Meet Robert Mendez, a Santa Barbara-based promoter and nightlife extraordinaire. After working at gay bars in the 90’s, Robert took on the challenge of promoting – eventually becoming one of the only LGBT promoters in town, with a focus on creating events for the community.
Robert is revered for cultivating Santa Barbara’s gay nightlife scene and founding the Red Room at the Wildcat Lounge, an iconic Santa Barbara nightlife destination. More recently he helps run Glitter Brunch, an incredible mid-morning drag fete, hosted by Vivan Storm and Angel D'mon.
For eight years, Robert has also been an integral member of the Pacific Pride Foundation (our Pride Collection partners) and serves on their Pride committee.
Read our Q&A with Robert below. Robert wears our “Sprinkled with Pride” SeaVees x McConnell’s collaboration sneaker. $5 from each pair sold is donated back to the Pacific Pride Foundation.
Q & A
Q: One of our brand mottos is “Keep it Casual”. What does “Keep it Casual” mean to you in your own life?
A: I am trying to be more relaxed with everyday life and take things day by day and really enjoy the life I have and be thankful for my family, friends, job and amazing co-workers.
Q: Socks or no socks?
Q: What’s your favorite part of your day?
A: I love the morning which I never used to like after working nights for so long. The best start to my day is a good morning workout!
Q: What inspires you?
A: My family, small circle of friends and my community.
Q: How/why did you start promoting events?
A: I started working at gay bars in early 90's (Yes Santa Barbara used to have several gay bars) as a bartender and slowly built a following. After a few years I was asked to host a party and it was a huge success and that is how it all started. I soon became one of the only LGBT promoters in SB and really focused on events for our community.
Q: What was your inspiration behind the Red Room?
A: I will never forget my first time walking into Wildcat for my interview and the first thing that I noticed and fell in love with was the red walls and booths!
Q: What is your favorite part or element of the space/environment?
A: Our amazing dance floor and gogo boxes and the safe space we have created for the LGBT+ community.
Q: Any new post-pandemic plans for the space or for yourself?
A: We have a blank canvas now after being closed for so long. I had time to really re-energize and get my creative juices flowing and I am very excited for things to come! Stay tuned...
Q: How long have you been the Entertainment Chair for the Pacific Pride Festival, and what has been your favorite part about planning this yearly event?
A: This year would have marked my 13th year as entertainment chair and the best part is looking into the crowd the day of the festival and seeing all the smiling faces and especially all the LGBT+ youth living their true selves!
Q: What does your PERFECT night out look like?
A: Close friends, a nice meal and a good bottle of red wine!
Q: What’s on repeat on your playlist right now?
A: Dua Lipa!
Q: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
A: Coffee ice cream!
Q: Where can our readers find you/follow you/support you?
A: Instagram Robertmendez805