The Door Guy is a veteran of countless clubs around town. People say they've seen it all, but he's seen more. Write to him for everything from live advice to life advice.
Dear Door Guy,
A couple of months ago, I was unwittingly involved in an incident at my favorite club. I don't want to go into too many details, but it was serious enough that I had to be detained by the club management until it was resolved. I had only had a couple drinks, and it turns out this other guy had set me up and he was the one that was eventually found to be guilty by the local authorities. The video taken concurred with my statement, so basically I was cleared and everyone believed me. HOWEVER, the club manager was so pissed at me (maybe because they had to go through the trouble of dealing with cops) that he told me that I was banned from the club and if I came back, I'd be arrested for trespassing. I tried calling but nobody got back to me.
I really like this place, and I want to go back. I'm wondering if I should try to talk to someone or just wait a while and then start hanging out there again. Thoughts?
P.S. I've noticed you never write about strip clubs. Why is that? Just wondering.
Come on, man. If you got kicked out of a strip club, just say you got kicked out of a strip club. Don't ask a question about your "favorite club" and then wait until the P.S. to drop passive-aggressive hints about the nature of your favorite club. Somehow, even though your name isn't going to be published, you can't just own the fact that you got booted from your favorite nudie joint and you miss it. Ain't no shame in this game, son.
Why don't I write about strip clubs? Easy. I've never worked at one, and people never seem to ask about them. (This is a column for a music section, after all. Strip bars have their own section. It's called the ads in the back of the paper.) I write about rock venues and nightclubs because I've worked in rock clubs and nightclubs. It's not a moral thing. I know guys who work at strip clubs. I just personally don't know very much about them.
People form attachments to their preferred hangouts, be it the hippest dance club or the shadiest dive bar, so it makes sense that you might have an attachment to your strip club, although I do wonder what sort of "incident" occurred that led to you getting detained. Hanging out at a place where women are paid to dance, sometimes in very close proximity to customers, while naked, creates a whole host of problems and issues that I'm glad I've never had to deal with. Boyfriends show up and get jealous when their girlfriends do their jobs. Guys walk around with a weird sense of entitlement and alpha-maleness. Customers get hung up on certain dancers and maybe that's not a healthy replacement for an actual relationship with someone.
It's easy to wonder if your attachment to your "favorite club" isn't just an ill-conceived attachment to Diamond or Cinnamon or Chastity or Jasmine or whoever your favorite dancer is. If the trouble you're in has something to do with that dancer, then maybe you should step back and think about how healthy this attachment is — even if technically, as you claim, the incident wasn't your fault. I mean, something bad happened, right? And even if you were 100 percent innocent, and even if the manager is a bit of a dick, you've got a problem: You're what we call 86'ed.
This means you're out, and you have very little control over changing that fact.
Getting banned happens all the time: at bars, nightclubs, strip clubs, music venues, you name it. It could even happen at your favorite grocery store, because all private businesses have the right to turn people away.
However, in the case of establishments that serve alcohol, getting 86'ed is serious business, because in order to sell booze, you have to have a license. That license is issued by a government authority. Too many problems, too many public issues, too many visits from the police, makes it a lot harder to keep that liquor license. That's why bars don't like fights, why I'm not interested in "being cool" when you want to smoke weed in public, why the bartender cuts you off, and why people get thrown out before things have to involve the authorities.
Bottom line: You've been 86'ed from the premises of a private business that deals in legally touchy products (booze and boobs). That private business has every right to continue to deny you entry for any reason they see fit for as long as they see fit, especially since they have to be protective of their operating license(s). But fear not, there's hope.
Every place has a different policy about the people they ban, what it takes to get banned, and what it takes to get the ban lifted.
Don't, for the love of God, simply start showing up and hoping no one will remember you. Don't forget, you were detained and recorded on camera. Believe me, that's not good. It is true that after a while people might forget about you, especially in a high-volume place like a big nightclub.
It's entirely possible that you could go back and no one will notice. In my experience when that's happened, a cool manager will say, "Hell with it, it's been a while and the guy isn't causing any problems, so we'll let it slide." But it sounds like you're dealing with a jerk manager, and a jerk manager will arrest you for trespassing even if you've come in 20 times and been a perfect gentleman. Then you're dealing with jail, and court, and even if you convince a judge that they let you in so many times that it shouldn't count, it's time and money out of your pocket.
The only way to do this correctly is to wait a while, and then try to talk to someone. Two months is not enough. Six months might be, and a year is better. Then call. If you try the walk-in, show up when they aren't very busy (not on a crowded weekend night, or when you really want to get in for a sold-out rock show, or any situation where your arrival is just complicating things). Ask for a manager, and tell the guy at the door exactly why you're there. Be reasonable and polite and make sure you take no for an answer.
If that doesn't work? It's time to move on.
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