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Just barely past the six-month mark, the Juliet Supper Club has managed to gain notoriety as one of the leading high-brow venues in the city, alongside competitors like 1Oak, Avenue and the newest belle of the ball, Boom Boom Room. With it's discoball interior and plush banquet tables, Todd English menu and the nightlife powerhouses behind the Norwood and Greenhouse, this 21st St. club feels a touch like New York City's very own Las Vegas -- but to get past the velvet rope, you'll be getting sized up by New York's own Ruben Rivera.
Niteside recently talked with Rivera about why name-dropping won't get you anywhere in this town, how much the downtown crowd loves their whiskey and how he once had to tell a certain celebrity to stop having sex in the club.
When did you get involved in the nightlife scene? How did you end up working the door? I used to go out a lot. I came from a nightlife culture starting with Hip Hop in the 80s. I loved the music, the care-free atmosphere. Jonny Lennon from GoldBar was a big promoter at that time and he gave me my first shot at Centro-Fly -- that party was crazy! Eric Hower introduced me to Steve Lewis who gave me my first door. That's how I met Mark Baker, who had me man the door at Mansion and now at Juliet.
How many nights a week are you at Juliet? Do you do work for other clubs? I'm at Juliet six nights a week. I was doing New York New York Tuesdays at Greenhouse but I'm solely at Juliet now that they started "I Hate Models Tuesdays."
Have you ever had someone react like a crazy person after denying them entry? Of course -- almost every night. I don't give in to the hate. It's pathetic how people will disrespect your whole life because you don't let them in a venue. Is it really that serious? All you do is look like a loser in the end. It never fails.
What do you look for in the crowd? Any advice for patrons trying to get in? Yes -- style! I mean New York is fashion and if you don't have style, don't bother. It's not what you wear it's how you wear it and with what. ... Also, please stop saying, 'Do you know who I am?' or 'Do you know who my father is?' I swear in the last eight years doing this job, 100 percent of the people that say that to me are super nobodys. Yeah, the best way to get past a real New York door guy like me is to just be real and don't drop names, don't be too thirsty, don't tell me you spend money all week places and, most of all, please don't wear a T-shirt with glitter all over it.
What does the Juliet experience have to offer that no other club has in NYC? Juliet is unique not only for it's well prepared and delicious food it's also unique because of the fact that almost every night we have a different style of music and party but every night, the best of the best of that style is in the house. Whether it's Rock and Roll Wednesday or Deep House Saturdays, the room is chic and full of cool people with great energy.
What is your favorite regular party at Juliet and why? I like Wednesday -- it's a downtown vintage rock and hip hop party. Most of my friends come hangout. ... The rooms get very cloudy and the whiskey's flowing.
When you go out, what do you look for in a place? Where do you frequent? I never get to go out, but when I do I only go to Goldbar and Avenue. Both places have veteran staff and have their own unique energy. All the glamour at Avenue, and the great New York feel and appeal of Goldbar. If I'm really trying to go crazy with a big crew I'll be at Greenhouse.
Any interesting nightlife encounters with celebs, etc? Yeah, of course. But a real pro never mentions names. But there was one well-known gentleman who felt like he needed to have full-on sex in the place. I was the one that had to tap him on the shoulder and interupt. Talk about awkward.
Other than Juliet, what would you say are the top five current hot spots? Do you have any predictions on places that are about to blow up? Goldbar, Avenue, Boom Boom Room. ... Not sure what's opening but all I ask is please don't open on 21st St.!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Looking back on a successful 10-year acting career that starts tomorrow.