Places: Club Lemon8

I had an interesting conversation with friends just the other day. The topic: Lemon8 or V2 as it is commonly known by those who frequent it or know about it. I have only been to this place 3 times since it opened. 

Though I don't have much to rave about when it comes to the place there are some observation I have about it. The thing is once you reach a certain age or certain milestone in your life somethings are just not appealing anymore. You find yourself enjoying quality times with friends or your boo at home or out having dinner.

Interestingly enough Lemon8 is one of the top 5 questions I get asked about on Facebook. I think you can guess what some of the other questions might be :). To answer everybody all at once here is my take on Lemon8

My “issues” (for a lack of a better word” with Lemon8 have been:

  1. Location – the raggedy aspect of having a club in some rundown industrial vicinity might be a 'turn -on' for some people but not for me. I find the location a bit too far-out and kinda unsettling, on the security side.

  2. The cover charge - Ok I have it on good authority that they only charge R100 when there are special events happening but on my last trip there we had to pay that amount and there was nothing worth mentioning that was happening. Maybe having a worn-queen trying to be Beyonce is considered to be an event in Jozi BUT for me I didn't see anything else happening that night besides that.

  3. The Clientèle – This is a bit controversial and I have to admit that it was the motivation for this article. I have made no secret of the fact that I find this UGay..sorry UJ-Beyonce wannabe-skinny-kittens a bit too much. Sadly for a sap like me Lemon8 happens to be the Mecca for them. I am not a hater I just find their constant need to be the centre of attention a bit annoying. 

    Fair enough maybe I am bitter about the fact that I am not 19 anymore but boy I am grateful that I was never in the state when I was 19. You just wanna smack them behind the head and make them wake up and see Jhb for what it is. 

    There is nothing more heartbreaking than a gullible young fag who thinks he is the world's answer to FABULOUSITY. Pay attention to your books lest you end-up with something else rather than an education by the time you 30.

  4. Stagnancy – I don't know whether I should blame this on Lemon8 or just the Joburg scene in general but damn. You can spend months and even a whole year without going to that place and the time you eventually do, nothing will have changed. You will still see the same ol' faces, dancing to the same ol' tunes and prancing around in the same way they have been since the last time you saw them.

  5. The Cliques – Yeah they are as cliché as they come. The same old groups of JHB fags who think they are the shit. You know the kind... they come in 'packs', they get there and have their little circles. All the while pulling faces at all the other guys in the club. 

    They are usually dressed to the KILL, sadly as no-one seem to ever pay attention except the few groupie "huggers". They go all out so that when they get to Lemon8 they can spend most of the night perpetuating all gay stereotypes in the book; The bitchiness, The constant yapping dissing other people's clothes, etc. Oh yah and when they do not get the attention they will hog the stage and start dancing like GoGo dancers in strip joint.

  6. The Bar – Fcuk, trying to get a drink at the bar in that place is ridiculous. I know the management is trying to ensure a profit by having those booze tickets you have to buy to get a drink at the bar but damn... what a mission. The annoying thing is that the management knows that if you get a R200 ticket you less likely to use it all because getting a drink at the bar is almost impossible so with that R200 you will probably just use R80 and they are left R120 on your R200.
Everytime when a non-Joburger asks if there are any joints in JHB where gay guys can have fun the only place one can mention is Lemon8. Don't tell me about Simply Blue, that place died when they moved from Juta Street. 

However taking someone there is a bit embarrassing as they expect it to be something it's not.

Not everything about Lemon8 is bad though...

  1. The Concept – I love the concept for the club. A place where young black brothers can just hang out and have fun. The concept is great on paper but like everything else in this country, it's the execution that's bad.

  2. The Management – Though not everything they do is done right, I love that they try and make the effort to keep to the themes of the parties.

  3. Advertisement/ PR – Ok I get one of those Facebook invites every month and I have to say they know how to sell the place. Of course once you get there you will know that the place is nothing like what you see on Noah's Arc. You won't find no Straight looking dudes there, shem … Khohlwa

  4. The Occasional Hottie – Ok I am totally off the market. I love my Boo but I ain't blind. On the 3 occasions that I have been to Lemon8 I have seen a sprinkle of hotness among all that mob of gurls. I guess a black pea would stand out in a bowl of milk, if you catch my drift.

  5. Brotherly Support – Not to be racist or anything but I got tired of having to go to this white owned places and have to feel like I'm being done a favour for being served there. The other thing is that we need to support fellow brothers and of course we need to tell them when they veer off course so that they can improve.
As the old saying goes “To Each His Own”. Lemon8 is definitely a personal taste kinda place. You either like it or you don't, for whatever reason. It's absolutely not the kinda place that I would want to frequent regularly but on occasion I would still pop in. 

Hopefully with time the place can improve and the clientèle can be a bit more diverse (and I am not talking about skin colour).

The worst thing that one could do would be to brand a place as something it's not just simply because he thinks saying he hates such a place makes him look more classier. 

You know what I mean; People who will say “Ohh you go to Lemon8!” as if going to such a place means you are any less of who they 'think' they are. 

The sad part is that the very same people will go there and when you meet them they feel the need to explain to you why they are there... NOT that you would be asking them, to begin with.

Hopefully this will give some of you who have been asking me about Lemon8/V2 an answer. I dont't HATE the place I just don't like going there too often.

NB: I had to remove the picture as it was not a pic from Lemon8. My apologies on that.


Anonymous said...

Damn bro i love your articles. Funny, witty and honest. I am glad that you left tvsa coz now you can write more mainstream stuff. I don't think you could have put this article on tvsa.

I'm you biggest fan. Keep doing your thing

Anonymous said...

Ai maan o skhokho Phil. This are the things I always thot about Lemon8. I like your style of writting mara I think you being too nice to Lemon8. That place is fucked up. All queens and no homothugs like they advertise it.

Anonymous said...

Well i guess in all fairness, its different strokes for different folks, I like Lemon8.

Why is it that Black Gay Men are so quick to shoot a brother down, I think the guys are doing a great JOB thus far, its far better than a host of run down gay clubs I've been to in this country and internationally. whilst on that thought if you guys have ever experienced an international clubbing scene, you would know that most of them use the drink voucher system, so i guess Lemon8 is aspiring to those levels.

And yes it would be great to see some new butch faces but how will they ever go there when you post an article that is so discouraging to the butch hopefuls who were going or planning on attending one of Lemon8 events in the future, you have already discredited the concept and the venue and that is a common thing within the black gay community, this self hate that we impose on each other.

We seem to pride ourselves in destroying what is meant or targeted at us.

You all come across as bitter old queens who have always worked for other people and never tried doing their own thing. I'm glad these guys decided to start something that not only benefits them but also gives us a safe space to socialise without having to compromise who we are.

Phil this is one of the worst articles I've read from you.

blaquekorner said...

Thanks for the comment bro but you are entitled to your own opinion as I am entitled to mine. I think you are also being unfair to suggest that this article is meant to destroy Lemon8. If you took the time to read the context of this you would realise that I tried to be as balanced as I could be with regard to the issue Lemon8

Off topic: Just because someone is part of your community it does not mean that such a person should be immune to criticism. Why do we like being victims so much? I would be doing a friend, family member or someone I know an injustice if I just praised everything they do simply because we are the same race, related or creed.

I appreciate the last sentence in your comment as it's honest and true to your feelings about this article. A bit misguided but I wish you would give me the same courtesy as the points raised on this article are my own personal views on Lemon8 and in no means a reflection on the place nor it's owners. Somebody else who frequents the place might have a different opinion on the matter.

Anonymous said...

@Anon3; No man I think you missed the point here. To suggest that we should not say negative things about other gay people or establishments is wrong. I totaly agree with Phil that, that would not be love. If I am doing something wrong and my friend just applauds me without being honest and telling me I am messing up, that is not my friend.

Phil mfana I hope the guys from Lemon8 read this and take it in its fairness. I hope they can appreciate that you, as a patriot there, were not happy about certain aspect of their business and next time you go there you would get a better service and have a better experience. If I was running a business I would gladly welcome someone like you into my business and wanna hear your thoughts.

This thing ya hore everytime a black person critisises another he is called jealous, hater, and etc it's total BS. This why boDarkie can't progress economically because we applaud mediocre and always don't like it when we are critisised.

Keep up the good work ntwana. Hope you post a response from Lemon8 or go there in 3months and tell us if there has been some improvements.

Siya said...

Phil. Thanks for this article about Lemon8. You should do more reviews of clubs in JHB.

I have the same problem with buying booze at Lemon8. If they read this can they please dp something about that.

Anonymous said...

hey Blaq... Good to see you writing again. I was starting to miss you on TVSA.

Anyway on the Lemon8 topic. I am glad you opened this forum for us to discuss places like V2 without fear of being banned there. We can't really be honest on their Facebook group because they will know who we are.

My problem with the V2 is the HEAT. Seriously the owners should invest on some aircon.

I agree with Siya and the article about the BAr situation. Why do people hang out at the bar when they are not even buying anything. You end up getting frustrated and not using the whole amount on the vouchers because of the bar being crowded.

Even better... get professional barmen who will be faster and not flirt with the clients when they should be telling them to make space for other buyers.

Anonymous said...

I hv always seen you around Melville but never paid much attention to you because you always sit in one spot with your friends and never dance. I didnt knw tht you write until a frnd send me a one of your article in a chain mail. I wanna let you know that you knw how to make someone think.

I saw you sometime back actually my frnd greeted you outside V2 and you were kinda friendly but seemed shy. One thing tht I like abt you is that you are always yourself. You re not all over the place like this other famous gays. I like that.

I hate it when you go to V2 and you get this moffies who think the world revolves around them. I don't wanna name names but Jozi is full of fake people and its good to see that there are some young gay guys like you in this industry who are real.

Ppl will always hate on you because of jealas. You hv a good thing going and dont let haters pull you down. We need people like you to remind us that what we see is not always real.

A lot of the things you write are true and we just dont want to admit it. Thank you for being honest about the stuff that you see.

Next time I will say hi when I see. keep doing your thing.

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