The Company We Keep is a column on the CN&CO blog that profiles some of the most interesting people in our networks. Here we share the details of the lives of people we know, showcasing the extraordinary diversity of our society and proving that people truly are at the heart of everything we do. This edition is by Gianluca Tucci featuring a passionate, well-travelled South African and good friend of the CN&CO family.

Each month, our team comes together from near and far to touch base and stay in the loop with life. Our gathering spots are never the same, and we like to mix them up each month.

At the end of May 2022, we visited Melville to explore the newly-opened Jolly Cool. This epic eatery-come-sports-bar has kept true to the roots of its Parkhurst namesake, boasting moreish pizzas, exotic cocktails, and epic sunsets, all whilst maintaining the vibrant buzz that only the Jolly Cool brand can reverberate.

The Melville Jolly Cool’s is not only larger in size but is reinstating the eclectic and bustling vibe in Melville that people have always embraced.

The reason we picked this spot…

Jonathan and Geoffrey Hegarty are the heart and soul behind the launch of Jolly Cool’s, Melville, and the new owners of the renowned Jolly Cool in Parkhurst.

Many of us at CN&CO are very familiar with the Hegartys Jono, Geoff, and Dayna) who we met and got to know through our work and travels for Club Med.

Jono is renowned in the Club Med world for the many years he spent working for the holiday resort giant and who subsequently went on to become the chef de village of Club Med Val Thorens and Bintan Island.

Both his brother (Geoffrey) and sister (Dayna) are also part of the Club Med family and currently work in resorts around the world.

Team CNCO
Team CNCO with Jonathan at Jolly Cool Melville

With his vast global experience in hospitality and entertainment, Jono has brought his learnings back home with him to SA and applied his expertise to the Jolly Cool’s brand.

“The goal was to remain loyal to the concept of a sports bar, with pool tables, great music, laid back people, amazing pizza, and awesome, friendly staff. Overall, good vibes only, but in a more upmarket environment.”

– Jono Hegarty

He goes on to explain; “As one of the top 50 streets in the world, in terms of restaurants, bars, and tourism, and with its more eclectic, artistic flare and infrastructure, it was a no-brainer location for the next addition to the Jolly Cool brand. The perfect match.”

“Upon returning to my beloved SA after so long, I witnessed how hard the hospitality and tourism industries were hit by the pandemic, and my first instinct was to give back in some way. I used my overseas experience and capital to invest in something that would ultimately provide new jobs in such dire economic times. Rather than mere handouts, I set out to upskill people and empower them with the opportunity to create their own South African dream.”

Jono’s vision was to infuse local tastes with those he experienced overseas and their weekly food and drink specials, and traditional Sunday chesa nyama vibes will certainly solidify that goal. 

His vision extends further into the future to eventually develop a Jolly Cool franchise, paying forward the feelgood vibe across SA and offering others the opportunity to own their very own piece of the beloved brand. 

We are so delighted to reconnect with a good friend of the team and wish you and the team all the best for this incredible venture. Your desire to give back to the community and empower others with entrepreneurial opportunities is inspirational.

If you’re looking for an awesome dynamic venue for a corporate or private function, Jolly Cool’s is unquestionably an obvious choice!