It’s an understatement to say local musician; Norman Draper, is not happy about the closing of Malelani Cafe in Ventnor. Here is Draper’s recent Facebook post that’s getting liked and shared…big time. It’s so on-point, we had to re-post for all to see.
Norman Draper: I’ve been playing at an open mic in Ventnor, NJ, for longer than I care to remember. Tonight was the last open mic at Malelani Cafe….. As I said earlier when it my was my turn to play, this is not a bittersweet evening for me…. It’s just bitter. An explanation is in order….
The owners are wonderful people. They worked hard to establish a place that served good food at a reasonable price, provided a comfortable, inviting atmosphere, and offered a venue for local people to perform, both at the open mic and every weekend. But…. They had a very liberal policy regarding people bringing in alcohol. Wonderful…. Some wine or a beer or two with your meal…. Who could object to that?
The problem was that people brought alcohol, but didn’t order anything from the establishment. And it wasn’t just a few people.
I try to support places that offer a venue for musicians, but I don’t limit it to music nights. I stopped in often for breakfast or lunch, and I was there very often to grab a cup of coffee in the afternoon and chat with the owners.
And now…. It’s closing. Gone. Finished.
The moral of this story, the moral of this song….. Support establishments that offer folks a place to play. Dig into your pocket and buy a cup of coffee, a sandwich….. Something. Don’t have enough money for that? Then don’t bring in a fucking six pack.
Take the money you spent on beer and buy something from the place that’s supporting you by providing a place to play.
By the way, tonight was special for a bunch of us. I asked the staff of we could please stay a bit past the regular closing time. We contacted the owner and…. ready? I was given the key to close the place when we finished playing! You have to love people who put that much trust and faith in you.
Rant over. I’ll really and truly miss Malelani Cafe. Be well and thanks for the memories……
John E. Hansen > So sorry to see this place go. Malelani was such a part of Ventnor life for me, it’s like hearing that the boardwalk or fishing pier were torn down. Next time I’m home I’ll check out Mt Airy for sure. You guys run a great place and I can’t wait to see you again.
Shelly Quigley > After spending several summers in Margate, I was lucky enough to hear about the wonderful folk/art scene at Malelani’s from a local artist. It was a second home to us at the shore and this is very sad. You will be sorely missed! Love you, George.
Basia Brown > I’ve been there a few times to see Pan Gravy. We ALWAYS ordered meals but many people do not. It surprised me that had the audacity to just sit there and drink and not see how rude it is to not buy anything. I guess people who are not business owners just don’t get it. What a shame that they are closing