First, I would like to say that I feel that I can write about what occurred last night because I lived in Madison, WI for three years and saw A LOT of different bouncers out there. Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin, a 40,000 student school with bars lining the streets of downtown. I saw bouncers have to step in at least once a weekend when I went out and never did I experience anything close to what happened last night here in Rochester. Yet I felt so much safer in Madison than I do here in Rochester. I also commend the Madison Police Department for how they handled the bar scene out there. Here’s what happened:
Last night, I was hanging out with my friends just looking to have a good night playing some card games then out at the bars at East and Alexander in Rochester. The night started off great. We played some cards, listened to music, and had some fun conversations with friends and roommates. After a while, we decided to go out to East and Alexander to hop a few bars and continue the good night.
I was with my roommates and next door neighbors at this point and we went to Anchor bar. We had a good time there talking to some random people we met. After we were done there, we started to walk down Alexander street and I ran in to some of my friends coming out of another bar. I said goodbye to my roommates and joined my other friends who were on their way back to the corner. We ducked into Monty’s to grab a beer with a few of my friend’s. One of My Friends bought me a drink and it was delicious. I never got a chance to thank him by buying him a drink in return because of what happened at the next bar. But I’ll say it now, Thank you sir.
A slight aside that will come back into play later in this post – Any business is judged on their whole package. Whether you are a retail store, caterer, event planning business such as the one I work with, or a bar, you are ranked on everything from phone conversations, to sales associates, to bartenders, to décor, to what you offer on tap or the menu. If something doesn’t measure up, you lose customers and credibility. If you seriously mess up, hopefully you make it right. But when you screw up, you know it and you just keep alienating your customers, there should be recourse for consumers.
Back to my night last night. After my friends and I finished our beer at Monty’s, we crossed the street to meet up with the rest of our group at Murphy’s Law. I should have known there were going to be problems from the beginning. We walk up to Murphy’s Law and there is no line. One of the two bouncers tells us to line up along the outside wall as “that is where the line is”. My Friend and I, along with the rest of our friends lined up along the wall as we were told. No more than 30 seconds later, a group of 7 people walked up to the door, yelled out a name (I’m assuming it was the bouncers name) and were promptly let in ahead of us. No mention from the bouncer about the line or anything. Ok fine, I understand that sometimes who you know is a good thing. So My Friend starts talking to the bouncer and asked why they got to go ahead of us when we were told to stand in line. My Friend also told the bouncer he knew the owner of Murphy’s Law to which the now agitated (for no reason) bouncer said, “I don’t care who you know, don’t try to drop names with me. You aren’t getting in here now, BYE!” …Alright…so when someone knows the bouncer and uses his name, they can get right in, but when someone knows the owner, they won’t let you in. That makes sense. My Friend tried one more time, but the bouncer was clearly just getting more and more agitated for no reason so My Friend unfortunately left and went home. I went inside and found the rest of my friends. Strike one Murphy’s Law.
At the end of the night, my friends and I were finishing up. The lights were turned on right at 2am as they usually are. As soon as the lights go on, the bouncers start going through the bar, flashing their flashlights in the customers eyes blinding us. OK, strike two, but fine. So I move toward the door with some of my group. I step outside and am waiting for the rest of my group. No more than 60 seconds go by and all of a sudden I see one of my good friends Josh hurled out of the bar by the two bouncers directly into oncoming traffic! (No exaggeration here) ARE YOU KIDDING!?!? Really Murphy’s Law? Oncoming traffic? My friend’s head was no joke, less than a foot away from an oncoming van’s bumper when it stopped short. That is just way too far. I understand peopled get unruly and bouncers need to flex their muscles (which from my understanding was NOT the case in this particular instance), but to throw someone into oncoming traffic is absolutely absurd and completely uncalled for in any circumstance. Bouncers are there to help keep people safe, not to purposefully put people in harm’s way. My friends were obviously very heated about this occurrence and they started confronting the bouncers – yelling. The bouncers clearly knew they screwed up. Rightfully so, my friends started yelling at the bouncers about how ridiculous their actions were. All the bouncers could say was, “No, get out of here, you’re done.” So now you know you screwed up, and you are just trying to flex harder to get out of the situation. What a business model – trying to cover up your mistakes. I don’t feel like that has ever worked.
An update from my friend Josh about what happened inside of the bar after I had stepped outside: “The chain of events was prompted when I asked the bouncer, who badgered us to finish our drinks 6 times over the course of a minute, why he was not harassing the group of girls next to us with full beers. He then proceeded to radio in the mob of meatheads to pick me up and literally toss me out the door… into traffic!! I guess it is too much to ask to finish my drink and walk out of the establishment on my own two feet. I am, by no means, a confrontational individual but this really gets my blood boiling.”
The other part that really got to me was that there was a Rochester City Police officer right in front of Murphy’s Law. But instead of calming everybody down and trying to figure out what happened and why this guy was hurled into the street into oncoming traffic, all the police officer did was pull my friends away from the bar and also told them to get out of the area. So apparently bouncers have no responsibility for their actions – awesome. Makes me feel real safe. Thank you Rochester City Police, and you wonder why people are trying to get out of Rochester. Maybe I’ll go back to Madison, WI where more craziness happens in one night than it does in a month here in Rochester.
Josh, my friend who got hurled into oncoming traffic is now obviously upset. Myself and another friend who are both sober, tried to calm him down and make sure he was ok. After he was calm, Josh wanted to file a complaint. At East and Alexander, there are tons of police officers around. Josh found an officer sitting in his car and started talking to the officer about what happened. I was standing far enough away that I could not hear what transpired, but it was definitely a civil conversation. From what he told me after, he was essentially dismissed and told there was nothing the police could do. At this point, all of us felt so defeated that we walked home.
So here are the lessons learned:
1. Bouncers have no responsibility for their actions even if they throw someone into direct harms way
2. Police at East and Alexander don’t care about the public’s safety
3. Never go to Murphy’s Law
Help make East and Alexander safer and help teach bouncers that they cannot act without consequence. Please help me take a stand against Murphy’s Law and do not go there. There are plenty of other bars to go to and enjoy that have not thrown people into oncoming traffic.