What people don’t understand is, I never set out to open this ultra-exclusive club. It’s so weird to me that we have been painted as a publicity-courting, elitist place, because that was so never our intent.
It all started because my friend Paco, who is an orb-weaver, complained that he and his friends didn’t have anyplace in the city they could just hang out and feel comfortable. So we started throwing parties at this space and it just grew from there. Friends brought friends, the crowd got more diverse. It was totally an organic thing.
Then the stories started coming out: The whole thing about the no-cockroach policy, the ant deaths, the health violations… all of it totally exaggerated.
First of all, we never “banned” cockroaches. It was just a policy of the club that only patrons of a certain dimension would be allowed, and very few cockroaches are smaller than three centimeters. Spiders we made exceptions for because they are not technically insects, and obviously because they were the ones who started the club. But we never had an official policy against any group. And, please, let’s be honest: Isn’t the city already filled with watering holes for cockroaches? It’s not as if they lack for destinations.
It has been a challenge to create a place where everyone could feel comfortable and do his thing. We started out with a trance DJ but as we started getting more varied clientele, not everyone was into that. The ants brought more of a techno vibe, and there were some hip-hop nights that attracted centipedes and silkworms. So we started rotating events and leased the upper floor so that we could feature two DJs on weekends.
We definitely made mistakes along the way. For one thing we just didn’t foresee the situation developing with the spider webs, and we learned a lot from last July. I mean, part of that was because there was a really idiotic group that started the whole “web diving” sport and were egging each other on to do stupid things, and that’s how we lost that fire ant last year. So we created a roped-off area for the webs, and we also no longer allow permanent web space because it got too exclusive and there was some hatching going on that led to overcrowding. So instead of being more of an “Apartment” concept, we would shut down for a few hours and clean.
The neighbors were out to get us from the start. We got spraying threats, people left traps… it was really ugly. We tried to cooperate as much as possible but I don’t think there is anything that would have satisfied them. I firmly believe that is why we are in the predicament we’re in now.
It’s hard to believe what a crazy ride it’s been. We have had a great eighteen months and this whole lease issue is just heartbreaking for us. But Cocoon is definitely coming back, make no mistake. It’s just too much of a force to die. Already stuff from the old space is popping up on eBay: event tickets, petrified sand tunnels, egg sacs, supposedly “exclusive” drink recipes that are completely not authentic, word to the wise! Anyway I just want to tell everybody to keep the faith. We have our eye on a space downtown and you haven’t seen the last of us.