Joe Bravo—Velvet Rope Superman

A doorman who doesn’t take himself too seriously? Bravo!
Photo: Iris Dumuk

Hometown: Lawndale, CA

Age: 32

Profession: Front door manager, LAX

Nightclub Profile: “I think there’s way too many doormen in town who take themselves way too seriously.” Bravo keeps it light instead with Superman shirts, loud ties and crazy socks. Bravo—real name!—went to college to become a writer and to play football. After stints as a teacher and semi-pro long-snapper (underpaid either way), Bravo joined the door staff at Studio 54 in 1999, Pure in 2004 and LAX in 2007. In his time, Bravo reports he’s encountered Matt Leinart’s chef, Madonna’s dry cleaner, Siegfried and Roy’s hairdresser, Carrot Top’s weight-lifting partner … all of whom have attempted to get past him on those credentials. “Sometimes I feel like I’m being punk’d. I’m looking around going, ‘Where’s Ashton?!’”

Why I do what I do: “You’re coming in to have a good time. I’m here to help you have that good time. My favorite part of the night is when someone comes in and I get to make them feel like a superstar.”

Personal tidbit: As lead consultant and owner of ID Consultants of Nevada, Bravo teaches nightclub, casino and restaurant employees how to keep minors from drinking or gambling on their properties. Bravo’s philosophy is to learn to spot fakes and screen customers without making them feel screened. First things he’s looking for: shaking, a dead-eye stare or averting eye contact. And crayon.

Latest accomplishment: “In this business, the biggest accolade you get is that no one is complaining about you. To the average customer, a good doorman is like a good umpire. If you’re doing your job right … they never knew you were there.”

Quote: “I’ve seen it all twice.”


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