Tips on how to not anger the all-powerful doorman!
Though the heyday of nightclubs seems left behind in the 90’s, there are still dozens of trendy places that persist all over New York City. In truth, I myself have been to some. Thankfully, I did not encounter the nightmare of having my “worthiness” judged by a bouncer. Most places nowadays do not operate like Studio 54, however you still may need more than just and ID and a smile in order to gain admittance. When the line gets long and the weather gets cold, you may find yourself in a long line. Though this may be difficult, if not impossible to avoid, there are ways to get around the wait. More importantly, there are simple ways to avoid being turned away at the door by a club bouncer. The following are ways to not piss off the bouncer.
Don’t Be a Sloppy Drunk
This may seem like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how many people show up to the club already wasted beyond belief. Sure, it’s later in the evening: you’ve had dinner, a few drinks, and you’re ready to dance (or at least look cool leaning against the bar). I cannot emphasize enough how easy it is to not be a total mess. Pace yourself and make sure when you get to the door, nightclub security doesn’t immediately consider you a risk. Honestly, if you’re so drunk that a club doesn’t want your money, you should take yourself home. Don’t make a scene, just hail the nearest cab and try to remember your address.
Don’t Insult the Bouncer’s Intelligence
This is the next greatest offense when dealing with a doorman. Just because this person is working outside in an hourly wage job, does not make them any less intelligent than the people trying to get into his club. Please don’t pass an ID back to your friend behind you; the bouncer will notice that he’s about to let two women named Juliana Schmendrick into the venue. Do not claim that your girlfriend/brother/cousin/grandma is in the club and you have to get inside. You know how the old saying goes, “A lot of people’s girlfriends are in there.”
Split Up Your Bros into Smaller Groups
Club bouncers are hesitant to let large groups of men in together. It’s not their fault: management usually makes this call. Besides larger groups of men being considered a liability (sorry guys, equality does not exist in the club world). If you want to get in without a struggle, make sure you split up your group to at least make it appear as if you are just three innocent guys out for a night on the town.
Dress the Part
Speaking of a lack of equality: guess what, ladies? You will be judged on your appearance. As I said, the days of Studio 54 are long gone, but if you are not dressed to the nines (or at least the sevens), bouncers may be instructed to not let you in. Clubs have a dress code, so do your best and don’t fight the doorman when he won’t let you in in your Ugg boots and leggings. Fellas, this applies to you too. Ditch the hoodie for something a little more appropriate and you won’t have an issue. Check out some nightclub dress code tips here!
Greasing the Doorman
This is a tricky one. If done the right way, this can be a good way to guarantee entrance, however done the wrong way, and this is an easy way to insult the doorman and blacklist yourself for the night. Make sure you identify the correct doorman, as there are typically several working at one venue. Try to identify the one who is directing the others and seems to be in charge. Determine how much you are willing to give ahead of time. Avoid fumbling with a wade of cash, and leave those singles in your wallet to tip the bartender. Choice your moment carefully... be aware of when you decide to approach them, and make sure your timing is appropriate and subtle.
On a similar note, if dropping names doesn’t go your way, there is only one surefire way to get in without angering the gatekeepers: throw down some cash for a table or pre-purchase tickets through a club promoter. This is, frankly, the only way to guarantee that the bouncer will let you into the club.
This may also seem like an obvious tip, but it needs to be said: smile, have your ID ready, and thank the doorman as he grants you access.
If you are one of the many fabulous people frequenting New York nightclubs, a lot of this advice may have occurred to you. However, if you are reading this article, maybe it hasn’t and you need a little help getting past the discerning nightclub bouncer. Don’t forget: while you’re out having the time of your life, they’re at work. So, always respect the space, dress appropriately, and remember that the bouncer is not your enemy: club bouncers are merely following the instructions of management and controlling the flow of traffic. Good luck, out there.