By Kundai Marunya
Pop-up Book Café has given a breath of life into the usually quiet New Ambassador Hotel with their regular shows that has seen revered artists rocking the hotel’s rooftop stage.
After its closure due to financial hardships, proprietor, Tomas Brickhill has vowed to keep the top arts brand functional, a legacy he inherited from his late father Paul. “Book Café is not a venue but a concept, an idea, a state of mind,” Tomas says.
Commenting on the recent influx of arts revelers to the New Ambassador, he said, “Wherever we go we turn things around and inject our energy. Fife Avenue was dead when we first opened the Book Café and Mannenberg, same as our last venue at corner 6th Street and Samora Macheal, so here we are at New Ambassador,” said Brickhill.
Thus far Book Café has hosted Junior Bantan, Nyamasvisva and most recently, Reggae Night with Transit Crew. This Saturday they will have celebrated afro-fusion group Mokoomba and the funky Chikwata 263.
New Ambassador Hotel entertainment manager Mike Bere said, “We are now a top entertainment hub in Harare. Our shows are always packed, so I’m really happy with what Tom (Brickhill) is doing and to be part of it all.”
He added that, “the new general manager Hugh Mandizha promised a difference here, and he brought it, so thanks to him for supporting a local arts movement.”