Businessman donates Holloway bar to charity

Everyday’s Tomorrow director Aisha Deen at Zubi Bar in Holloway Road, Holloway. Picture: Dieter Perr

Everydays Tomorrow director Aisha Deen at Zubi Bar in Holloway Road, Holloway. Picture: Dieter Perry - Credit: Archant

It must rank as one of the strangest donations ever received by a charity.

A businessman who was asked for funds by the charity Everyday’s Tomorrow decided a lump sum just would not cut it – and handed over a late-night drinking establishment instead.

Entrepreneur Stanley Thomas has given the organisation a six-month lease on the bar he owns in Holloway Road, Holloway.

Everyday’s Tomorrow director Aisha Deen and her team will run Zubi Bar as a business and plough any profits they make into their work with female gang members and other women’s causes.

Mr Thomas has simply handed over the keys and left them to get on with it – and now Ms Deen has two weeks to learn the ropes before the grand opening.

She said: “He handed over the keys and he will just sit back. It’s scary – none of us has much experience running that kind of business. We will have to run it properly, doing the stock taking, cleaning, bookings and everything.

“There’s a lot to put in place, but it’s not beyond us. I like innovative new ways of working and it’s a great opportunity to try new things.”

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As well as working with girls in gangs, Everyday’s Tomorrow supports disadvantaged women in other ways, including helping them get into employment.

Like many charities, it struggled financially in 2012 and in December began seeking donations from businesses in an effort to get a better start to 2013.

“We approached quite a few businesses looking for donations,” said Ms Deen. “Mr Thomas said he wouldn’t donate, but that he’d give us the opportunity to generate our own income.”

Zubi Bar has been lying empty, aside from the occasional private party, but now it will be open as a normal bar throughout the week.

Everyday’s Tomorrow will be hiring a professional bar manager and using young volunteers to staff the bar and help out with marketing and bookings.

Meanwhile, a regular Saturday night promoter has already been signed up – the bar has a 5am late licence – and Thursdays will see a weekly karaoke night.

The launch takes place on Monday February 11.