Club Zanzibar

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Newark Broad Street Station in Newark, New Jersey near the former location of Club Zanzibar

Club Zanzibar was a dance club that opened in 1979 at 430 Broad Street in Newark, New Jersey.[1] Its presence in Downtown Newark was noted for its influence on house music and garage house genres and scene. Club Zanzibar, along with other gay and straight clubs in the era, was both a straight and mixed[clarification needed] black and Latino nightlife destination.[2]

The Jersey Sound[edit]

DJ Tony Humphries began his residency at the club in 1982 and, along with others, helped "spawn the sometimes raw but always soulful, gospel-infused subgenre" of house music known as the Jersey Sound.[3][4] The club scene also gave rise to the ball culture scene in Newark hotels and nightclubs.[5]

New Jersey artists like Jomanda found success on the house music scene.

Abigail Adams's house-music record label and store, Movin’ Records in adjacent East Orange, New Jersey was another contributor to the sound.[6][7][8]

Well-known deep house DJ Kerri Chandler was also a resident DJ at the club. His girlfriend was brutally attacked and killed by another man outside the club in a horrific attack in the 1980s.[9]

Some have said that "when New York went to rap [during this period], Jersey stayed with club. Because of Zanzibar.”[10]

The sound was exported to London during the era and eagerly devoured by house music enthusiasts across the pond.[11]

The music video for K-YZE's "Stomp (Move Jump Jack Your Body)" was filmed at the Zanzibar in 1989.


The club opened in 1979. The sound system was developed, designed, and installed by Richard Long of Richard Long & Associates (RLA).[12] The club transitioned to hip-hop in the 1990s, rebranding as Brick City, and eventually closed.[3]

Newark area map

In 1988, Paris Dupree held her famous Paris Is Burning ball at the club, namesake to the famous film.[13]

Newark-area annual summer events like the Roselle House Music Festival in Warinanco Park, the Weequahic Park House Music Festival, and the Lincoln Park Music Festival serve as unofficial "Zans" reunions.[14]


Notable performers who have played "the Zanzibar" include:


The Lincoln Motel, which housed Club Zanzibar, was torn down in 2007 as one contemporary developer called it a “ blemished, rat-infested drug-haven eyesore."[15] It had degenerated into a notorious hotspot for crime, drug abuse, prostitution, murder and violence. Its owner, Miles Berger of the Berger Organization, was also the owner of a number of welfare hotels at the time throughout the city.[16] "For a time, arrests were so common that a motel floor plan graced the wall of the public defender’s office to assist lawyers juggling cases. Then-Mayor Cory Booker manned the bulldozer that began the building's demolition in 2007."[17][full citation needed]

In the 1980s, Mr. Berger had turned its 200 rooms into a haven for welfare recipients, earning about $1,000 a month per person."[15] Berger's Berger Organization has expressed interest in building a casino on the site.[18][19][20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Red Bull Music Academy Daily". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  2. ^ "The Zanzibar: the "Jersey Sound"?". 9 November 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The Newark Sound". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  4. ^ Advisor, Resident. "Jersey club: From Newark to the world". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  5. ^ "History of Queer Club Spaces in Newark - Queer Newark". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  6. ^ "The story of Abigail Adams and New Jersey's Movin' Records". 2 November 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Kerri Chandler - Attack Magazine". 11 July 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  8. ^ "HMC Rewind: Abigail Adams / Moving Records". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  9. ^ theartsdesk Q&A: DJ Kerri Chandler | The Arts Desk
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Larry Levan's Paradise Garage". DJ History. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ "Red Bull Music Academy Daily". Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b Newark Loses Unwanted Landmark as Lincoln Motel Goes
  16. ^ Feuer, Alan (1 June 1999). "Owner Has Big Dreams for a Newark Motel With a Seedy Past". Retrieved 2 May 2018 – via
  17. ^ Id.
  18. ^ "422 - 430 Broad St., Newark New Jersey - Berger Organization". Archived from the original on 2 May 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  19. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Casino Hotel Planned Near Newark Broad Street Station". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  20. ^ Owner Miles Berger of the Berger Organization at Club Zanzibar

Coordinates: 40°44′48″N 74°10′13″W / 40.746762°N 74.170183°W / 40.746762; -74.170183