Lounges >Wildcat Lounge
15 W Ortega St, Santa Barbara, CA | Directions 9310134.418180 -119.698555
Neighborhoods: Lower State
Don't Go if You're a Gay Man – I went to the Wildcat on Sunday night of the Labour Day long weekend with two of my guy friends -- one straight and one gay. My friends and I were looking forward to dancing in a queer-friendly space...or so we thought.
One of the bouncers would not let my gay friend into the bar because he 'needed to sober up'. But here's the thing -- my friend was NOT drunk! We tried to reason with the bouncer and my supposedly 'drunk' friend offered to walk in a straight line with his eyes closed to prove that he wasn't drunk. He was willing to do anything to assuage their fears, but they were unreceptive. We were told to get lost -- after I had paid 20 bucks on cover, and had bought 4 drinks that we didn't even touch because we were waiting for my gay friend who was left outside.
After complaining that the bouncer was excluding my friend for no valid reason, the staff were unwilling to refund any of the money. When I asked for my money back, the staff refused and laughed at us for complaining that our sober gay male friend was left outside. The staff told us that we had had '10 minutes of enjoyment,' and that therefore we would not be getting our money back (policy is that you can't get a refund after 10 minutes inside). I spent at most 8 minutes inside the bar -- and most of it was spent pleading with the staff to let my sober friend in because he was not drunk.
So, my friend was not drunk. They took my money and kicked us out. So what happened?
Bottom line, in my opinion, is that the bouncer was not cool with my gay male friend flirting with another guy while he was in line at the door. When the bouncer said that my friend needed to 'sober up,' it was because he wasn't okay with my friend being so publicly gay -- and by that i mean, whispering into an interested guy's ear and holding his hand! The bouncer decided to break the two of them up by letting the one guy in and keeping my friend out by saying that he was too drunk to go inside.
How do I know this? Is this just a case of homoparanoia? No, it isn't. I am a lesbian who's been going to the Wildcat for the past 5 years. Whenever I've gone with my lesbian friends, the same bouncer (who wouldn't let my gay male friend in), has flirted with my lesbian friends and giggled when he sees them being drunk and flirty with each other. Apparently same-sex flirting is okay with the Wildcat if it's girl-on-girl, but if there are two males involved they appear to be intolerant of it.
Until last night, I thought the bouncers were really cool with LGB folks. But after last night I am certain that they're ok only with girl-on-girl flirting. In my belief they're extremely uncomfortable with men flirting with each other. My gay male friend was not drunk -- the only mistake that he made was that he was flirting with another other guy in front of the bouncer.
I'm writing this review to inform LGB customers and allies that this not a gay-friendly place. Their bottom line appears to be making money, and they will be hostile toward the same LGB customers who help them make money on 'gay night' in the first place. I'm very disappointed with what I saw. It was a dehumanizing experience for my gay friend.
Also -- There was some man in a silk tie there who insisted on chiming in every few seconds in my conversation with the bouncer. He never introduced himself as management to me, but he would intervene with hostility by yelling at me -- that if I didn't like the policy, i could get lost. If he's management then it just demonstrates that the staff don't know how to talk to aggrieved customers in a non-condescending or respectful way.
- A Shocked and Disappointed Former Customer and Long-time Santa Barbara Resident.
Best club in SB – Good drinks, good atmosphere, great music, lots of dancefloor space, cool patio and booth area. Only drawback: bouncers are rude. Service people there - no complaints!
i dont like the bouncer DAN – Well the bartendes there dont keep up with your cards at the bar, I waited there for 15 min on my card to close out. and the big punk at the door is a to everyone that is a lil drunk. i have see him slam people down to the ground and hurt them when they where a lil drunk. i hate that dude and the bartanders
worst bouncers in town – Ok, it was stupid of me to try and take a few puffs of chronic in the smoking lounge. I was descended upon like paratroopers and treated like a criminal and rudely escorted out. I was there for a friends birthday party, and had even shelled out big bucks to for a nice hotel room nearby--so I wouldnt have to drive the 45 miles to my house. I went back an hour later and asked the bouncer if he would let me in again--I so badly wanted to be with my friends. He refused and wouldnt even ask one of the guys there to come out so I could say goodbye. He was an arrogant body orifice just like ALL bouncers and he really, really, enjoyed cutting me off from my friends. He kept the herb for himself, all the while acting so high and mighty. He puffs himself up by flirting with all the young women, struting around cause he is the "man". No he is just a bouncer who chicks talk to cause they are probably too scared to do otherwise. Well, when I find out this bouncers name..... Ah, never mind, its a good thing I dont have incurable cancer and only months to live, because if that was the case, then I would just have to pay him back (in my own inimical way)
OC Boys Night Out – Me and my bro's, Bryan and Keith rolled into the extravagant and on fire red vinyl walled palace called the Wild Cat. A totally cool bar for me and my crew to swing and throw disco moves.
User review by dreasters – Wildcat brings in some really funky djs. They play house a lot and draw in a pretty chill local crowd. Great place to get your grove on.
There's more . . . – Wildcat is cool, nice loungy feel. But, citysearch is leaving out a number of the better bars/lounges around town. Check out Joe's (for the strongest drinks in town), Blue Agave, Firebird, Elsie's and Absynthe also.
Wildcat Lounge is still around!! – People Wildcat Lounge is still up and running!!! My friends and I were there the other night. Yes it did burn down--but it's back. Wildcat Lounge has a vinyl look to it-but the lights give it a little kick. This place is definetly a lounge, if you want to sit and talk with your friends or make new ones!!
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