Robert Anderson, the head of security at the Sloppy Tuna nightclub in Montauk, has confiscated over 200 forms of fake identification so far this season, he said on Sunday. The expertise he has acquired during his 26 years as a full-time bouncer also helps the other bars in town, he said, since those under-age hopefuls will no longer have the false documents to try to get in elsewhere.
The examination of holograms on licenses is the primary method, he said, although he is also skilled at determining who is under age by the behavior and facial features of those who present IDs belonging to someone else.
Mr. Anderson very much enjoys his position. He took the job when the beachfront bar opened two years ago, in the spot formerly occupied by Nick’s. “It’s interesting,” he said. “I meet a lot of different people.” Since moving to the States 12 years ago from South Africa, he has worked as a bouncer in “most of the bars in Montauk,” he said, and also went south to provide his services in Key West, Fla., for a time.
He spoke on Funday Sunday at the Tuna as the Realm played music and patrons of all ages danced on a packed lower outdoor deck beginning at 3:30 p.m., while others mingled on the upper oceanfront deck. He looked around, seeking to head off problems — asking those who were visibly drunk to leave the premises, for example, or preventing cigarette smoking inside and drinking outside, and checking identification.
Music is commonplace at the bar, often with D.J.s playing on site, day and night, but crowds also gather for contests, drink specials, and themed events such as the one to take place this weekend to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
In charge of the whole security crew, Mr. Anderson decides who is posted where, whether upstairs or downstairs, inside or outside, with the goal of keeping the peace. The effort has been successful. “There hasn’t been a fight this season.”
The trained staff members are told to get rid of those who look as though they might start trouble before they have a chance to, such as individuals or groups who are observed “mouthing off,” Mr. Anderson said. Both parties are asked to leave, in a respectful but firm manner. A 6-foot-2, 265-pound bouncer with a sophisticated accent and polite manner, he believes in “killing with kindness,” rather than aggressive tactics.
Abby Monahan, the general manager of the Sloppy Tuna, is appreciative of Mr. Anderson’s skills. She considers him her right-hand man or even older brother, she said, and is grateful that he keeps her safe in addition to protecting the interests of the bar’s owners.
Mr. Anderson said that there is not much he hasn’t seen, and not much that will surprise him during his six-day workweek, most of which has him at his post from 7 p.m. through 4 a.m. It starts earlier on Saturdays, which he called a crazy day in terms of volume.
With plans to stay in Montauk permanently, year round, Mr. Anderson said he would pursue a freelance security position after October’s end, during the colder months when the bar is closed.