Recognize these arms? You might have seen them giving Hulk-grip handshakes to VIPs or ejecting drunken assholes from a crowded club. Whether they're guarding doors or patrolling dance floors, nightlife security staffers are intentionally intimidating — but there's more to these guys than brawny biceps. We tapped three strapping nightspot sentries to talk about crazy club shenanigans, failed flirting attempts by ambitious line-jumpers, and bruising battle stories.
(A) GREGG JOYCE :: ROYALE
He gets these guns by hitting the gym six days a week, often twice daily, for cardio in the morning (he's partial to stair-climbers) and lifting at night.
A bouncer battle story: "The first big fight I tried to break up was at a bar near UMass. I had a pool cue broken over my back."
The most memorable guests: "[Rob] Gronkowski is the nicest guy you'll meet. He'll take pictures and shake hands. At a Christmas Eve event, Gronkowski, Stevan Ridley, and Shane Vereen showed up in onesie pajamas. It was hilarious, but they were all class acts."
Hey DJ? His request: Dada Life's "Kick Out the Epic."
Bartender, pour him Cîroc Peach and pineapple.
At sunrise, he hits a day job at a financial company. "When we escort people out [of the club], they like to tell me how much money they make, and that I'm 'just a bouncer' and make no money. I laugh to myself. If only they knew."
(B) DAN IRVIN :: BIJOU
He gets these guns with a five-days-a-week gym regimen, supplemented with protein shakes and creatine. In May these muscles will power him through his first Tough Mudder competition.
A bouncer battle story: "Twenty kids throwing drinks and bottles at each other in the middle of the room. Three minutes of chaos. I've never been injured, but came pretty close during that fight when a bottle bounced off the top of my head and hit my coworker in the face."
An epic flirting fail: "One girl pretended she liked me, flirting and grinding up on me throughout the night. When she asked for my number, I saw the names of every other security staffer on her phone."
Hey DJ? His request: Calvin Harris's "Sweet Nothing."
Bartender, pour him a white or black Russian.
The wildest sight he's seen: A guy with his hand busy up his date's skirt "in full view of everyone, up against a wall. Needless to say, they were asked to leave."
(C) JOVAN BEAL :: THE GREATEST BAR
He gets these guns by working up to five times a week with a personal trainer who customizes routines for nightlife staff. And he gets out extra aggression with twice-weekly boxing sessions.
On the, um, number-one crazy sight he's seen: "The craziest thing I ever saw was a patron asleep with his pants down on the toilet. Also, I saw a woman pee on a bouncer's leg."
On the less-is-more approach to attempting line-jumps: "Girls always say, 'You're not letting in these hot ladies?' when none of them are hot. The really hot ones just stare with confidence."
Hey DJ? His request: Eddy Fish's "Whole Lotta Money."
Bartender, pour him well-aged Grand Marnier.
At sunrise, he hits a day job at recording studios and meetings, managing Cambridge-based rap artist Sean Henny.
WHERE TO GO:
BIJOU:: 51 Stuart St, Boston :: 617.357.4565 or bijouboston.com
THE GREATEST BAR:: 262 Friend St, Boston :: 617.367.0544 or thegreatestbar.com
ROYALE:: 279 Tremont St, Boston :: 617.338.7699 or royaleboston.com