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It is speculated that Gaaitjie was built around 1855 by the fishery firm, serving as a home for a local family. The old house was built right on the rocks on the Paternoster beachfront, boasting a foundation of solid stone. The foreman of the Paternoster fishery, Mr Sampson use to live in the historic building. Hence the road leading to Gaaitjie is named after him. The building housing Gaaitjie Restaurant is also a Cape Heritage building and still belongs to the fisheries

By 1902 a full-blown lobster industry was in operation, canning and exporting lobster to France in particular.

Gaaitjie restaurant opened its doors for the public in 2009. Well known chef Suzi Holtzhausen fixed up the old fisherman’s cottage and started serving indigenous dishes from the West Coast. She built a solid repertoire for the restaurant and took it to new heights.

In 2015 Suzi sold the business to the Kruger family, with brother and sister team Jaco Kruger operating as the chef and, Valmé Olivier managing the restaurant with mom Wilma and dad Theuns providing accounting support.


Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast of South Africa and had the first pilchard canning factory in South-Africa.

Situated 15 km north-west of Vredenburg and 145 km north of Cape Town. The origin of the name remains unknown. Legend has it that many years ago a Portuguese vessel was shipwrecked off that stretch of coast and the survivors said the Lord’s Prayer / Our Father (in Latin Pater Noster) in thanks for their deliverance from a potential watery grave.

Today Paternoster is a bustling little village where newcomers are integrated and working together with the local people.

Tourism in Paternoster has grown tremendously over the last couple of years bringing exciting new business and opportunities to the village.

On offer is a fantastic theatre, a huge collaboration of artist in the Art Shed at the Paternoster Waterfront. For the more active there is canoeing, E-biking and horse riding. And when you are exhausted with all that adventures you have 18 restaurants to choose from and you can try fantastic wines at the state-of-the-art Paternoster Wine Lounge.


Our family longed for a lifestyle change and getting away from the busy city of Johannesburg. In 2015 sister Chantelle, the second born of Theuns and Wilma Kruger and her husband was on holiday in Paternoster. They tried getting a reservation at Gaaitjie Restaurant but it was fully booked every day. On a random stroll in Langebaan they saw the business up for sale at an estate agent. She took a picture of the advertisement and sent it to the family stating, “How about a family venture!”. And that was the golden ticket out of Jo ’burg.

Dad Theuns and brother Jaco went down to Paternoster check out if this business will be viable for our family. Two months later we took a leap of faith, packed our bags and moved to Paternoster. Explore the Paternoster beach and nestled amongst the rocks, you will find a simple white-washed fisherman’s cottage. Gaaitjie creates a warm welcome with feelings of comfort and tradition. This unique atmosphere has inspired an eclectic menu featuring local produce, fused with contemporary influences. Our food is unpretentious and made with love, using sustainable fresh ingredients as far as possible. The décor is simple yet comfortable and our unique location and views remain unbeatable. We boast an excellent wine list, sourced from the West Coast and immediate surrounds. We look forward to meeting Gaaitjie’s current and future friends, the final and most important ingredient to the perfect meal