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October 26, 2009

Behind the scenes bar stories: How about female bouncers?

Last week, I had an interesting discussion with local bar owner Jason Zink about bouncers.

Big, burly bouncers who sit or stand outside bars checking IDs aren't the way to go, he said. They can be imposing, and are often unnecessary. Zink doesn't have bouncers at No Idea or Don't Know Tavern. But if he did, they'd be female ...

And they'd be a cross between bouncers and greeters. Beaters, if you will. Wait a minute, that's not right. Scratch that last part.

Anyway, think about it: Instead of Mr. Muscle demanding your license or other valid form of ID, you get a pleasant greeting from a pleasant woman. It's all about putting the right foot forward, and female bouncers could do that much better than male bouncers. 

The only downside to having female bouncers is they probably couldn't break up a wild and crazy fistfight in the same way Mr. Muscle could. But what's stopping a bar from having a female bouncer at the door and Mr. Muscle behind the bar? That way, if a fight broke out, Mr. Muscle could jump the bar in a single leap and crush some skulls, if need be.

But wait, there's one more advantage to having female bouncers, Zink said. A female bouncer would never let in 18-year-old girls. 

I wonder why more bars don't hire female bouncers?

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:23 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I'd make them older gals, like mid-30's to 40's.
Like a big sister or Mom figure, to check your ID.
I know if I did it, (I'm 43) I wouldnt take any crap for young'uns trying to buck the system.
Underage drinking really makes me mad. First, because the LAST thing I want in a bar that I am hanging out in is KIDS, and secondly, I dont want my favorite watering hole in trouble for serving the lil miscreants.

I think this female bouncer/greeter thing is a great idea

I like it...Consider this my official submission for employment :)

This all goes south as soon as some drunk DB swings at another DB, misses, and pops a "greeter".

I think you have something against big guys with goatees and shaved heads.

Admit your prejudice!

The big guy at the door serves to discourage inappropriate behavior, and protect workers and customers in the bar. I think a greeter is a great idea, if the bar needs security, then take it seriously.

Bentley's in CP had a girl at the door for a while a few years back. Big burly men were also stationed at the door for fights, but she sat on a stool and checked IDs and took cash for cover. She probably didn't let in too many underage girls. I do know she had an affinity for ATO boys though, so I'm sure one or two freshmen got in, which puts a little bit of a chink in Zink's theory. (haha, I crack myself up)

For about a year, the now-defunct Have a Nice Day Cafe had a female as the ID'er, with another girl taking money. Of course, the upstairs was filled with your standard doormen.

Also, Orpheus often had the owners work the door. They're about a 60+ year-old couple, at least they were the last time I went to Orpheus.

As for the concept, the greeter idea works. The female security only works if the female has the strength required to handle a situation physically. The first resort should always to be de-escalate the sitaution or to redirect. If that doesn't work, many situations can be resolved thorugh talking to the parties involved. Of course, not every situation can be handled peacefully, which is when having the large gents comes in quite handy.

Two words: Laura Croft.

I would like to see 90 pound Chinese girl bouncers with mad ninja skillz working club doors just for the sheer fun of watching them disable large men.

Libya's Qaddafi famously has a cadre of badass female bodyguards.

That's a ridiculous idea. Bouncers are SUPPOSED to be intimidationg and imposing. They aren't there to greet you. Conversely, bartenders aren't interested in jumping across bars to break up fights. Bad idea here.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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