Socialista Doorman Jeffrey Trunell Wants to Let You In But Sometimes Can't

Jeff Trunell

"I want to let in people I don't know."Photo: Melissa Hom


Jeffrey Trunell was an actor who did commercial work in L.A. before moving here. He was a doorman at La Esquina when Armin Amiri asked him to help open his new club. (Amiri must have reconsidered once turning Trunell away from Bungalow 8.) In the time Trunells worked the door at Socialista, hes been spat on by at least one person he turned away, something he says was exciting in a disgusting way all part of the fluid experience of his equally enviable and unenviable position.

When Socialista first opened, there was a rumor that a little person was going to be the doorman. Whats his story?
His names Anthony Cumberbatch hes an actor also. Ive always been the doorman. When Im not working, hes my assistant or protg. Hes a host hes a great personality.

What advice would you give someone trying to get in who isnt friends with the owner?
I want to let in people I dont know. Im not always in the position to do that. Just be cool with us. Dont come with eight guys theres no way. Some people want to give you money, and they keep talking and talking. Theyre never getting in. Its like, Youre really getting under my skin.

Do people have to be working a certain look?
I dont know much about fashion, but you know when someone walks up and they look like they know what theyre doing for themselves whether its a cool hat or a girl doesnt look like shes shopping off a rack at Bloomingdale's. You dont have to get super dressed up, or you can. You dont have to look like a total hipster either.

Has anyone ever freaked out after you turned them away?
I was threatened by a movie director who had a conniption fit and wanted to fight me. He came with two other guys; he insisted the owner had invited him and wasnt willing to elaborate on that at all. He was very pushy so I said, No. He walked down the street and I was looking past him and he went apeshit What the fuck you fuckin looking at? Ill fuckin kill you. He was like a child.

Have you ever caught someone lying?
People say, Im a great friend of Armin, and Armin will be standing next to me. I told this one girl, Give him a call. She pretended to call him. She put me on the phone with a guy pretending to be Armin. I was on the phone saying, Armin, I cant understand what youre saying. Should I let her in? I begrudgingly sort of admired her.

Do people stand a better chance of getting in if they eat at the restaurant?
Theyre on separate floors, and they might as well be on separate coasts. The restaurant is busy we cant take care of everyone eating there because wed be too busy upstairs.

Is one night easier to get into than another?
Its pretty consistently busy. I dont think one night is better than the other. Sometimes theres no rhyme or reason.

Does it help to come earlier in the night?
Yeah. We open at 10 p.m. if I were able to get people in, it would be around then. But theres no guarantee.