It’s not surprising that Bar Mattachine skews towards the cerebral. The name itself is a nod to one of the first gay rights organizations, the Los Angeles-based Mattachine Society, founded by Harry Hay in 1950. In a sense, Grecian Guild, the DTLA craft cocktail bar’s Friday party, is a thematic extension of that namesake in both its mid-century sensibility and queer intellectualism. The conceptual love child of longtime friends DJ Aaron Elvis and bar owner Garrett McKechnie, Grecian Guild is a unique event that presents go-gos doing the most unthinkable act one could ever imagine in Los Angeles—reading.
“Garrett came to me and asked if I wanted to do a night. I came to him with the concept of an old beefcake pictorial theme from the ‘50s and ‘60s,” says Elvis. “That’s what the Mattachine Society would be reading at that period. That led into, ‘Why don’t we have guys there who are not technically go-go boys but hot guys in states of undress reading books’—usually books from that period.”