Ultimate Jerk Center closed up shop for a couple of weeks recently, which got a lot of people very worried. Luckily, the Brixton institution was just undergoing a refurb, but bearing in mind the rapid pace of gentrification in the area—and along Coldharbour Lane, where Ultimate Jerk is located—you can see why locals feared the worst.
"People were coming in really happy we were still here, because so many other places have closed," says the owner, K.
Open 24 hours a day, Ultimate Jerk Center is trying to engage in the Brixton of 2016. K knows more and more people are coming to the area to party—or at least to get shitfaced at the bars—and that people tend to enjoy inhaling lots of food after inhaling lots of alcohol. A depressing number of local businesses have closed as rents are hiked up, but K's doing all he can to keep the place busy while also giving back to the community.
"For me, if I can give people a job and help them out of some situation they're in, that's the thing that makes me happy," he says. "This is about creating something to show the people that don't have nothing to look up to that they can do something."
I spent the day hanging out in the shop and photographing the people who passed through.