The UCT Club is a convivial gathering place where members of the UCT community can socialise and exchange ideas. Located on the upper campus in the Sports Centre, the club is open to all staff, postgraduate students and alumni and they are automatically entitled to membership rights at the Club. The Club consists of a reasonably-priced restaurant and a pub where members can meet in a relaxed and informal environment. The pub is a popular meeting place after work where staff and students can meet on a less formal footing. Staff are also encouraged to bring along groups of students to have a drink and chat off the record.
The UCT Club developed from the informal gatherings that were held on Friday afternoons in the Physics Department. In 1988 the old Bat & Cat premises in the Sports Centre were secured and the Club was formally established to cater for the social and less formal academic needs of the staff of UCT.
The Club underwent a major revamp in 1995, at which time the management was taken over by Rondebosch Caterers CC, who have continued to manage the Club since then.
The Club offers a large restaurant, with a seating capacity of up to 180 people, a cosy pub with capacity for a further 80 people, and a games section with dart board and pool table. The bar counter, bulkheads and back shelving was constructed from solid teak laboratory benches that were removed from the Chemistry Department, thus apart from looking good and solid, lends a bit of history.
The chairs in the restaurant are solid oak with riempies, which enable the décor to range from informal to pretty formal as the need arises.
The Club is fully licensed, and provides a variety of catering services. These range from lunches every day, early evening meals, cocktail parties and various snack menus, to full dinner service for departmental dinners or functions. The latter facility is also widely used for private weddings or parties. Furthermore, the Club undertakes cocktail parties at other venues on the campus. In addition, full conferences can be catered for, including lunches, teas and cocktail parties for up to 400 people at various campus venues or at the Club. This is a turnkey service, where all the catering arrangements are undertaken by the Club.
The daily lunch at the Club features the popular Club Buffet Table, which offers a large variety of dishes leaning towards traditional Cape Malay food, but not restricted to that. To keep prices reasonable there are two options for the buffet, namely an "eat as much as you like" option or otherwise a "one reasonable plate" option. This enables patrons to use the Club Table regularly without breaking the bank, and in fact it is possible to eat every day for a week off the table without repeating.
The Club has many nooks and crannies, as a result of it being part of the unorthodox architecture of the Sports Centre. This offers the facility of cordoning off corners here and there which can be used for informal seminars, small class meetings or other gatherings, in an informal atmosphere.
Kitchen hours are 12h00 to 14h30, and 17h00 to 20h00 daily from Monday to Thursday, and 17h00 to 21h00 on Fridays and the pub is open from 12h00 to 21h00 during weekdays and until 23h00 on Fridays. The hours can be extended for functions or by arrangement.
The Club is generally open on Saturdays when there are major sporting events, where the largish screen TV is utilised, and on big occasions extra TV sets are used.
From time to time the Club hosts speciality evenings including Trivia Quiz, pool competitions, or an Irish Folk Evening.
All members, including alumni, are entitled to bring guests to the Club whether it is for a casual drink or a private function.