This weekend we are fortunate to enjoy a long weekend, which, for many, will include socializing, braais with friends, outings and perhaps an evening or two out for a scrumptious meal with loved ones. In Durban we are spoilt for choice with many new and exciting places to choose from, especially when we feel like a really good meal, decent prices and a hip-and-happening vibe.
Things usually start getting somewhat trickier, however, when accessibility becomes an issue. Lately though, I have found myself a new favourite:
Robson’s Restaurant and Brewery situated in 72 Mahatma Gandhi Road, in Durban’s Point Waterfront.
Quick Reminder: Rating Criteria
My criteria for reviewing accessibility in public establishments are simple and I’ll try to stick to my fields of expertise, ultimately sharing my ♿️rating out of 5. I’m no food fundi so although I will add my opinion on those types of aspects, my focus will always be on accessibility. Criteria will include:
- Overall space: table height, floor space, 180 and 360 turning space, etc.
- Floor surface: carpets, level changes, texture
- Entrances: automatic door opener, door width, ramp, etc.
- Toilet facilities: handles, grab bar, sink height, stall measurements, etc.
- Outdoor space
Robson’s Real Beer and Food Factory: A Review
My hubby, daughter and I first stumbled onto Robson’s by accident in March this year. We’re not really beer aficionados, so we were a little skeptical about dining at a brewery at first, but we were more than pleasantly surprised and even tried out some of their craft beers. I loved it so much that I have been back with the rest of the family a couple of times since then.
Originally established by Stuart Robson in 2006, it is now owned by the Stewart family who have obviously embraced it and have grown it into a respectable brewery and restaurant. Robson’s not only serves incredible food, but I find it really accessible and comfortable for me to manage independently.
- Parking – With the entrance to Robson’s on the road level via a sliding gate, parking can be found on the road or in a dead-end next to the property. During my visits it hasn’t been overly packed so parking has never been an issue for me to date. I have to admit that I haven’t seen a dedicated or appointed disabled/wheelchair parking in the area though, suggesting that it could become a bit tricky during busy days or seasons or for someone who is less physically able than me
- Entrance – Robson’s is comfortably situated on the corner of Mahatma Gandhi and Browns Road in Durban’s newly developed Point Waterfront area, however road works currently prevent entrance from that side of the restaurant. Nevertheless, the wide sliding gate entrance from Albert Terrace provides easy access into the establishment’s back door, via a slightly inclined, paved walkway which leads to a tarred pathway into the brewery/restaurant.
- Floor Surface and Outdoor Space – Floor surfaces from the road leading into the restaurant area are either tar or smooth cement screed flooring. There are no nicks or crannies in the floors and all surfaces inside the restaurant are smooth and well maintained making for an easy ride. The only area that I found inaccessible was the outside seating area, where a gravel type of floor covering was chosen. Wheeling over and turning on gravel with a wheelchair is difficult and really uncomfortable. During my couple of visits we preferred sitting inside, but the outside seating area isn’t an option for me anyway.
- Toilet Facilities – After visiting a couple of new, “hipster” style establishments in Durban recently, that unfortunately have not embraced inclusivity, I was pleasantly surprised to find a disabled toilet that allowed me to do a 180° rotation inside! It was refreshing to see that aesthetics were not sacrificed for the sake of accessibility, with creatively designed, yet sturdy grab rails and other trims carefully chosen and installed. It seems that Robson’s took Part S of the National Building Regulations, with emphasis on the notes on the design and layout of toilet facilities for persons with disabilities into account when they planned the layout of their restaurant.
- Overall Space – The restaurant space inside Robson’s isn’t huge as far as space goes. However, there it’s spacious enough for me to wheel in-between the tables, down the entrance and passage to the toilets or in- and outside. I can imagine it will be challenging when business is booming but that’s to be expected in most restaurants and other similar establishments.
It’s a YES from me
If I have to give any suggestions I would add that I’d love to see Robson’s outside seating area provide at least a small part of that space to accommodate easier wheeling, ie. perhaps swopping out the gravel with tar of cement instead. However, I love the vibe, find their food absolutely delicious and mouthwatering to say the least and the overall accessibility makes every visit definitely worthwhile for me.
I give Robson’s a well deserved ♿️♿️♿️♿️.