Several of you saw my ""hat incident"" postings on Twitter last night and have inquired about what happened at Fuel/Raoul's Velvet Room so I've decided to lay it out here in this blog. And yes, I'll admit it isn't the snazziest hat, but as you'll see, that's kind of beside the point.
First of all, I want to be clear that the staff at Fuel/RVR were all reasonably professional except for the manager on duty who obviously didn't know the first thing about the hospitality industry, which is simply to be polite to your guests. I wasn't even given the obvious option of just taking off my hat; instead, I was flatly told that I had to leave immediately. Of course this was after my group and I had spent a C-note or more on cover charges and drinks during the three hours we had been there.
I was utterly shocked at the manager's rudeness but decided it was time to leave anyway so I headed toward the restroom area as my ride had gone in there a few moments earlier. At that time I was approached again and told once more that I had to leave, this time by the same manager along with another employee who (guess what?) was wearing a hat conspicuously similar to mine. I explained to them that I was waiting for my ride to get out of the restroom and had no intentions of staying any longer as I was obviously not welcome there. Apparently I was not believed, and my audacity at pointing out to the manager that the other employee was wearing a hat didn't sit too well with him, as was evidenced by his continued rudeness. Once my ride emerged from the restroom she too was absolutely shocked at what was happening, so we left, along with the others in my group.
What confounds me is why Fuel/RVR did not enforce their dress code at the door before taking people's money or at least explain to guests upon arrival that there are different dress codes even though the two bars had a common entry point and a single cover charge. And just why is it that the dress code doesn't seem to apply to their own employees? Fuel/RVR's management created an unnecessarily ugly situation that resulted in several extremely dissatisfied guests solely due to their own ineptness and unprofessionalism. Needless to say, we won't be back.