With Art Basel right around the corner, ushering in Miami's annual high season, socialites and playboys from the Tri-State to South America to Italy are preparing for day parties by the pool and all-night Champagne-fueled frolics. But as everyone knows, the hottest tickets and coolest clubs in town don't let just anyone in the door. In fact (goes the grumble), they hardly let anyone in.
Don't be the grumbler on the wrong side of the door this season. No doubt you'll go to Miami prepared with plenty of cash and plastic, a suitcase full of designer clothes and a week-long juice fast to get those abs showing. Those are the basics. For the more subtle tips, we've enlisted the man who's Joe Slobby Shmo's sworn enemy, and hopefully, your best ally: the uber-doorman. Meet Marcus Pelle.
Over six feet tall, impeccably groomed, debonair, and possessive of a wry sense of humor, Pelle is a man who belongs in the gatekeeper-to-the-glam position. As VIP and Door Manager at Bâoli Miami, he combines luxury client relations with a stern but fair door policy. We asked him to get candid about everything from manners to tipping to fashion no-nos.
JustLuxe: If you can't roll up in a Ferrari, what's the best way to approach the door?
Marcus Pelle: Well, showing up in a Ferrari is like revealing all your cards. I find a better approach is ‘to ask not what the club can do for you, but what you can do for your club.’ When I go out I bring beautiful girls, dress the part, and bring plenty of patience and understanding. With these tools, even a tortoise can eventually pass a Ferrari driver at the line.
JL: What's the hottest trend of the moment in your world?
MP: I am seeing a lot of women come to the door and take control — purchasing tables. That's new and extremely hot.
JL: What personality type is a complete "No" for you?
MP: The New York Alpha Male. He begins with the 20 namedrops a minute, continues with the ‘I run NY’ and ends in ‘I will buy this whole place, I own you’. If only we served popcorn on the door!
JL: How much cheesy is just cheesy enough? When has it gone too far?
MP: I assume that certain parts of the world are still getting reruns of the original Miami Vice. That must be the reason countless guys still do the rented Ferrari drive-bys of the club and run around with their entire account wrapped with rubber bands. It’s just trying a little too hard.
JL: What's your pet peeve that tons of people do?
MP: People who inform me that they do not wait in lines. This usually is followed by an ultimatum or list things I must do before I get fired.
JL: What's a mistake you see guys do that kills their chances of hooking up with one of Miami's many gorgeous women?
MP: I think it's just giving too much too early. For me, it ultimately still comes down to making a connection. For that, you just need a personality, a sense of humor and ears! I have some specific cases studies to prove the theory.
JL: Besides tipping, what's something that a club patron could do to really get on the staff's good side right away?
MP: Tipping as a way to encourage or reward good service is smart but very little credit is given to courtesy and manners. It’s so rare and takes so little effort but may do more to get you what you want.
JL: What's something a man could do that would make you throw him out, regardless how much he spent?
MP: I have very little tolerance for mistreatment of others, particularly women. Even in extreme cases I expect a man to behave like a gentleman. If you can’t, then this isn’t the place for you.
JL: Finish this sentence: The night's been great, but you know it's time to go home when...
MP: ... everything starts to gets back into focus. Usually the reality of how much I have spent, consumed and what I have done hits me; and I need to sit down and rest my head.