Keep New Times Free

Rob Strabala of Charlie's

Rob Strabala

knows how to deal with drunk people. Not because he's good at manhandling and intimidating with his biceps (those baby blues don't exactly scream


) but because he knows that patience (and often times a little flirting) goes a hell of a long way with someone who has had


10 too many.

Rob has worked in the bar industry for 21 years and is currently the assistant manager, bartender and frequent doorman of the legendary gay cowboy bar, Charlie's. We're gonna go ahead and trust that he has has quite a few tricks and some pretty entertaining stories up his sleeve. That is, if his shirt had sleeves.

How to spot a fake: After 21 years of checking ID's, I guess I've gotten pretty good but it's actually really easy. Flashlights are key because of the holograms and feeling the ID with your thumb to make sure nothing is raised helps too. I also always look at height, weight and birthday. You'd be surprised how many people screw this up when using a fake.

Really? No purses or man bags allowed inside? We don't allow oversized bags for security reasons. It's easier for us to control what's being smuggled in or out. Again, you'd be surprised.

Best part of job: You're the first and last person people see so it's important to smile and have a good attitude. No matter what experience they have inside you're the one in control.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

I also get a lot of phone numbers.

Worst part of job: We have an after-hours on the weekends so we stay open till 4am. A lot of the time people are coming from other bars and we have to turn peope away for being too intoxicated. Whenever too much alcohol is involved it's a rough task. It's almost like babysitting or being a referee. And, of course, there is always a fight.

Last crazy: A guy got kicked out for being too drunk, climbed on the roof and jumped into the backyard where we have a volleyball court. Luckily, the police were there that night.

It's amazing what people will do to get back into the bar after being kicked out. They'll go home to change, put on a hat or switch shirts with their friends in the parking lot. Never a dull moment.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.