Popular city club The Alchemist is on the spot yet again for allegations of discrimination against Black people.
The swanky joint is this time accused of having separate queues for Black patrons and the others of Caucasian and Asian descent.
It began on Sunday, May 29, when a social media user posted a video clip that purported to show the bar’s bouncers sending a Black patron out of the queue which appeared to only have non-Blacks.
“This is racist, I swear!… So there’s a White people line and a Black people line?” the man recording the video is overheard saying as he films the said patron’s encounter with the bouncer.
“They might let him through because he has an accent,” he says, after which the bouncer is seen shouting at the patron, ‘Just go!’
“They have actually sent him back!” another patron exclaims.
In a statement issued late Sunday, The Alchemist apologized for the incident, saying, “To anyone that has felt aggrieved, we sincerely apologize and we look forward to sitting down together and addressing these issues head-on.”
“Since we opened our doors, The Alchemist has always been a home to welcome creators, partners, musicians, and customers from all different backgrounds,” the statement further read.
The club would later follow it up with a series of tweets distancing itself from the allegations, writing: “We have reviewed footage from the alleged incident and we’re sharing it for everyone to see. There is only one entrance line for people to come in from”.
“There’s people of every background in that line,” wrote the bar, alongside what it claimed was CCTV footage of the entrance from Saturday night.
The club further went ahead to say that it had reached out to the man who was supposedly sent away via phone, “ and he confirmed he had no issues, he didn’t even know that camera footage of him had been filmed and released.”
“We will update security & procedures,” added the joint.
The Westlands-based bar, which describes itself as “a diverse collective of wacky and determined entrepreneurs in food, fashion, music and more”, is no stranger to accusations of racial discrimination.
n August 2018, it came under fire after a customer identified as Cynthia claimed that a guard had refused her seating on grounds that the seats were only meant for White people and Kenyans of Asian descent.
“We spoke with Cynthia on the phone. She’ll be the first to tell you that there WERE people of all colors in every area. The issue was over statements made by a particular bouncer,” said the club at the time.
“We have recently heard complaints from you that specifically contracted bouncers in our venue and spoken in a racist manner towards you and your friends. This is behaviour that we will ever condone or accept, we sincerely apologize for any hurt that this has caused,” it added then, in a statement to Cynthia.