Apr 132005
Authors: Jessica Brooke

Jason Morgan sat on a stool near the front door of Club Static Friday night, clad in dark jeans, a trucker hat and a T-shirt that showed off his tattooed arms.

A tall, dark man approached Morgan. The man's chest was visible through a transparent shirt with a red satin sash that displayed the words "Mr. Gay Latino" in gold.

Morgan smiled, complimented the sash and asked for the man's right wrist so he could wrap a paper wristband around it.

Morgan, who works the door and floor security at Club Static, 1437 E. Mulberry St., said the scene is typical.

"Most people treat us really well," Morgan said.

Eric Scott bought Club Static with two of his friends three years ago. Scott worked as a locksmith for 12 years before he quit his job, took a year off and was invited to go in on the purchase of the bar.

"(Club Static) was the local gay bar for 25 years before we bought it," Scott said. "It's funny because all the owners are straight."

Although Club Static is not formally identified as a gay bar, the reputation brings in a wide assortment of patrons. Scott said because of the nature of the bar, there is a lot of emotional drama among customers, but little violence.

"We deal more with hurt feelings here than fights," Scott said.

Scott described Club Static as the most uninhibited bar in Fort Collins, which can lead to many non-conservative situations on the dance floor.

"There are some things you think you would get used to seeing, but you never do," Scott said.

The bar provides an atmosphere that is tolerant of those who may practice an alternative lifestyle, not limited to homosexuality.

"We're no more a gay bar than the straightest bar in New York or L.A.," Scott said. "We just happen to be in the right-wing capital of America."

Club Static caters to a variety of subcultures. Fridays are the designated "gay nights," while Sundays are Gothic nights. The week offers something for everyone from punk rockers to the '80s crowd, Scott said.

Kendra Wiig, a senior speech communication major and waitress at Club Static, said the best parts of her job are the customers and that she gets to wear crazy outfits.

"It's my favorite place," said Wiig, who has worked at the bar for three years. "If I didn't work here, I would come here on Friday nights."

Not everything about working at Club Static is positive. Wiig said the late hours can be hard – she leaves work as late as 4 a.m. – and people don't always tip.

Some customers don't know the bar has a largely homosexual clientele, and they don't react well when they realize it, Wiig said.

"They come in here expecting something else," she said.

Wiig said all the employees are very close and enjoy giving each other a hard time. On example was when Club Static had a male review in which customers could place bids on the men in the review. The employees pooled their money to buy one of the men for a bartender.

The man was dressed in a military uniform and pulled the horrified bartender on stage. He proceeded to coat her toes in whipped cream and lick it off.

Nathan Morimitsu, a bartender and disc jockey for Club Static, said he loves his job because he gets to party three or four nights a week.

"It's not the money," said Morimitsu, who estimates he brings home $300 in tips during a good week.

Club Static is an 18-and-older bar, which means the staff needs to monitor underage drinking. Pitchers are not served and customers can only order one drink at a time.

"People get irritated that we don't serve pitchers," Morimitsu said. "We can't let people walk off with a pitcher or three or four drinks."

Morimitsu said he does not need to watch for underage drinkers as a bartender, because security, including Morgan, does its job well.

After the bar reaches its occupancy of 240, Morgan leaves his position at the door and walks the floor looking for underage drinkers.

"I throw out two to eight people a night for underage drinking," Morgan said. "After that people see an example and don't try."

Morgan said he has worked security at several bars in Fort Collins, and Club Static is the easiest and most laid-back.

"I'd say 70 percent of our customers are regulars," said Morgan. "No one really tries to act macho."



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