The 'In' Keepers

Don't flash a fake ID at the 9:30 club. Josh Burdette has confiscated more than 500 of them.
Don't flash a fake ID at the 9:30 club. Josh Burdette has confiscated more than 500 of them. (Sora Devore - For The Washington Post)

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By Chris Richards
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, October 15, 2006

Purgatory is a Saturday night spent outside the velvet rope.

The club is full, the queue is curling around the corner, and you can hear the bass notes of your favorite song rumbling from behind the closed double doors. Never mind the line, there's a bigger obstacle standing between you and the night of your life: the bouncer.

What to do? Tell him you know the owner? Introduce him to your friend Andy Jackson (wink-wink)?

Nice try. You don't even know the barback, and this guy has seen more $20s than an ATM technician.

Time for Plan B: minding your manners.

" 'Please' and 'thank you' will get you a long way, believe it or not," says Jeff Mozingo, head of security at Clarendon Grill in Arlington. "Ask any of my team -- it's all about manners."

And while they go by many names -- bouncers, greeters, door staff -- Mozingo and others like him are all looking for two things: patience and respect. We asked staffers at area nightclubs how to get on their good side and how not to get on their nerves. Heed their advice, and hopefully you'll be spending your next Saturday night at the bar instead of next to the curb. See Page M4.

JOSH BURDETTE, 30, 9:30 club

Since opening its doors downtown in the early '80s (and then migrating to the U Street corridor in 1996), the 9:30 club has grown to become Washington's premier music venue.

You don't like being called a bouncer. How come?

A bouncer is looking to bounce people. It's a reactive way of doing things. We have a proactive attitude, so that we step into a situation before it becomes a problem. I don't have any problems with anybody else calling themselves a bouncer, but that's not the 9:30 club.

How would you describe your relationship with the crowds at 9:30?


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