Come inside sir, hey Joe come inside, sexy girls inside, good’ay mate, hi handsome, happy hour sir come inside and so the list goes on. These are just some of the all too familiar lines that will be shouted at you by the bar door girls as you walk down Fields Avenue and whilst they may be passé for those of us who are involved with the bars on a day to day basis there is no doubting that the door girls are an iconic element of the Angeles bar scene. In this article I will examine how and why they came to be, what is their role in the present day bar scene, what makes a good door girl and what are the positive and negative aspects of having door girls.
For as long as I can remember there have been door girls proliferating throughout the Angeles bars and from the few people whom I have talked with who are familiar with the early days, this was even the case back in the late sixties and early seventies when the bar scene first begun to flourish in AC. In comparison to today’s glitzy high tech bar scene the bars back then the bars were a lot simpler being composed mainly of hollow blocks a ‘nipa’ roof or corrugated iron, a juke box in the corner, very basic seating, 5 to ten girls maximum, very limited stocks and 99% of their business was from enlisted personnel residing on Clark Airbase. Most importantly there was very little to distinguish one bar from the other as all were similar in appearance and the only difference was in the signage and sometimes the bars size.
As the number of personnel living on and visiting Clark began to expand so to did the number of bars and with this expansion came competition for the customers pesos. All of a sudden bar owner/managers were scratching their heads trying to figure out how to draw the customers into their bar as opposed to a competing bar and this is when the door girls gained a whole new level of importance. Basically the belief was put your best looking girls outside to catch the customers attention and entice them inside. Of course once one or two bars were successful at this so very soon all the bars placed an emphasis on door girls.
Once the door girls had become commonplace their effectiveness at drawing customers to one bar rather than another was diminished so the door girls had to then develop new tricks to draw the customers. This is when the standard lines which have now become part of the door girl lexicon came into being. For example the ‘hey Joe come inside’ line, is a direct left over from these days.
The verbal virtuosity of door girls was soon not enough to draw customers to one bar rather than another so bar owners and managers then progressed to dressing them up in provocatively sexy clothing or anything that would get the customers attention. In the old days the emphasis was on overt sexuality therefore the door girls were always dressed in provocative clothing. In recent times the emphasis has changed somewhat to simply attracting attention which is why bars such as the DollHouse group have a number of girls standing outside the bars on both sides of the street dressed in uniforms or fancy costumes and wearing colored wigs. Again the logic here is draw the customers attention to your bar but do it by utilizing means other than overt sexuality.
The Atlantis door girls where the emphasis is placed on getting the customers attention through use of large numbers of girls and gimmicks such as colored wigs rather than overt sexuality.
In a recent conversation with DollHouse upper management we discussed the image of the DHG of bars and I was informed that they strive to present an “entertainment package with an emphasis on shows” rather than just blatantly selling sex. This approach is shown by their door girls who try to get customers attention by wearing fancy costumes and colored wigs whereas in other bars they are still selling the promise of sexual fulfillment and as such the door girls who work here try to attract the customers with overt displays of sexuality. The door girls in many ways reflect the attitude of management. In days gone by it was all about attracting customers via the promise of sex but with relatively recent pressure from the city administration and new directives regarding door girls the emphasis is now slowly shifting to means other than displays of sexuality.
The La Pasha door girls are excellent and combine many of the required attributes that make up a good door girl who is proficient at her job.
There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to having door girls. As always I prefer to start with the positive so first of all I will outline the advantages. The first advantage is purely an economic one. A good door girl can be a real draw card when it comes to getting customers through the door. Normally the best door girls will be the ones with good looks, a slightly better than average grasp of English and an outgoing personality. Best of all her salary is minimal and if she is any good she can produce far more money for the bar that what she costs.
When it comes to the number of customers in the bar the door girls often have a direct influence. For example in the bars which are upstairs or slightly hidden the door girls play a pivotal role in enticing customers inside the bar. A classic example of this is Golden Nile which is upstairs on the third floor and only accessible by an elevator or by walking up two flights of stairs. If the customers do not have prior knowledge of the bars existence then the door girls are the only way in which they would ever know there is a girlie bar there.
Another advantage to door girls is that they provide a sort of regular contact with the customer. Many of these door girls will get to know the regular customers which in turn encourages the customer to adopt a particular bar as one of his regular stops partly because he is friends with the door girl. When this happens the door girl in question will remember the customers name which equals instant recognition and a feeling of being welcome in the customers mind. For want of a better term this is what I call the “Cheers” effect.
The voodoo door girls literally have the street wired and know many customers by name.
Every girl has what is loosely referred to as her “shelf life “ in the bar. In other words she can only be a dancer for so long and then she becomes past her prime so to speak. Many of these girls who have been working the bar for an extended period of time still retain their good looks, they generally have a good grasp of English and they are not shy to flaunt their sexuality as such they often end up as door girls. The position of door girl in this respect helps the girls extend her tenure in the bar.
The ability to converse in English is a definite advantage both for the door girl and the customers. Many times I have seen customers bring the door girls inside buy them drinks and just engage in conversation. The door girls provide good companionship as well as acting as a sort of host. Often they will give the customer valuable information about the bar and the individual girls working there and on occasions they can even help should a problem occur as a result of miscommunication.
The AC bars for many people represent a social occasion as much as they do a mongering opportunity and here the door girls play an important role. Generally speaking the door girls have the street ‘wired’ and they will know people by name and know where they are. Many times if I am looking for a group of friends and they are not answering their phones I have asked the door girls of their whereabouts and most of the time they have told me exactly where my friends are.
Last but not least for people who are in a hurry the door girls represent a quick and easy bar fine. I have often seen customers pay a bar fine only to be left sitting in the bar for another half an hour while the girl goes to get changed, put on her makeup etc. With the door girls there is really no need to get changed as they come ready to take out.
Of course there are two sides to every story and so it is with door girls. Just as there are many advantages to having door girls there are also several disadvantages and primary amongst these is that sometimes the door girls become possessive and will actually ‘cock block’ you. It is not uncommon for the door girls to form a sort attachment to their customers and once this happens they will often give you a hard time if they see you with another girl, in fact sometimes they will even give the girl you are with a hard time.
Generally speaking there are minimal social barriers between Filipinas and they can form friendships very easily. In some ways this is an attractive feature but in others it is a distinct disadvantage. For example if a door girl befriends your girlfriend she will not hesitate to report your activities to her. There is an old saying which says, “there are no secrets in Angeles and this is certainly the case when it comes to door girls. Whilst a door girl may be your friend if she is also friends with your regular girl be aware that her priority will be to her fellow female and she report on your activities in a heartbeat. To be on the safe side I tend to categorize all door girls in the same boat. Generally speaking everyone of them is a blabber mouth and incapable of keeping a secret.
In terms of the bar there are several disadvantages to having door girls. As stated previously the door girls easily form friendships and this includes with Filipino men. It is not uncommon for the door girls to spend a large percentage of their time talking with the Filipino guys rather than calling the customers. Often the door girls will block the entrance to a bar without even realizing they are doing it and I am yet to see a reliable door girl who doesn’t spend a lot of time eating smoking or chatting in an internet café when she is supposed to be calling customers.
There are several elements that combine to make a good door-girl but the primary one is her ability to flaunt her sexuality and entice customers to enter the bar. Other attributes which are essential for a good door girl are an outgoing personality, the ability to approach customers, the ability to converse in English and of course a curvaceous body. Love them or hate them the door girls are very much part of the Angeles bar scene and will no doubt be so for many years to come.