Stimulus Investments Limited has announced the sale of the world famous Joe’s Beerhouse to the Rechter family and empowerment partner, Manfred Enus. Monica Kalondo, Managing Director of Stimulus, made the announcement at the iconic Windhoek restaurant this week, explaining that many Namibians have an emotional attachment to the business and therefore there is a need to announce this latest development.
She said that Stimulus bought into the business in 2007 along with minority shareholders Hans-Bruno Gerdes and Werner Kriesback. Kriesback has since sold out, as has the legendary Joe Gross, whom the restaurant is named after. With his wife Anette, Gross has been running the business for fifteen years, growing it from humble beginnings in Brühn Street into one of the top restaurants in the country, moving to Kaiser Krone, to Independence Avenue and to its present site in Eros as it demanded ever more space and staff. Today Joe’s employs about 100 staff members who will all be retained after the business changes hands. Importantly, Kalondo pointed out that only the business has been sold as a going-concern and not the property which houses it.
The buyers are the experienced Namibian restaurateur couple of Carol-Jean and Thomas Rechter. The pair is well known in Namibian restaurant circles for their impressive achievements with the ever-green Gourmet restaurant. Carol-Jean said that it was an overwhelming occasion, calling Joe’s Beerhouse a Namibian landmark and that, “maybe in ten years from now you will all be proud to have been here today. Our mission is to make all Namibians proud of Joe’s Beerhouse,” she said. For the couple, who were handpicked to take over at Joe’s according to Kalondo, this represented an irresistible business opportunity. “We couldn’t resist this challenge,” Rechter said. The Gourmet also remains in the hands of the Rechters. They plan to concentrate on taking over the existing business effectively and to make it better, she said. “We don’t see a franchise now.
Anette Gross, who has always been the operational manager at Joe’s said that, “it has been 15 years now and we are very proud. I think it is time and this is a good opportunity for some new blood to come into the company. My thanks to the staff, especially the people who have worked here for many years, and will continue to be here for many years. People feel so involved with this restaurant and for the customers it will be business as usual,” she said.
Although the buyers would not enter into any comments on the cost of the purchase, Kalondo and Anette Gross both explained that it is one of the reasons that Stimulus is keeping the property and Gross said that, “when we bought Joe’s the price of the investment was significant.”
The current shareholding, effective from 1 June, subject to approval from the Namibian Competition Commission, sees 12.5% owned by Manfred Enus with funding from Stimulus, and the balance split equally between Thomas and Carol-Jean Rechter, Monica Kalondo confirmed. Previously Stimulus had held 82.5% and Hans-Bruno Gerdes held 5.9%, the rest having belonged to Anette Gross.