Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Manhattan: Landlord shuts down Bien’s Mombasa road nightclub

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Sauti Sol singer Bien has filed a lawsuit against his landlord for an abrupt closure of his nightclub, The Manhattan Bar and Grill, located along Mombasa Road.

In a statement released on April 5, the club’s directors, including Bien, revealed the club ceased operations two weeks ago over unresolved disputes with the landlord.

“Regrettably, The Manhattan has been closed for the past two weeks due to circumstances beyond our control, which we believe amount to breach of contract, intimidation, and harassment by our landlord, Tuffsteel Limited,” the statement reads in part.

See multi-million nightclubs “owned” by Kenyan celebrities

The directors added that their efforts to resolve the issue amicably proved futile, prompting them to seek legal redress.

“Although we have tried to resolve the issue amicably through our directors, emissaries and repeated requests for mediation, there has been no positive resolution to date.

“We have therefore sought legal redress to protect the interests of our business and the welfare of our employees, suppliers, and business partners. It’s our sincere hope that justice will prevail through the legal system,” the adds.

The Manhattan, which opened doors in July 2022 on the first floor of Imaara Mall on Mombasa Road, Nairobi, had been in operation for a year and eight months.

According to sources, the club has been embroiled in a tussle with residents of the Villa Franca estate, which is adjacent to Imaara Mall, over loud music at night that continues on to the wee hours of the morning.

The residents lodged several complaints, but their appeal to the club to have the music regulated was ignored.

Manhattan closure adds to the list of other high-end clubs in Nairobi that recently closed due to various reasons.

In February, Whiskey River Club, which operated along Kiambu Road, shut down without giving the reason for the closure.

Another popular club, 1824, located along Lang’ata Road, was also temporarily closed in December 2023 after an alleged dispute between the landlord and the owner

Other nightclubs that have recently closed indefinitely include Casa Vera Lounge on Ngong Road, Blue Martini, Black Stars, and Bagatelle.

The Nairobi County government has recently been fighting nightclubs operating in residential areas, a move that led to the cancellation of some licenses.

According to the Pubs, Entertainment, and Restaurant Association of Kenya (PERAK), there are at least 12,000 nightclubs contributing to about Sh21.6 billion in revenue to the Kenya Revenue Authority and various licensing bodies.

The association says that these establishments have employed 13,000 permanent staff who would lose their jobs if the ban on nightclubs in residential areas was enforced. Further, the government will lose close to Sh22 billion annually if the crackdown continues.

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