Home > Food & Culture > Workers at popular nightlife venue face uncertainty and frustration

Workers at popular nightlife venue face uncertainty and frustration

Staff and directors of 10 Feet Tall offer conflicting reports after mass resignations

“The place was our home,” said Matt Wood, former employee of local Cardiff city centre nightlife venue.

Around twenty staff members at a Cardiff city centre bar and nightclub resign as a planning permission application was submitted without their knowledge.

In an official statement released by the 10 Feet Tall staff on Facebook they blamed the actions of the company directors and their advisors for the resignations.

Former 10 Feet Tall employees said they found out about the plans to convert the bar into a restaurant and commercial unit for the first time from online news articles.

Matt Wood, one of the employees to resign after working at the bar for around seven months, said, “The place was our home. We knew the names of all of our customers and they knew our names.”

The General Manager, Matt Gogarty, who had been in charge of the venue since September had not been informed about the planned changes to the business either, according to Wood.

Wood, a student at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, described his colleagues as “family”, but said that the relationship between the staff and directors was hostile. He said he is still owed pay by the company, as are many of his former colleagues, including the prime DJ who worked for free for a period of time under the understanding that he would be paid when the company could afford to.

Three important staff members, including Events Manager Theo Thomas and the DJ, were reportedly sacked by the company directors with no prior warning or justification, according to the official statement released by the Ten Feet Tall staff on Facebook.

Many employees including the prime DJ are still owed pay by the nightclub, according to one former employee.

Social Media

The staff’s public statement of resignation was removed from the venue’s official Facebook page. Following this, a post appeared on the former events’ manager’s Facebook page stating that the club intended to continue with events and business and claiming that the directors of the company were unaware of the landlords’ application. Shortly thereafter, this post disappeared and resurfaced, verbatim, on the official 10 Feet Tall page.

However, the person to whom the Facebook page apparently belonged, Theo Thomas, was one of the staff members who was sacked, and many commenters on the official 10 Feet Tall Facebook page accused the directors of ‘hijacking’ Thomas’s page in order to obscure the extent to which the resignations had affected the company.

In spite of the claim made by the official 10 Feet Tall Facebook page that “the Company had no prior knowledge of the landlords’ planning application,” Wood expressed skepticism. “The owners of a business, not the landlords, usually decide in which direction the business goes,” Wood said.

10 Feet Tall say they will remain open, yet the directors have submitted a planning permission application to turn the venue into a restaurant and commercial unit.

An Uncertain Future

Since the mass resignations, 10 Feet Tall has hired new staff, with only one manager from the original team staying on. In order to quickly bring in employees to avoid a lengthy closing, existing security personnel took on bartending and serving duties.

The venue currently remains open, with events scheduled throughout February. A manager told InterCardiff that there were no known plans to close in the near future.

However, as of February 6th the application to rezone the property and repurpose the club into a restaurant is still under review by the Cardiff Council.

The current owners of 10 Feet Tall did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the matter.