"Big Rick," 18th Street Lounge
Weight: 330 pounds
Age: Won’t say
Behind the unmarked door at 18th Street Lounge, Big Rick checks IDs and enforces the club’s dress code: No shorts, no flip-flops. Sneakers are a maybe.
He runs a security company with his brother and has worked at 18th Street Lounge, near DC’s Dupont Circle, for four years. It’s a mellow gig compared with his previous stints as a bouncer at go-go clubs.
The biggest hassles at 18th Street Lounge are “people who just don’t want to abide by the rules,” Big Rick says. “Everyone feels they are the special one and that an exception should be made for them. They don’t realize that that’s what we hear from everyone all night.”
At six-foot-eight, Rick can spot arguments across a sea of clubgoers.
“Some people get drunk and get angry; some people get drunk and get jovial,” he says. “You have to feel it out and twist and bend with the situation. If they’re in a joking mood, joke with them right out the door.”
Rick, who doesn’t disclose his age or last name, accepts the occasional tip but won’t take bribes.
“Some people try to whisper to me,” he says. “The funnier people are the ones who just say it out loud for everybody to hear.”
The best part of the job?
“It’s fun to sit outside and see the people go by, see how things go down, just see the whole nightlife thing unfold.”