Owner: Cotton Club not for sale

Dec. 3, 2007 at 6:33 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- The owner of a 30-year-old New York successor to Harlem's Cotton Club is fighting Columbia University's plan to take it over in the name of campus expansion.

"The Cotton Club is not for sale," owner John Beatty, 70, told the New York Post. "I'm not going to negotiate a deal with Columbia because I don't want to leave."

Beatty opened his hot spot 20 blocks away from the iconic 1920s club where Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway played. Beatty's club offers blues and jazz on Fridays and Sunday gospel brunches.

"I have children and grandchildren who want to continue this history," Beatty said, adding that he thinks Columbia's plan is "racist."

"They don't want black people to have any reason to be on their campus," he said.

"We believe local African-American and Latino families, as well as companies, benefit greatly from the opportunities that Columbia already does and will increasingly provide," LaVerna Fountain, a Columbia spokeswoman, told the Post.

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