October 10, 2013
One of D.C.’s lesbian clubs has remained closed to the public. On Sept 6, the Phase 1 of Dupont staff members received a brief message from the club’s manager, Chad Cox that the venue would be closed that weekend. The message was followed by a “Closed for Maintenance” announcement on the club’s facebook page and website.
Since the post, the venue has been closed for over a month, leaving Phase 1 of Dupont employees scratching their heads.
According to staff members, they have not received any information or messages on the status of the venue or their employment.
“I don’t think anyone is holding out hope at this point, but I could be wrong,” says a Phase 1 of Dupont staff member who asked to stay anonymous. “Staff has been seeking out other opportunities.”
Speculations and rumors have already been circling amongst the staff members. Some are expecting the club to be sold to new owners and others have felt that Zeigfield’s/Secrets would move into the Phase 1 of Dupont space due to talk about renovation and expansion in the Washington Navy Yard area. None of this has yet to be confirmed from the owner of Phase 1 of Dupont, Allen Carroll.
Recently Carroll told Tagg Magazine that there has been “work done on the bathrooms,” confirming the maintenance update on their facebook page.
However, some employees feel there are other factors that may have led to the club being “temporarily” closed. One of the bartenders, who asked to remain anonymous, expressed a lack of transparency with management explaining, “staff never knew what was going on.”
“I’ve never been treated like I mattered from my direct supervisor,” says the bartender. “And I’ve had a lot of jobs.”
According to B. Williams, who was responsible for the club’s sound and lighting, many staff members worked very hard, coming in extra hours for no pay because they wanted to see the venue succeed. Now, she and several staff members remain frustrated at the lack of communication in regards to the future of the club.
“I have been contacting management since we’ve closed. I have not heard anything,” says Williams. “Communication has always been a problem.”
Over the past year the club has seen a steady decline of patrons. According to staff members, the decline seemed to happen after the club switched bar managers shortly after their grand opening in February 2012.
According to Williams, the club would have no more than 50 people on any given night. “Some nights there were no people in the club at all,” she adds.
It has been confirmed that the club will open its doors for one night. Phase 1 of Dupont will be host to the “Bound” monthly party on Oct 25. Bound is D.C.’s fetish dance party that attracts a predominantly straight audience. It is not known if the club will continue to stay open past the Halloween weekend.
When asked about the Phase 1 of Dupont employees, Carroll remained tight-lipped on the subject matter. However, he did imply that there would be some sort of change. What that change is, is still not clear to both staff and the lesbian community.
“I have something in the works,” says Carroll. “I’ll be back.”
If that “something” will include the original Phase 1 of Dupont staff, we don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see.