Ask the Door Guy: Can clubs deny entry for zombies?

Zombie_Pub_Crawl_1.jpg
Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen

The Door Guy is a veteran of countless clubs around town. People say they've seen it all, but he's seen more. Write to him for everything from live advice to life advice.

Dear Door Guy: Saturday, during Zombie Pub Crawl, my friends and I were out doing our zombie thing and when we got to the bar, we got turned away! The door guy took one look at us and said, "No zombies." What's up with that? I feel totally discriminated against. What right does a bar have to turn an Undead-American away? It doesn't seem fair to refuse someone on Zombie Pub Crawl night for being a zombie!

--Sad and Hungry for Brains


Before I bum you out, Sad and Hungry, I should say up front that I have a healthy appreciation for all things zombie. Love 'em in all their beautiful rotting-flesh, brain-eating ways. There is literally not a movie made with the words "Of the Dead" in the title that I haven't seen 8,000 times. Old school, new school, if it's a zombie movie not starring Brad Pitt, I love it. I'm the guy who got pissed watching 28 Days Later because the zombies could run. A decade ago, when everyone was buying "Vote For Pedro" T-shirts and quoting Napoleon Dynamite, I was wearing Romero merch and crying a little during the last scene of Shaun of the Dead. I got mad zombie cred, yo.

But for the worker-bees, Zombie Pub Crawl is awful. Sorry. It's true.

Zombie_Pub_Crawl_2013-2.jpg
Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen
Super sorry, zombie bro.

The fact is, Zombie Pub Crawl has evolved from its initial hilarious quasi-performance art event in 2005--which, as their website tells us, was about 150 people taking a few Northeast bars by surprise--into tens of thousands of people experiencing the mass delusion that they can hold their liquor.

And "mass" is the operative term here. Have you ever seen a zombie movie with only one zombie? Of course not! It would be either the most boring or shortest horror flick in history. The entire gag of being a zombie is that you're part of a rotting, faceless, relentless horde. When people come together to experience the mass freedom that comes with hiding behind a bunch of makeup, drink far more than they're used to, and scream for brains, it's not exactly a golden opportunity to express your individuality. It does, however, result in more than a few people blacking out, getting in fights, throwing up on each other, or hitting the trifecta of blacking out and throwing up on each other while in a fight.

Exhibit A:


While that might involve only a tiny percentage of you otherwise sweet and responsible, good-tipping zombies out there, it happens. And when it's not happening, we worker-bees have to spend all our time worrying about it happening.


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42 comments
urbanwoodsman
urbanwoodsman

I enjoyed myself on Saturday night at a great bar that only allows a dash of shennanigans, and I was happy to not have seen any zombies on Saturday.  The fact is, is that there are a number of people who give ZPC a bad rep.  For example, last year when I was there I had to wait nearly 30 minutes to order a beer cause some igit couldn't order a beer like a normal human being.  He was growling and messing up the bar.  Sure it's fun to play dress up but be considerate of other people waiting.

That's my .02.

Adam Klugherz
Adam Klugherz

Does anyone that lives in the cities still go to zombie pub crawl? No one I'm close to went, and I noticed that only 1 or 2 friends on facebook (both from the suburbs) were even posting pics from it...

cln.dunn
cln.dunn

Zombies once lampooned the mindlessness of consumerism and conformity. Now people who dress like zombies are pretty much the standard bearers of mindless consumerism and conformity. Great.

Angela Wiberg Morris
Angela Wiberg Morris

Awww poor suburban white kid feels discriminated against because a bar doesn't want him coming in, getting shitfaced, being obnoxious and failing to tip your bartender? Well tell you what- go back to Eden Prairie and have your zombie fun there.

Steve Gouert
Steve Gouert

Hard Times Cafe shuts down on zombie night

Pinko Thinker
Pinko Thinker

Can they??? I don't know. The more important question here is, "Who gives a shit?" Nobody, that's who.

Jeremy Alexandrovna
Jeremy Alexandrovna

It's because the zombies are black out drunk small minded motor mouthed simpletons.

Zachary Malecha
Zachary Malecha

I was at the Turf Club. There was a large sign that said "No Zombies", thankfully.

Sebastian Galdames
Sebastian Galdames

They don't have to let you in. I would. I want you money. But clubs that don't want your money don't have to.

Ran Dazzle
Ran Dazzle

I totally agree..now do something about bridal showers and baby showers..i`d rather wait on zombies

Kurt Flash Schiebel
Kurt Flash Schiebel

Clubs have dress codes, it's not discrimination. But let's pretend it is. Sad!

Chris Welton
Chris Welton

Oh no. White kids from the burbs feel discrimination. I feel bad for them...not

loserdroid
loserdroid

I'd deny entry to most of those people regardless of whether they're dressed like zombies or not.

Jason Szabo
Jason Szabo

Agreed. F*ck all the kids riding coat-tails who don't know the first thing about zombies.

Cari Golden
Cari Golden

what a dumbass, of course they can deny you entry. not every bar wants to clean up fake blood

Davis Moturi
Davis Moturi

we zombies are a proud people with a rich and storied history!

ellie.manuel
ellie.manuel

Every year I take the ZPC off so I can sit at home, the people who attend ZPC generally have no idea as to what their doing, how to tip, or even how to really act in public (sober, or drunk). I hate working during the ZPC (or trying to avoid drunk drivers at bar close), I did it a couple times and won't do it again. City Pages has cash wrapped up in the ZPC so if you're looking for a straight up answer I don't think you'll get it here.

balance55113
balance55113

Establishments have the right to refuse service to whoever the want..Fuck zombie bullshit! Its now a douchebag crowd  from the subrubs who have no respect for minneapolis.

Merete Larson
Merete Larson

If y'all didn't act a fool maybe this wouldn't be a issue. It's out of hand. Exhibit B: boarding the transit buses last year. People were trampled. I'll never go back.

Joe Winterer
Joe Winterer

that's the ladies room too. Photo credit: Trevor E

nolongerundead
nolongerundead

Thanks for answering this one, Ask The Door Guy. As someone who works on the West Bank I can tell you that, like any celebratory large group drinking festival, there are a number of people who look at this as a chance to get out of hand in a neighborhood that they will seldom, if ever, return to. I've participated as a zombie over the years as well, but being my workplace I hold the neighborhood closer to my heart than most and it's a hard pill to swallow when overflow and madness goes from your average 500-1000 patrons on a weekend to 30,000 drunks leaving a trail of fake blood and PBRs over everything, and then disappearing for another year. I've seen it all: zombies breaking entire storefront windows (several times), drunk zombies harassing police doing their job and then getting arrested, zombies throwing bottles in the street and getting into fights with neighborhood youth, zombies walking over cars in traffic, falling to the ground and then taken away by an ambulance, zombies harassing our non-zombie patrons, and on and on. If it were simply people in costumes then there wouldn't be much to complain about, would there? But that is far from the case. There's the blood on the non-participants, the extreme drinking (which is strongly encouraged), and of course there's the general mob mentality that comes with trying to act like a zombie while behind a costume. I commend the ZPC organizers for their improvements over the years, which has come a long way from the days of Cedar Ave being open to traffic and only 2 cop cars for 15,000 drunks interrupting it all. But please, don't think for a second that this one night of zombie fever is for everyone.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Jason Szabo Well Jason, the first thing about zombies is that they don't fucking exist - they're make-believe - and that's also the last thing you need to know about zombies.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@balance55113 We should have a zombie pub crawl pedal pub - that'd really piss you hipsters off!

barbertj23
barbertj23

@balance55113 

Everyone I know (and myself) totally agree with this, I get the hell out of dodge on ZPC night, we already have a problem with suburban kids wondering in the roads drunk and peddle pubs, and the ZPC is like the damn douche-bag apocalypse.

zm0nks
zm0nks

@nolongerundead I have come from out of town for the ZPC the last 6 years in a row. I've always tried to be respectful as possible to the bars/staff and neighboring establishments. It pisses me off to no end seeing the types of stuff you're talking about as it's the kind of thing that will get the whole thing shut down. It's a shame people can't just have a fun night out without being drunken idiots. 

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