WATCH: Pretoria locals queue to get their coffee fix as Starbucks opens in Castle Gate Mall

Pretoria’s new Starbucks proved popular on the first day of opening.

The branch, situated in Castle Gate Mall in Waterkloof Ridge, opened on Thursday, and there were people queuing from 7am – eager to be among the first in the city to try the coffee shop’s famous drinks.

In an Instagram post, Starbucks South Africa wrote they couldn’t wait to serve the people and everyone should ensure they adhered to all Covid-19 protocols as people’s safety was their priority.

Earlier this month, the coffee-house company announced it was set to open eight stores in SA despite Covid-19, and Starbucks in Castle Gate Mall is one of them.

The Canal Walk branch opening also saw snaking queues, with fans of the brand desperate to sample the coffee drinks made famous by TV shows and films.

Adrian Maizey, the owner and chief executive of Rand Capital Coffee, the custodian of the Starbucks brand in Southern Africa, said that as a South African, he was excited about the major investment into the country, the creation of dozens of jobs during tough economic conditions.

“Starbucks is an iconic global brand, and when the opportunity arose to expand it into my home country, particularly as this is one of few remaining scalable regions where Starbucks is yet to have a strong presence, I grabbed the chance,” said Maizey. He added Starbucks operated on a licensing model as opposed to a franchise, which was an honour to him to be awarded the licence for South Africa as it seldom went to an individual.

The store opening schedule began last week with Canal Walk, and includes other prime Cape Town locations at Cavendish Square, Stellenbosch, Tyger Valley Shopping Centre, the V&A Waterfront and Camps Bay and in Johannesburg in Rosebank.