Greensboro’s ten best Doormen or women

by Brian Clarey

Josh Cowan and Chris Haynes

Christie’s Cabaret

4016 W. Wendover Ave.; 336.855.9024

Manager Michelle Reedy puts up two of her best, Josh and Chris, who she says have mastered the subtle art of the strip-club bounce. ‘“99.9 percent of the time,’” she says, ‘“it’s not a hands-on situation. You have to have discipline and control and that’s what they execute more than the ability to just beat someone up.’” About Josh, a former wrestler, she says, ‘“He’s very diplomatic’… always willing to help whatever needs to be done.’” Chris, she says, is a former Marine who heads up the team of ‘“floor hosts’” at the gentlemen’s club. ‘“He knows where the club’s assets lie,’” she says. ‘“He knows which guy is best to defuse a situation.’”

Scott Wilson


2120 Walker Ave.; 336.333.0094

Scotty Wilson is one of the best-known landmarks on the corner of Walker and Elam in the Whiskey District, generally found standing outside the door of the Wahoo with his hands in his pockets and wearing his trademark hat and sunglasses. Says Thom Shirley, longtime bartender, ‘“I’ve worked with the guy for six years and I’ve never seen him without them.’” Shirley also slings praise for his bouncer: ‘“Man, he’s solid. He has the rapport with the people out there; they can come down and spend as much time talking to him as they do talking to anyone inside. At any given time there can be six or eight people out there.’”

Benton James

The Next Door Tavern

219 S Elm St.; 336.273.1811

You couldn’t ask for more from a doorman than what Benton James brings every night. He’s big ‘— 6 foot 7 and built like a mini-forklift; he’s gentle and calming; he shows up on time and he sticks around to help clean up. Unless he’s got a gig. Benton is one of the front men for Greensboro-based hip-hop act the Urban Sophisticates (see ‘“Crashing the Gate’” p. 46 for news on their latest CD), the sotto voce spoken-word foil to his brother Aaron’s astral vocal presence. Aaron’s even bigger and standing between the two of them makes us feel tiny and birdlike.

Aaron Chavis

The Blind Tiger

2115 Walker Ave.; 336.272.9888

Another fixture on the Corner is the looming presence of Aaron Chavis, the very tall gatekeeper at the Blind Tiger and ringer for the Shucka’s Alley basketball team. Guys that big don’t have to act tough. ‘“He’s very soft spoken,’” says Blind Tiger employee John Player. ‘“They say speak softly and carry a big stick? He carries a big Aaron.’”

Kenny Efird

Greene Street

113 N. Greene St.; 336.273.4111

In a characteristic gesture of confidence Kenny Efird nominates himself as the best doorman in Greensboro. Sure, Kenny’s the owner of the club. But at 6 foot 2 and 245 pounds he cuts an imposing figure by the velvet rope. ‘“When I choose to work the door,’” he says, ‘“you can’t get a better door guy than me.’” It’s true ‘— just ask Vince Neil from Motley Crüe, who mistook Kenny for security the night he appeared at the club and very nearly felt his wrath after brushing him off.

‘Big’ Lee Meekins and

Heather Thompson

N Club/Red Room

117 S. Elm St.; 336.333.9300

Joey Medaloni would put his two best people up against anyone in town. Both longtime employees, they work in tandem at the door like two mules pulling the same cart. About Chris, who hails from the seaside town of Manteo, Joey says, ‘“God molded him to be a front door man. In fact his dad is a career doorguy. He’s worked the same place for the last fifteen years.’” Heather came to Greensboro from upstate New York. ‘“We imported her for the job,’” Joey says. ‘“We needed a woman with sex appeal and a little attitude to make you feel like you’re walking through a red velvet rope.’”

Reggie ‘Pumpkin’ Cook

Club Orion

4618 W. Market St.; 336.299.4777

The security force at Club Orion is an imposing corps, each clad in black with a space-age earpiece and a keen eye for trouble. Mikey Prestano, owner of Club Orion says that his head of security, a guy people sometimes call ‘Pumpkin,’ caught his eye when he bought the place about a year ago. ‘“I was looking for the best,’” he says, ‘“and he’s one of the best. He’s a huge guy but I mean, he’ll talk a guy down, kick a guy out of the club and make him feel good about it. He gets a lot of respect.’”

Chris Kidd

The Clubhouse

435 Dolley Madison Road; 336.856.9555

Owner Art Jefferis breaks it down for us. ‘“I’ll tell you a secret,’” he says. ‘“How people are treated at the door determines how they’re gonna act in the club. When you have somebody at the door who treats people with respect and is friendly, they don’t walk in with a chip on their shoulder.’” Art, who also feels he’s got the best doormen in town, nominated Chris because of his self-control and diplomacy. ‘“Chris is one of the doormen who can walk an irate customer out, they thank him and ask if they can come back the next night.’”

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