How Far Can State College Bouncers Go?

Bar life in State College comes with certain expectations. Cheap(ish) drinks, live music, and the knowledge that you’ll get thrown out if you start to cross the line between appropriately drunk and fall-over inebriation. Most people have no problem leaving a bar when they’ve been asked, but everyone knows that one guy that turns into a belligerent drunk. So how far can bouncers go when they’re kicking him out of the bar?

Matt Bakowicz is a bouncer at The Gaff and according to him, throwing people out of the bar is rarely an issue. “90 percent of the time it goes well,” he said. But what about that 10%?

“Sometimes people can be difficult.”

The general expectation is that bouncers will pick up rowdy drunks by the neck and toss them out on the street, sort of like this guy (skip to :35):

The fear of being manhandled is enough to keep most patrons in line, but State College bouncers actually take a much gentler approach. “We just calmly talk to them and escort them out,” said Bakowicz.


“I mean, here’s the thing,” he explained, “We can’t legally shove people out. There’s this big expectation that we pick people up and throw them down the stairs but we don’t do that. We don’t physically pick people up. We don’t put them in full nelsons or any other dangerous moves—we just walk them out.”

Geno Tizio worked as a bouncer at Cafe and said the same thing, “You don’t physically throw someone out like you see in the movies. If you see anyone that is throwing up, causing a scene, or is visibly intoxicated, you politely ask them to leave. If they refuse multiple times a few other bouncers will come over and escort them out.”

Even though State College bouncers aren’t the bloodthirsty gorillas you see in Russian security videos on YouTube, they’re just as strict. Once a bouncer decides you’ve had enough, you better get out. “There is no point in arguing,” said Tizio. “Once a bouncer verbally asks you to leave, that’s it.”

Even though it’s a buzzkill and a bit embarrassing to be thrown out, at least you don’t have to worry about bouncers dropping you like this:

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Mitchell Wilston

I apologize in advance.


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