Stephen Chukumba says: “Buddha Bar, Gansevoort, Employees Only. Booooooo!”

I’m going to keep this rant short and sweet. Bouncers are corny. There, I said it.


Ajna Bar

Ajna Bar (formerly Buddha Bar) doesn't care for Black people.

Of course, I don’t mean ALL bouncer are corny. Just the ones that arbitrarily preclude me from entering their establishment because I am Black.

They’ll dress up the reason they’re keeping me outside of their vaulted halls of revelry, “You’re too casual,” (Translation: “You’re too Black.”)

Or “It’s a private party tonight.” (Translation: “It’s private. Everyone can get in tonight but you, Blackie.”)


Employees Only should be called 'Only Employees Who Are Not Black"

Or, my favorite “We can’t let you in looking like that.” (Translation: “If you weren’t such an intimidating looking Black person in your urban attire, perhaps you wouldn’t strike fear in the hearts of our clientele and make them uncomfortable partying with you.”)

You must know that I was attired rather hoodishly last night, so I take nothing away from gatekeepers doing their jobs and trying to prevent riff-raff from sullying the interior of their clubs.

However, since I have been barred from each of these very same clubs, when I was DRESSED TO THE NINES, their purported reasons for yesterday’s insult are singularly unbelievable.

The offending establishments are:

Buddha Bar, 17 Little West 12th Street, New York, New York. They are particularly racist in the application of their door policy, but always with a touch of class. I almost don’t realize that they’re being racist.

Employees Only, 510 Hudson Street, New York, New York. I realize that even my own people can be subject to prejudices. A brother played me out at the door last night. Hard. He barely glanced in my direction. I was cold dissed from the periphery!


Hotel Gansevoort

Beware, Hotel Gansevoort has a little trollish man at the door.

Hotel Gansevoort, 18 Ninth Avenue, New York, New York. I was turned away by a short swarthy Napoleonic gatekeeper numerous times. Wonder if it’s not my race, but my height.

I’m not really a club/late night kind of fellow, so last night’s meanderings were quite amusing, since ultimately, if I were permitted entry into any of the establishments which turned me away, I would have been spending greenbacks.

I guess if they can afford to discriminate, then they must be doing alright!

Black people, if you’re going out in NYC and you want to give yourself a fighting chance of getting past the gatekeepers, here is some advice:

1. Never wear sneakers or any kind of casual footwear. If your feet don’t look like they’re smarting from being forced into pointy, slippery cobbler torture cells, you’re not a slave to fashion, and they don’t need your kind.

2. Avoid jeans or other casual pants, such as cargos or camouflage. It makes you look cheap and says, “I’m not here to spend any money, I just want to rub up on something.”

3.  If, at all possible, avoid being Black. It’s a dead give-away that you’re not the patron they want.

4. Boycott Buddha Bar, Gansevoort and Employees Only. They’re far too uppity and they obviously don’t need our dough.


Filed under Smack talking

4 responses to “Stephen Chukumba says: “Buddha Bar, Gansevoort, Employees Only. Booooooo!”

  1. Shen

    JUst a thought Stephen, are you sure it;ss the color of your skin and not the attitude you bring with you that is the problem?

    I am a black female and my friends (both black male and females) hang out in the Meatpacking District all the time and have not had any problems getting into any othe the places you mentioned. I was at the Gansevoort Halloween Rooftop party this past weekend with a group of friends. Of course We were properly attired.
    Why would you try to get into clubs in the triendiest area of the city in jeans and sneakers? They do have dress codes. If you call any of the establishments you have so unfairly trashed, they will tell you that their dress code is”trendy chic”. I honestly do not believe that the color of your skin is what is keeping you out. TRy it again while properly dressed and acting like a gentleman, bet you’ll have better results.


    • Shen, thank you for your comments. As I stated in my post, I have been to these establishments “dressed to the nines” and still been turned away. Truth be told, I have not always been so poorly treated, and have been in each of these spots a few times. However, when I have been turned away, it has been pretty arbitrary, the sole constant being the color of my skin.

      FYI. I do not act hoodish, so my attitude has nothing to do with it. And I am guilty of wearing sneakers, but not jeans. And ‘trendy chic’ for Blacks and Whites is never the same thing. I have seen these same venues let a white boy with Chucks in, but keep a similarly suited brother out. So what’s really good?


  2. kimsonian

    Were you dolo? Cuz i wouldn’t let you in either…


    • @kimsonian Actually, I wasn’t dolo. I was with a rather dandily dressed Englishman, who was always passed the gatekeepers wherever we went. He was granted the keys to the kingdom, while I was treated like Quasimodo.


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