Last year the managing director of The Fridge Bar Afia Asha (who is black), publicly blamed the black community for the closure of London’s bars and clubs and went on to PRAISE Lambeth Council (CLICK HERE).
The absolute majority of people who have disrupted theses venues are black men and increasingly some black women. There, I said it. It is true, I have witnessed it and there is both anecdotal and empirical evidence that what I say is true. Venues that have remained open now only allow majority black events if they pay a massive premium and even then they have to complete a 696 form to ascertain whether the police will allow the event to go ahead. Some are now accusing the venues and the police of being ‘racist’ in their application. Personally I know this to be horseshit. Licensing officers in Lambeth is in the best shape ever. They are fair, impartial and assist venues who are doing the right thing.
Earlier this year it was reported that the venue’s licence had been revoked by…guess who… LAMBETH COUNCIL (CLICK HERE).
This week the owner of The Fridge Bar announced via Facebook that the venue is to close.
We at the Fridge Bar have decided to call it a day. When we converted what was then a disused boarded up building in 1996 we never thought that we would outlast every other venue in Brixton who started at the same time!
Being a black owned venue has been hard, really hard. The upside though is that I met some fantastic people, clever people, funny people, socially conscious people and to be honest some downright horrible people also! I have been to numerous weddings, christenings and seen job celebrations of people that were so kind as to invite me into their private lives. I loved every moment of those times.
For those who know me they will attest that I love music especially old skool hip hop. I am proud that through my company I first brought artists to the UK such as MC Lyte, Wrecks N Effectz, Audio Two, Kid n Play, Brand Nubian, Redman, Onyx, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Lady of Rage, Xscape, Jodeci, Mary j Blige. Jay Z, Puffy, 112 and a host of others all performed for me and I have made long lasting connects to this day!
I could not have lasted this long without my brothers earlier input and I thank them enormously. We were the original A Team! All of the DJ’s, I thank you but special mention must be given to Fat Freddie M, who was there from the beginning and guided us through the early groundbreaking times. I had a team that consisted of 1 lawyer, 1 accountant, 2 solicitors and 1 book-keeper. The A squad. I would never name them as I will be working with them into the future!!!
I have seen Brixton change in a way that will ultimately benefit the new demographic that has colonised great swathes of this beautiful area. It is though ironic that the new inward investment did not come when an altogether different demographic was in the majority! Oh well.
I have also seen the influx of new venues catering to that new demographic whom I am certain will get all the help they need from Brixton police unlike other venues who catered for the original demographic in this area who received only condemnation. Being a black business owner in the night time economy you realise very quickly that you are on your own. You also realise that your business can be destroyed at anytime by circumstances completely outside of your control.
You realise also that this system is antithetical to black advancement. You will never be called a ‘nigger’ or a ‘black bas***d’ by those in authority. It is far more subtle than that. They hide behind legislation and smile as they deliver the Brutus like piercing to your back all whilst professing ‘admiration’ for your efforts.
The Fridge Bar will not be returning but we might be in a couple of years if I remain healthy and I can overcome the politics. It is said that ‘behind every good man is an even better woman’. I thank my partner for her unbelievable faith, belief and defence of me, no matter what was thrown at me. I have a couple more hurdles to overcome and then hopefully I can enjoy a well earned break.
I know that despite the brickbats, the set backs and the hypocrisy I am lucky. I have my gifted children who are a credit to this country and more importantly their father. I am very lucky. I will still be about Brixton but happy for the break!!
I will be writing a fairly hard hitting book that covers my time whilst at the Fridge Bar with NOTHING held back and no topic will be homogenised. But for now all I wish to say is ‘thank you’.
Fridge Bar March 1996-September 2015
It’s the end of an era folks!
Rest In Peace The Fridge Bar.
Categories: UK News