Alchemist bar shuts down over racism claims

The Alchemist Bar has shut its doors to pave way for investigations on claims about racism.

In a statement, the club confirmed that Nairobi city county officers had visited the joint to analyse the CCTV footage, “to review the night of May 29, to determine if the guests in question were denied entry and if there was a policy in place to have separate lines for guests.”

The county will also be looking to determine if there has ever been a policy of discrimination. “Interviews and footage will be reviewed of the past events both at the gate and inside the establishment.”

The investigations come a day after the Nairobi-based entertainment joint was accused of racism after a video clip went viral over the weekend seemingly perpetuating racism against black people by having white and Indian revelers in one queue and blacks in another as they waited in line to get into the bar.

The club on Monday through another statement distanced itself from the vice.

In its rebuttal, the club now argues there is one main entrance to the venue that all customers entering for the first time must go through.

“The line is composed of people of all different backgrounds. We have never had a policy of segregating lines,” they said.

“There was a group of customers who had stepped out and were re-entering the venue. The security allowed them to come in through the exit line in order not to clog up the main entrance. The video that was shared by a private individual made it appear that another customer was denied entry – that’s simply not true.

Alchemist caused an uproar over the weekend after a video went viral showing what appears to be a discrimination stunt against black customers.

The viral video showed blacks and European lining up to join the entertainment joints in different queues.

Earlier, the club issued an apology saying it regretted the action.

“To anyone who has felt aggrieved, we sincerely apologize and look forward to sitting down together and addressing these issues head-on.”

Offering to have a round table discussion over the matter, the management claimed they have never discriminated against anyone.

“Since we opened our doors the Alchemist has always been a home to welcome creators, partners, musicians and customers from all different backgrounds.”

However, Kenyans could hear none of the apologies or explanations with some of them retrieving receipts of previous scenarios where the club discriminated against Kenyans.

Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko has joined Kenyans and also called out the management the club.

The flamboyant politician, who is gunning for the Mombasa gubernatorial seat, has also asked authorities to take necessary actions against the nightclub.

“It’s illegal to discriminate against Kenyans on Kenyan soil. Our freedom fighters died fighting racism. Under my administration, I will not have entertained such kind of nonsense. Otherwise, this Alchemist club in Westlands should be closed with immediate effect,” said Sonko, who is known to own a number of entertainment joints in Nairobi and Mombasa.

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