Bouncers – How to Be Their Friend.

It’s Friday night at UCI, and being over 21, you and your friends are ready for a night out. Let’s face it, it’s been a tough week. Surprise quizzes, essays, 300 pages of reading, club meetings, internships, too little sleep and too much work. It always feels like Friday cannot make its entrance fast enough. But while you are getting ready for your big night on the town, take a minute to think of this advice, courtesy of the bouncers from popular Newport bars. Their advice will make your night better, their jobs easier and provide a safe, fun filled experience for everyone.

Be responsible.

Just because you can order 8 pitchers of beer, doesn’t mean you need to. Looking to blow off steam from a crazy week, we somehow convince ourselves that drinking the same number of pitchers as the years we are old is a brilliant idea.

“Don’t drink so much!” laughs Casey, the bouncer at The Beach Ball on West Oceanfront in Newport. “Everyone is out here to have a good time. When you come to a bar there is a range of people from 21 to 80 years old at one time. Be a responsible person and drink responsibly. When you come out to bars, pay attention to what people are telling you, I am only here to keep the bar running in a smooth business like fashion.”

Don’t come with something to prove.

Being out with friends, the reputation of having a high tolerance is worn like a badge of honor throughout the night. A high tolerance, like perfect vision, is only given to very few people. For the rest of us, the moment of choice between taking another drink and taking a break decides the fate of our entire night. Remember that these bars are not the same as our friends VDC apartments.

“The best thing to think about when you go out is to go with the flow and act more mature and responsible. You don’t have something to prove,” says Casey. “When you come out to a local bar it is not a college party. Not everything is smash as many beers as you can, do keg stands and drink till you pass out or vomit. This is a private establishment and people are respectful to one another. Treat it like a business, and listen to what the people who work there are saying because they are sober and just trying to look out for your best interest.”

Come with friends.

There are few reasons that you should be going to a bar alone. Actually, there are no reasons to take a solo trip out. Wanting to drink a beer by yourself is fine but it is recommended to just stay home. Advice from Eddie Lopez, a part time bouncer at The Goat: “Come with friends, don’t come alone. Knowing your limit will help everyone out. It really helps when people’s friends can step into a situation when it gets out of hand.  They can talk to their friend better than we can as bouncers because we are strangers. A lot of times, when friends help us out, things calm down.”

Come with a positive attitude!

Alcohol acts the same as a mood ring. Not only can it better help us identify our emotions, whether good or bad, but also exaggerates them with each beer we drink. Moral of this lesson: come here with a positive attitude!

“Don’t come over to a bar if you are drinking because of a bad break up or you just got in a fight with your girlfriend!” says Eddie. “[In this situation], when you are drinking it is only going to put you into a worse mood. You are already aggravated and alcohol will only intensify that. Sometimes there is no reasoning with a drunk person when they get upset but I try and talk them down.”

Bouncers will deal the tough LOVE.

Ever wonder what would happen if you decided to get aggressive with a bouncer? It’s not desirable. Eddie Lopez, a former armed body guard and MMA fighting trainee, works hard to keep The Goat, his own local bar from his teenage years, safe and comfortable.

“I have dragged people out the front door, grabbed their arm and locked it. The other bouncers help me too because I don’t want the other guy swinging at me. We then drag them out,” says Lopez.

Sometimes there is a misconception that the bouncers take amusement in throwing undeserving people out or constantly starting fights within the bar. But we all need to remember their priority is to keep each of us safe, which sometimes can be from ourselves.

“With conflict I try and be patient as I can and quell a fight before it starts,” says Casey. “I don’t punch anyone, I am not part of the fight but I do want to nonviolently take the person outside of the bar. I would never strike anyone unless in self-defense. I am not here to start fights or be part of them, I just want to stop them before they happen.”

So remember Anteaters, drink with responsibility, enjoy the company of friends around and have a safe night!