothing like it in South Africa

  • The Native American imagery was a signal to people of colour that they were welcome at Spur

  • The first hamburger sold at Spur cost 35 cents

Spur was founded in 1967 when Allen Ambor invested R4000 into opening the Golden Spur in Newlands, Cape Town.

It sparked the rise of South Africa’s most popular steakhouse franchise.

Today you’ll find a Spur in 15 countries and every town and mall in South Africa.

Lester Kiewit interviewed Ambor about how it all started and how he grew that first Spur into a national icon (scroll up to listen).

People have never seen anything like it… service was fast, the place was clean and lively… We’ve carried that down the years… People of all races, religions… could be happy together… and enjoy the food and, as you say, the white sauce… a home recipe…

Allen Ambor, founder - Spur Steak Ranch

I paid for my studies by working in a steak house in Johannesburg…

Allen Ambor, founder - Spur Steak Ranch

Cape Town was like a village in those days… I was very lucky [finding the Newlands premises], there were five schools there… The rugby stadium, cricket…

Allen Ambor, founder - Spur Steak Ranch

They came and approached me for franchises… It started spreading…

Allen Ambor, founder - Spur Steak Ranch

I thought that if I adopted the native American Indian… it would be a signal to people of colour that they were welcome at Spur… Today, some people say it’s not quite right… I think it is a mistake [to change the branding].

Allen Ambor, founder - Spur Steak Ranch

Cheddamelt is a name I coined… The original burger was 35 cents…

Allen Ambor, founder - Spur Steak Ranch

[The salad valley disappeared] because it cost too much… and a lot of people took advantage…

Allen Ambor, founder - Spur Steak Ranch

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : The story of Spur, founded 54 years ago with R4000 and a taste for life

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