Dalston nightclub is ‘victim of its own success’

Dalston Jazz bar

Dalston Jazz bar - Credit: Archant

The owner of a famous late bar whose opening hours have just been slashed says the venue is a victim of it’s own success.

Robert Beckford, 53, opened the Dalston Jazz Bar, in Bradbury Street, 15 years ago and says the popular nightclub helped make the area one of the trendiest in London.

He described the streets around the bar as a “no-go area” when he first opened and feels the 2am curfew imposed on the venue last month makes him a “victim of the success of Dalston”.

He said: “I had the first jazz bar in Dalston. What happened is we got new people coming into Dalston.

“Now there are so many bars in the area they need to cut down the licensing.

“Dalston is going to turn into an area where no one can drink after 2am.

“In order to do that you have to do away with clubs and bring in bars and restaurants. I think the nightclub industry is finished here. It’s moving to restaurants and bar cafés.

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“Part of the condition of my bar is to have 40 per cent of people sitting. It’s becoming more of a restaurant than a club.”

He said that the move towards a bar culture was isolating the African-Caribbean communities. “Most Jamaican people like to listen to reggae,” he said. “No black music is played in this area anymore as there are no nightclubs.

“The greatest way you can control the area is through licensing.

“The greatest travesty is Gillett Square. It was a massive car park and what used to happen was you got a lot of people driving here for the nightlife. They turned it into a community square and it has now become a criminal disaster zone. It never used to be like that.”

Mr Beckford was not optimistic about the future. He said: “I know my bar is finished and expect it to close in six months.”

Cllr Sophie Linden, cabinet member for crime, said there had been an increase in pubs, clubs and restaurants and the council is carefully monitoring the impact on local residents.”