City Cast
December 2, 2021

Did Denver’s Last Lesbian Bar Weaponize Its Status?

There is only one lesbian bar left in Denver. It’s one of only around 20 left in the United States. But according to a new lawsuit from three former employees, Blush & Blu owner Jody Bouffard has used that status for years to “create a culture of obligation where workers were required to accept mistreatment and brazen underpayment as a ‘service’ to the bar and broader queer community.” City Cast Denver producer Xandra McMahon sits down with one of those former employees, Jordan Feltner, to talk about what happens when power dynamics are at play within a vulnerable, marginalized community. 


You can read the entire lawsuit here: https://towardsjustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/2021.11.12-Filed-Blush-Complaint.pdf


Here is the full statement we received from Blush & Blu:


"Jody Bouffard and Blush & Blu deny these untrue and shocking allegations from three former off-and-on part-time staff. Bouffard has never intentionally belittled anyone in the manner described or otherwise, nor withheld rightfully earned pay. This filing is an unfortunate retaliation against Bouffard and Blush & Blu for unrelated staffing decisions, and does not accurately represent the work environment at Blush & Blu.


As a lifeline and community space for LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC people alike, and one of the last lesbian bars in the country, Blush & Blu feels strongly about their responsibility to create and maintain a safe and accepting space.


When the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Civil Rights Division investigated Savage’s claims of discrimination, Blush & Blu fully cooperated. Similarly, Blush & Blu provided a complete response to the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment regarding Jordan Feltner's wage complaint. Bouffard and Blush & Blu exercised care and due diligence in their response to both claims, despite the limited information included in Savage's and Feltner'sComplaints.


Bouffard and Blush & Blu responded to each of the complaints lodged by Ms. Savage in her CCRD charge in full, with corroborating business documents, shift records, bank statements and payment records, social posts, photos, and specific eyewitness accounts. Similar evidence rebutting Feltner's claim was provided to CDLE in the form of shift records, payment stubs, and bar receipts. Reviewing the evidence presented on behalf of Bouffard and Blush & Blu, and legal discussion of the charge, no standing of discrimination was recognized by CCRD. The CDLE complaint was pulled before it could be dismissed. Now, they have apparently opted to try their case by public opinion."


Don’t miss another CCD newsletter! Subscribe now and get Peyton’s guide for your weekend tomorrow morning: https://denver.citycast.fm/newsletter/


Talk to us on Twitter @citycastdenver

Hey Denver

Want to know what's happening in Denver? Sign up for our free newsletter, Hey Denver. Packed with local news, curated event recs, local life hacks, and more, it's your daily toolkit for getting the most out of the city you love.

Latest Episodes

See all
September 22

Denver’s Got Startup Fever, More Hotels Not Housing, and a Green Chile Debate

More than ten thousand people with big dreams arrived in the Mile High City for this year’s Denver Startup Week, and AI was the talk of the ...

Denver’s Got Startup Fever, More Hotels Not Housing, and a Green Chile Debate image
September 21

High Plains Comedy Turns 10, ‘Vandal Futurism,’ and Music for Beer-Drinking

This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of what our guest calls “Comedy Christmas” — aka, the High Plains Comedy Festival. Returning fave J...

High Plains Comedy Turns 10, ‘Vandal Futurism,’ and Music for Beer-Drinking image
September 20

Should Denver Rename These 6 Parks?

At the height of the racial justice protests of 2020, Denverites — like the rest of the country — reckoned with our past. Statues depicting ...

Should Denver Rename These 6 Parks? image
September 19

Is the 'Homeless Bar' Real? Plus, Public Overdose Deaths Are on the Rise

It’s Tuesday, so host Bree Davies and producer Paul Karolyi are breaking down all the local stories that matter. First, a report of a so-cal...

Is the 'Homeless Bar' Real? Plus, Public Overdose Deaths Are on the Rise image
September 18

Has Denver’s Dumpling Moment Finally Arrived?

With the opening of Yuan Wonton’s new shared brick-and-mortar restaurant in Park Hill, the food trend of the fall is officially the humble d...

Has Denver’s Dumpling Moment Finally Arrived? image
September 15

Boebert’s Big Night Out, Paying Legislators, and a Trash-Eating Bear

U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert had a big night out at the theater in Denver this past weekend, complete with vaping, loud singing, and b...

Boebert’s Big Night Out, Paying Legislators, and a Trash-Eating Bear image
September 14

What Did CO’s New Michelin Stars Really Cost? Plus, Mountaintop Arby’s

After months of anticipation and rumors, the Michelin Guide bestowed five local restaurants a Michelin star at an exclusive ceremony in RiNo...

What Did CO’s New Michelin Stars Really Cost? Plus, Mountaintop Arby’s image
September 13

Do These Denver Icons Deserve 1-Star Reviews?

The humble user review — taken alone, is just one person’s opinion. But put a bunch together, and that aggregated star rating can make or br...

Do These Denver Icons Deserve 1-Star Reviews? image
September 12

What Do Denverites Really Think? A New Poll Shows All

It’s easy to walk down the streets of Denver and see the major issues facing our city — housing, homelessness, public safety, etc. It’s much...

What Do Denverites Really Think? A New Poll Shows All image
September 11

Is There Such Thing as a ‘Denver Accent’?

It’s easy to forget, but Denver is still a young city, constantly searching for an identity. So it’s confounding why there’s so little resea...

Is There Such Thing as a ‘Denver Accent’? image