Silver Lake - Bars now have to check two kinds of ID instead of one. To the usual proof of age, add a proof of vaccination, as mandated by the city.
According to some local bar staff, customers seem mostly okay with it.
“No one is really resistant,” said Constantine Williams, the lead bartender at Jays Bar on Sunset Boulevard. “A few sighs and ‘This is annoying’ from people.’ But as time goes on, most people understand and appreciate that we are asking.”
Across the street at Akbar, “In the 99th percentile, people are more than happy to show their proof of vacation,” said Gordon Vandenberg, who works the door.
But still, there's that one percent - like that one night at Silverlake Lounge.
When a man tried to come in during a drag show, he became angry when the new doorman asked for proof of vaccination, said Steve Acosta at Silverlake Lounge.
“He began to swing at our doorman, hitting him once in the face, but fortunately, he was not injured,” Acosta said. “The guy continued to push over our tables, throw Bird scooters at the front door, and break our host stand and sandwich board sign.”
Next day, the doorman quit.
Acosta said that most objections came mainly after the bar began checking for vaccination proof, ahead of the city mandate. Employees have been called Nazis, agents of tyranny, sheep and various expletives, he said.
Vandenberg has run into some objectors, too. “Though I suspect that these have been rather disingenuous, as none of them are regular patrons and their objections come across as rehearsed,” he said.
However, Vandenberg said that checking vaccination status mostly means just one more step in the usual ID process.
“When a group walks up, I greet them and tell them we are checking ID’s and vaccinations and then wait for them to fumble out wallets and phones”
How about that delay while people fumble about? Well, that adds up, said Acosta at the Silverlake Lounge.
“As bartenders, we could handle a lot more guests if we were just checking IDs,” Acosta said. “People are not as fluid with showing their proof of vax and often are fumbling around for it or need assistance looking for it.”
Plus, the health department is checking that bars are checking those vax cards and apps. “We have been checked on six times since the mandate went into effect,” Acosta said.
Overall, Vandenberg said, it's worth it.
“Thirty extra seconds for a safer night out?” Vandenberg said. “That’s a good deal!”