Two Brewers staff praised for ‘exemplary’ work protecting customers after Clapham stabbing

The Two Brewers in Clapham.

A man who was at London bar The Two Brewers when two men were stabbed has praised the actions of its staff in a moments following the attack, but said Clapham no longer feels safe to him.

There has been an outpouring of shock and anger among the LGBTQ+ community after news broke that two men, aged in their 20s and 30s, were stabbed while standing outside The Two Brewers bar in Clapham, London on Sunday (13 August). 

The two men were taken to hospital but were subsequently discharged. The Met Police has confirmed that the incident is being treated as a homophobic attack. 

David Robson, a local Labour councillor, told PinkNews that he was among the crowd at The Two Brewers when the incident occurred. He called the ambulance after he noticed a flurry of activity in the bar’s smoking area. 

Most people in the pub were “none the wiser” that anything had happened because of swift, decisive action taken by the pub’s security team, according to Robson.

“Security were exemplary in protecting both the victims and anybody else to prevent an escalation of what could have been something bigger,” Robson said.

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“Full credit to The Two Brewers security team for keeping the ship running, for not creating any hysteria or panic, and for the response.” 

The Two Brewers stabbing victims are ‘at home resting’

Robson said he was became aware of the attack when he saw the doors being “dramatically shut”. When he went over to see what was going on, he could see that somebody had been wounded.

“I called the police immediately, and to their credit they were there quite quickly. The victims were looked at, there was a bit of a response, and they went off in an ambulance, got checked.

“The good news here is it’s not life-threatening. They’re at home resting, so we can take comfort that whilst this is an attack on our community that no life has been lost, which is a relief.” 

Robson added: “I’m still processing what happened, really… I moved to Clapham 15 years ago because it felt like it was a safe space. I’m not sure if it feels too safe at the minute – but it could just be an isolated incident with a random person.”

Robson praised both the bar’s staff and the police for the way they handled the incident.

“There was a big police presence and I think they even arranged lifts home for some people who were witnesses. The police haven’t always covered themselves in glory recently, but again they were very good in their response and support.” 

Robson said the incident should serve as a reminder of the importance of reporting hate crimes.

“It does feel like we’re under attack at the minute from all different angles in the community… I just cannot stress enough the importance of reporting hate crime, however low level we think it is.”

LGBTQ+ people ‘don’t feel as safe’

The incident has sent shockwaves through Clapham and London more broadly, with many LGBTQ+ people sharing their fears for the future on social media.

Tommy, who asked that his surname be withheld, has lived in Clapham for some time and goes to the Two Brewers at least two or three times per month. He wasn’t there on Sunday night, but he said the incident has left him with a “sickening feeling” in his stomach.

“Obviously the first concern is the wellbeing of the two men who were attacked and everyone who was there last night. I have friends who were there – it was shocking for everyone who was there in person.”

He adds: “I’ve lived in Clapham for quite a while and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community there’s always a sense that it’s a safe space. On the face of it it’s all very gay friendly and you don’t expect this sort of thing on the high street.”

However, Tommy has noticed a rise in anti-LGBTQ+ hate in the area – and in society more broadly – in recent times.

“I think certainly there’s a sense amongst the wider LGBTQ+ community that they don’t feel as safe. I was called a f****t on the street myself because I was wearing a bit of make-up – it wasn’t even at night, it was during the day, and that was only a couple of years ago.”

Even so, Tommy said the incident at the Two Brewers won’t deter LGBTQ+ people from being themselves and from having fun.

“Hate never wins, and I think people will go out in even bigger numbers next weekend.”

Police tape outside The Two Brewers in Clapham
Police tape was seen outside The Two Brewers on Sunday 13 August 2023. (Credit: Instagram/chrisfox)

The stabbing has been widely condemned, with local politicians and LGBTQ+ activists sharing their frustration and anger.

Florence Eshalomi, Labour MP for Vauxhall, told PinkNews: “Having spoken to people in the area this afternoon, I know how alarming this shocking attack has been to the LGBTQ+ community in Clapham and across my Vauxhall constituency. My thoughts are with the victims, who I hope will be supported to make a full recovery.

“On my regular walkabouts in Clapham, the issue of hate crime has been raised by local LGBTQ+ businesses. If this is confirmed as a homophobic attack, it is a stark reminder of the discrimination and danger that LGBTQ+ people still face in society. 

“We must continue to fight so that everyone feels safe being who they are. I urge anyone with information to come forward to the police as soon as possible, so that the person responsible can be brought to justice.”

Detective Inspector Gary Castle of the Met Police said: “We are acutely aware of the shock this attack will cause members of the LGBT+ community and I want to reassure people that an urgent investigation is ongoing to locate the person responsible.” 

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