If you are from out of town, you might wonder, where do all those people come from? Or how long will I have to wait? Below you will find the answers to those questions and more in an attempt to take the guesswork out of lines.
Why are they standing in line?
All bars have fire codes for occupancy. Some limits are small (a hundred or fewer). All bars count the number of people coming and going to make sure they don't go over that limit. And if you just saw two or three people leave the bar, that doesn't mean you can go right in. They might have said to one of the bouncers, "I'm just getting some air," or "I have a phone call to make," or "I'm going to the ATM."
So while you might think the bouncer is being nasty as he tells you to wait, he really might be waiting to see if the people that "just stepped out" are coming back. Courtesy says that they should go first because they already waited on the line and are technically still there. Keep in mind, though, that some places on a really busy night will make you get back on the line even if you are stepping out for a minute. It's best to check first.
Why is it moving so slowly?
One of the top reasons the line stalls is because of arguments with the bouncer. Usually it is people at the top of the line who argue about paying cover or over ID. There isn't a bar in Hoboken that doesn't card people on the line before they go in. No amount of arguing over an expired license or improper ID is going to get you into the bar. The only thing you'll succeed in doing is stalling the line, annoying the people behind you, and tiring yourself out.
A plea of "I know the owner" or "I was here last night" still won't get you inside without ID. If you want the line to move quickly, have your ID out of your wallet and in your hand. Even if you are 30 with gray hair, you'll still get carded. And chances are, that joke that you really think is funny, the bouncer has already heard at least three times that night.
Be polite. If you think you're cold standing in line for 10 minutes, think how the bouncer feels standing outside all night. Not to mention the strange things that they have to deal with.
"One time a guy brought a little kid's chair with him and sat on it," said Jordan, a Hoboken bouncer. "I still think it's funny seeing guys hit on girls on the line so they have it all set up before they even go into the bar," said Chad, another bouncer.
How come that guy just walked right in?
You've been standing online for what feels like an hour, and then you see some guy walk to the front, talk to the bouncer, and go right in. What just happened?
Again, you don't know what he said to the bouncer. You only know that you are now at the front and expect to go in next. That guy might be one of the formerly mentioned customers that got stamped on the way out and said "I'll be right back." Maybe he needed air, maybe he got pizza, or maybe he even works there.
Comments or complaints to the bouncer aren't going to get you in any faster.
Another possibility is that the person has a VIP card and as a courtesy was allowed in ahead of you. Many of the bars give them to their best customers. That means that you actually have to go to their bar on a regular basis, not just once every weekend. One of the awards of a VIP is to get into the bar faster when possible.
"I've never waited in line," said Nick, a Weehawken resident. "Once you've bartended in town for over seven years, you get to know all the owners."
And while it may seem like you've been waiting a long time, the average wait for most places is around 5 to 10 minutes.
A few reasons
When asked, most people said that they don't really like waiting on a line, but will if the place is a hot spot. Here is what a few of you said when asked why they were waiting:
* "Because this is the hottest spot in Hoboken. Tuesday night is half price martini night," said Joe, Hoboken resident, outside the Madison on 14th Street on Tuesday night.
* "Because I'm patient and I'm going to get it like I want it," said Arnold, a Leonia resident, at the Madison.
* "My roommate told me this is the place to be in Hoboken," said Brian, a Hoboken resident, at the Madison.
* "Because the Black Bear is the place to be," said Yvette.
* "We're waiting because our friends are in there," said Melody, a New York City resident, at The Black Bear.
* "I'm not a line guy," said John, New York City resident, at the Black Bear. "Honestly, when I was 18, I went to Montreal and waited in line for about a half hour on New Year's Eve."
* "Because this place is hot," said Cheryl, a Hoboken resident, outside of Nine.
* "Because I knew it was a good place," said Jason, a West New York resident, outside of Bahama Mama's.
* "We waited awhile to get in because I'm Irish. But it's a good place though. Good music. We came for stag night in Hoboken," said Mike, a Queens resident, at The Whiskey Bar.
* "Because the Hoboken type is basically a herd animal. They have to have a lot of friends around them," said Jordan, a Brooklyn resident, outside McSwiggan's.
So, why wait?
So, you're standing on line and you notice that a bar down the street doesn't seem to have a long line. Do you jump off the line and try to go to that venue instead? No. That's what people always think - and that's why you see so many groups of people wandering around on Washington Street on a Saturday night. They check first to see if a place is busy or "worth it," and then waste valuable time looking to see which line is shorter.
If you'd waited, you'd be inside already.