Some of you may have seen that I wrote about Phoenix cafe a while back for Alturus magazine. Phoenix Cafe is a vibrant and buzzing hub of a cafe based in Bristol’s city centre, it’s success has ten-folded in recent months so I was mortified to discover it’s future is in jeopardy.
Over time I have made friends with Annie (owner and workaholic behind Phoenix Cafe). I have seen Annie’s face light up every time she talks about a new idea which incorporates helping others; from single Mums to young people who have found themselves without a job and desperate to have a chance to prove themselves. Annie has a unique energy which is completely unleashed through Phoenix, a place which has given her momentum in life and a new purpose other than being a mother to her son, Joey. It’s so much more powerful to know Annie’s drive and thirst for life and creating opportunity for others after hearing of all the challenges she’s faced along the way, sometimes the most difficult of paths in life have created the most resilient and bravest of characters. Annie has turned her negatives into a positive through Phoenix. So why am I writing this post?
Phoenix has declared that it’s at a loss because of business rates and rental costs, yes it’s in the heart of the city at the bottom of the Pithay but should we not be backing businesses which add vibrancy, colour and most importantly creates jobs for aspiring individuals?! Let’s face it, All Saint’s Street (where the Bierkeller is) is full of open, vacant and abandoned shop units – hardly a shop window for city visitors.
At Phoenix, Annie runs a movie night, a games night (with Olga!) and plays host to infinite numbers of local meet ups for artists, musicians and creatives. It’s great to know this place exists and that I can just drop in to when I want. At 638 likes on Facebook and constant visits from friends and new faces, I am not alone!
Annie has launched a Crowdfunder cause in aid of the fact that their business rates are higher than the Phoenix cafe income. The cafe is a community-led cafe, it prides itself on delicious food and good coffee, but surely there can be discounted allowances for these types of business? Phoenix goes to court on the 19th August, please can we make some noise on social media, start a discussion, a debate even, rattle some cages. Make a protest for something that matters!
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Read my original article ‘Ethical creativity for all’ on Phoenix on Alturus