Great Nights Out: The Straightforward Bouncer

You’re all dressed up with somewhere to go, namely a hot spot you’ve chosen from “Great Nights Out.” One question remains: How to get in? Barney Holm, general manager of Avalon, tells us what to do—and not to do—to get past the velvet ropes

DO carry a valid state-issued ID that shows you are over 21. Most clubs will only take a California State ID or passport—no student IDs or military IDs. I have door guys that have been working in the business for well over 10 years, so they know what a valid ID is. They might flex it, look at the picture, and check out the security features that can be viewed from an angle.

DON’T show up with underage people. 

DO dress to impress, regardless if the club has a dress code. You’ll have a much better chance of getting in if you’re not in shorts and a T-shirt.

DON’T be intoxicated before you show up.

DO make sure you have at least a 50-50 mix of guys and girls. The less guys the better. No one wants to go to a club with only guys.

DO get on a guest list if you know the promoters. It’s not vital, but it helps.

DON’T try to push your way in if the security guys are busy. Bide your time and wait your turn. And don’t barge in front of somebody else in line; security will be less inclined to help you.

DO buy table service if you can. You will get in close to immediately and will not have to pay the entry fee. 

DON’T ignore what the guys at the door tell you. They aren’t trying to be rude, but they are constantly being asked the same questions over and over again.

DO bear in mind behavior. How would you let someone in your house? How would you like to be treated? If you are polite, nice, well dressed, and respectful you have a much better chance of getting in.

Photograph courtesy Avalon