How To Get Into A Nightclub: An NYC Hotspot Insider Tells All

UPDATE: This story was originally published on October 6.
Clamoring at the door of an NYC nightclub is never a good look. For one thing, seeming like a velvet rope novice could ruin your chances at "getting in" and for another, given the rumble outside many elite doors, it could also ruin your styled-to-perfection "going out" look. So, we called in expert nightlife guru and Mister H general manager, Chad Campbell, to give us the low down on at-the-door behavior and his favorite NYC hotspots. Given the crowd of glammed-up hopefuls that swarm the Soho mainstay, we trust his judgement (and his adorable smile). Read on for our exclusive interview, and, next time you're at the door, just say you know him... you know, from Refinery29 and all.
Whats the craziest thing you’ve ever seen go down at one of your clubs? (That you can talk about?) "While there are so many things to choose from, one night that stands out was several years back when I was hosting a party for the NBA All Star Game at a club that held approximately 2,000 people. A rap icon was knocked unconscious and mayhem ensued. The whole club spiraled out of control and a police swat team was dispatched inside — we definitely had our hands full."
What is one mistake people make when trying to get into a club? "Having a sense of entitlement and a bad attitude right off the bat."
What’s the best way to get in without trying too hard? "Ultimately, respect the people who work there and remember you are probably not the first person they had to deal with that night — telling people no is not an easy job. When they ask, 'may I help you,' a simple 'I was hoping to join your establishment this evening,' will go a very long way."
How did you get the idea for such crazy dancers/entertainment at Mister H? "The idea of having dancers at Mister H was definitely a group effort, but since I became GM I’ve enjoyed pushing the boundaries and letting the entertainment evolve into a main attraction. "
Do you feel like you need to keep going bigger and badder? If so, what’s next? "I wouldn’t necessarily say bigger and badder, but I will continue to push and deviate from what has become the norm for nightlife venues. Inevitably some things will not work, but I am enjoying the ride."
What are your other favorite night spots in the city? "I really enjoy supporting friends and the neighborhood around Mister H. As I generally work till 5 a.m., I like to swing by places earlier in the evening. My favorite place to grab an early cocktail is Oficina Latina on Prince Street. I always have a great experience and leave feeling the moon is glowing just a bit brighter. The Wren, Mulberry Project, and La Esquina are also a few of my favorite spots."
How do you give celebs the VIP Treatment? "While other venues like to make a presentation of their celeb guests, I think what sets apart the VIP treatment at Mister H is in our discretion and anonymity. For a celebrity to feel safe and comfortable is my main objective, and create an atmosphere where they can truly enjoy themselves. Of course, as far as service goes, they will not be left wanting."

Your hours must be crazy, what does a typical day look like for you?

"I generally wake up around noon and get started since my day is not the typical 9-to-5, but rather 5-to-9. I enjoy being active and either rock climb, golf, or go to the gym first thing. I spend a couple of hours dedicated to emails and admin work, but then head to Mister H where I work straight until 5 a.m. It is so important in this business that you keep your finger on the pulse, so I like to use Friday/Saturday as my nights to catch up with friends at other nightlife spots and in the fashion/art world. On my days off I disappear — the summers are great for a surf or hike, and in the winter I head to the mountains to ride."
Whats the best look a girl could rock to Mister H? "It is more than what a girl wears; it’s how she carries herself. Elegance and grace are difficult for someone to project if they don’t feel comfortable in what they are wearing. Whatever style fits your soul, go all in!"
What's your favorite part about your job? "I am so lucky to be in an industry where I meet so many different people all the time. I love working with creative minds, whether it be a conversation over a beer or planning an event/performance for Mister H."
What's your favorite dance track? "Some say I have an old soul and a young heart — when I hear 'Moombahton' I can't help but get excited (even though I have no business dancing to it!)."
From RDV East to Boom Boom to Mister H, you’ve seen alot in nightlife. Ever think of opening your own place? What do you think is missing from the NYC biz and what would you make sure your dream club had? "Opening my own place is definitely something I see in the future, but it is all about the timing. The venues I previously worked at gave me the structure and climate of the industry, and the people I’ve met along the way have continued to inspire me and led me on an incredible journey. I do believe there is a significant void in nightlife that needs to be filled, but as that will be my niche, New York will have to wait and see just what it is!"

Photo: Courtesy of Shadow PR

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