Ex-Cobalt Employee Weighs In On The Heel Ban
In this week's paper, I wrote a story about 17th Street gay bar Cobalt's recent overturning of its notorious high heel ban. Today, a former employee of Cobalt who asked not to be named, contacted me with an inside perspective on the reasoning behind the rule. The ex-employee's account of Cobalt's efforts to "keep women out" with made-up "excuses," after the jump.
The ban was implemented in 2005 when the club was in a slump. It was implemented by the new general manager (at the time) in effort to keep women out, thereby increasing revenue by bringing in (only) the boys. Though we, as a staff, were told to make up excuses (new insurance policy, new flooring, the stairs, for the safety of patrons, etc) for the ban's existence, it's real purpose was to keep women out. We were also told to allow men (with or without heels) in, because they were/are the heart of the business. I remember many men, both in drag and in jeans/tee shirts, that could get in with heels while women could not. I don't know if the ban was as financially successful for the club as initially planned, but it ended up turning away many female patrons (and the males who accompanied them) when the club needed them.