Goodbye Alibi

Tuesday 21st August 2018 | Jake

Eight years after first opening its doors, the beloved Dalston dive bar Alibi is to close permanently at the end of August. According to their social media the closure isn’t by choice and will not affect the other businesses run by owners Real Gold, including Seven Sisters club Five Miles.

It is unclear why exactly the bar has to close, although the owners maintain the space, it will be run by a friend and the official line is that they “can’t wait to see what Gem [a friend of the owners] does with 91-93 Kingsland High Street [Alibi].”

The soundsystem will be missed too

Patrons of the bar will be understandably distraught, simply for the reason, there was no place quite like the Alibi. It seemed to wilfully ignore marketing itself to the party people out on Dalston’s strip, striving instead to host a perplexing, wild and beautiful mess of nights throughout the week. Such a refusal to follow the norm could frustrate, intrigue and enrapture.

On a Friday night, one might expect house music in a Dalston club, but the Alibi was just as likely to play samba or blues. It was a bastion of eclecticism in a field of banality. While other clubs had pretensions to be the Fabric of Kingsland High Street, Alibi was blaring thrash on a Saturday night. People would walk in off the street, get offended by the noise, and turn right back around. It made no apologies for what it was, you had to love it or leave it.

Its diehard refusal to charge entry to people won over many hearts, as has its commitment to represent the community. The Alibi was Dalston’s weird, but charming, dive bar. In their goodbye note, the owners said they wanted Alibi to be a bar that “forever reflected the neighbourhood we were in.”

If a bar could ever reflect and truly celebrate the diverse beauty, the rugged charm and the sheer, wonderful messiness of Dalston, it was Alibi.