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The Velvet Rope pt. 2

Week 2: Binn Jakupi, Butter, 1OAK NYC

We know a bunch of peeps been kicked to the curb trying to get into Butter and 1OAK. They're not our friends though, honest, more like acquaintances actually...but why?

I'm very selective with who I let into the venues, its all about creating the right mix of people.


Does that make you the hardest doorman?

I'm definitely one of the hardest.

What’s the hardest night to gain entry?

The criteria I use to let people in doesn't really change from night to night so I would say every night is equally difficult.

What percentage of people get turned away from your door on that night?

I guess it depends on the night. If the night is busier we will obviously turn away more people, but again I strive for the right combination of people when letting guests in - if we're under capacity it doesn't make me more lenient on the door.

Why so tight?

Because we are a venue who caters to an exclusive clientele and we really do have the best parties in the city. There is a higher demand than there is space inside the club, so we cant possibly let everyone in.  

Do you take any pleasure in seeing the sorry souls you’ve sent packing about turn, tail between legs in the bitter winter cold, dressed to the nines, and head for home?

No I really dont. Im just doing my job and I dont take pleasure in turning them away. Depending on who it is and how they behave, I will usually tell them to come back another night and some of them listen, come back and I usually keep my word. It's not personal, its business.

What are the main reasons people get denied?

Its a mix of many things but mainly a bad attitude, the wrong attire and the guy to girl ratio.

So a guy’s style affects his chances of getting through?

Yes, absolutely. But I don't just focus only on guys, its equally important for chicks too.

So what are your Style Dos?

I look for a style that is original and organic. I like it when people look comfortable with what theyre wearing and I like to mix things up a bit when it comes to fashion. Generally, just look sharp and dont look like youre trying to hard.

Any other Style Do Nots?

No Ed Hardy T-shirts please!

Haha, wow. Lucky you're not on the door in Vegas.

Yeah, they love that stuff, but it's not an east coast thing. If you're in Ed Hardy here, chances are you're not the kind of person we're looking for.

Is there any fail-safe style?

If you're wearing something very fashion-forward and very unique, it will probably improve your chances. It's all about how people accessorize and mix and match pieces. It doesn't have to be a certain style but I know when someone has a good sense of fashion. If that's clear to me and the person makes it work, I will let them in. I really do appreciate a good sense of style.

If the guy looks like a hobo, but the chicks on each of his arms look like the Girls Next Door, how about then?

Why not? If he is cool enough to be with those girls, there must be something there. Unless the girls want to go in without him, then that's a different story.

What other things can a guy do to guarantee access?

Just be humble and polite. Learn to wait a little at the door and dont expect to just walk in. Again, its all about the attitude to me.

How would you describe your personal style?

I like to switch things up a bit and change my style. I wear something different every night. Definitely something original and something that is different.  It has to represent the venue and also reflect who is inside. And just as I expect from our guests, I like to look comfortable.

Does that reflect how you judge potential patrons?

Yes, 100%

If a guy tried to get by you wearing the same jacket as you, would you let him slide, or bounce him?

Yes, why wouldn't I? That means he has style!

If another you rocked up to your club and you were on the door, but you didn’t know you, would you let you in?

Yes I absolutely would, unless I was with a bunch of guys or not dressed appropriately.

If a group of hot chicks in tight dresses turn up, would they ever be rebuffed?

It really depends on the group, it's not only about the outfit but the whole package. Again, I look for a sense of style and a tight dress doesn't necessarily mean they have one.

Next time I come to your club, will you let me in?

We will see, there's always a chance! (laughs). Just kidding Willy, come through.