Saturday, January 27, 2007

Nights Out, Belfast Style

As regular readers will know, I sometimes write restaurant reviews. So when I was flicking through today's Belfast Telegraph and came across this letter about the Box nightclub at the Odyssey, I thought there was no reason not to reprint it on El Blogador under some sort of 'entertainment' remit:

"I am writing to express my disgust at the way my friends and myself were treated by two female door staff at the Box nightclub at Belfast's Odyssey last Saturday.

It was my friend's 24th birthday and we stood in the queue for 40 minutes. When we got to the door they herded us off to the side. At first we thought that they wanted to check our ID, as did a lot of other people who had been herded off in this manner. However, when my friend asked a female member of the door staff what was going on, she retorted: "You are not the type of people we want in this club."

I do understand that clubs have the right to refuse admission, but my friends and myself are either professionals or students. None of us had had a drink and we were all well dressed.

I think that the door staff were operating a policy of age and size discrimination. Two girls ahead of us were also refused admission. They were also well dressed, not intoxicated, although slightly overweight.

Staff appeared to be admitting slim 18-year-olds of the Jodie Marsh school of fashion. They were dressed in very little, whereas my friends and I had our big winter coats on, as it is January.

The Box should remember that it is a club in Belfast and not Studio 54, Modvida or China White. I didn't see WAGs or footballers in the queue.

I also witnessed one man being shoved out of the queue by the bouncer when he dared to ask why he wasn't getting in.

Frankly, I feel the door staff need to learn manners and respect.


Now I've never been to the Box myself, and have no intention of going, but my brother went a few weeks back and suffice to say, his impression of the class of clientele concurs with Ms. Gillespie's letter. As the price of alcohol licences goes through the roof in Belfast, pub and club owners are looking to squeeze every penny from punters- this usually involves creating the impression that their respective hostelries are something above and beyond your average drinking hole, and likewise bumping up the cost of entry and drinks. But alongside this effort to make their places appear 'upmarket', many seem to have fallen under the misapprehension that short-skirted, orange-skinned, bleached-haired bimbos constitute 'class'. Now I don't mind a bit of eye candy like any fella, but not when it's to the detriment of 'normal' people who resultingly can't get entry to places thanks to idiotic door policies, or indeed if it drains every ounce of atmosphere from the venue by virtue of the fact that the only people in the place are braindead, self-obsessed millies.

Message to the Box- catch yourselves on!


iluvni said...

First and only time I've ever ventured to the Odyssey for a drink, a few months after the place opened, two mates and I were refused entry to one of the bars.
"Sorry lads, no groups allowed."

It wasnt as if all 3 of us were Unionists either: 2 were sdlp voters!
Havent been back near the place since.

Belfast could be a great night out. Unfortunately its usually ruined by these pathetic little Hitlers at doors, the nonsense closing times and shitty public transport.

(thats my excuse for not being out tonight anyhow!)

El Matador said...


"It wasnt as if all 3 of us were Unionists either: 2 were sdlp voters!"

Maybe they thought you were all taigs ;) Seriously though, that's a ridulous situation- basically they're saying that despite the fact that their sole aim is to fill a big room and make money out of the people in that room, they won't allow people to enter that room if they arrive together! I mean, who goes out on their own? Idiots.

"pathetic little Hitlers at doors, the nonsense closing times and shitty public transport."

You got it in one (or three, to be accurate).

The Phantom said...

Places like that are to be avoided, period. I can't possibly understand why anyone puts up with that.

iluvni said...

Speaking about this to my friend there on the phone, and he reminded me of the time we were going to call into that revamped Rumpoles place for a pint as we walked by it one night.

"sorry lads, VIP night" lol!

Could you imagine the VIPs going there!

The Phantom said...


Don't know the place, but I surely know the attitude. It's a bit funny.

Those who are the most insecure of the status of their shitty establishments hire a goon in a tux to add a bit of false class to the joint. Perhaps it fools somebody.

Give me a simple restaurant or a clean neighborhood pub any day.

El Matador said...


VIPs NI-style generally= Pamela Ballentyne, Julian Simmons, Paul Rankin, Christine Bleakely, et al. Oh the joy of finding oneself worthy of being in their presence. Not.


People put up with door fascism because it makes them feel important if they are deemed worthy to make it through the doors. Those of us with actual self-respect don't actually need the approval of doormen. As far as a simple restaurant and clean local pub- I agree. The problem is that both are scarce in Belfast these days.

iluvni said...

###..the poor mans Sue Barker.
I stood beside her, waiting to be served, at the Cloth Ear bar before Xmas, as she giggled and fawned over some poor sap. I genuinely felt sorry for him as this slobberin mess of grey mauled him.

Christ, her and her jolly hockey sticks routine truly make me want to heave.

(she's no Rose Neill!)

El Matador said...


Sorry, I had to republish your last comment slightly amended, lest I get sued ;)

iluvni said...

ooops, sorry about that.
Can they sue even if its 100% truth.

Your Honour, look at me, am I a slobberin mess of grey?
Yes, I beleive you are.
Case dismissed.

El Matador said...

Heh-heh- brilliant