Posts | The Alchemist Bar, Nairobi | Faces of the Alchemist [ FOA ]

FOA SERIES PENG

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Introducing, Peng Chen – Owner of The Alchemist Bar

“The Alchemist opened officially on December 31st 2015. We decided to open the Alchemist because we wanted a new, open, airy space where the music was the focus and around that we could have a huge variety of different arts, food, and fashion. And to be honest, we all had “ADD” and were incapable of doing one thing or hearing one thing, or seeing one thing at a time at a night. We always wanted that huge variety. So we decided to put everything great in one place.

We luckily stumbled upon the space through Nishad. I still remember when we first saw it; it was a jungle in here! It was rough but it was beautiful. Because all the elements were here. The space that we wanted, the acoustics, which we thought would be nice for live music, and then… The trees! Just a bit of an oasis in the heart of the city.

Alchemist’s evolution has been really organic. Much like ourselves, we’re all trying to figure each other out and figure ourselves out and it’s a reflection of that.

“Come as you are”. Is the ethos of The Alchemist. And that’s been very very important for us. That people feel instantly comfortable and at home and it’s a place to have wacky conversations, and at the same time come together and talk about how we can work together, dressed in your shorts or suit, it takes anybody to make anything happen here. You never know who you can bump into.

One of the ways that the art scene here can thrive is if people ascribe a value to the art. Just like you go to the store and you purchase a bottle of milk, or you buy some bread, when you go to an event, and you’re paying, you’re paying for something that is tangible, which is the artist’s livelihood, the ability to keep creating music and throwing events. So what we try to do is, every time we do have gate charges, that money goes to the event organizer. Because obviously we’re not at a stage yet where an aspiring entrepreneur can make a solid income just off of one off purchases here and there. So shows and events are a primary revenue generator, not only for individuals but also for the entire teams that it takes to put something together. So we believe it’s important to charge on the weekends. To give them what they deserve.

From Peng to you: Talk to somebody new, drink something new, listen to something new”.”