DTLA: Bar Mattachine, the Newest Gay Bar in Town
Bar Mattachine is the latest of the new gay bars to open in Downtown Los Angeles. However, it’s definitely the first gay “craft” bar in DTLA, possibly in all of Los Angeles. About 8 years ago, I met a trio of gay Australians in Boston who have come to LA from time to time. One expressed how disappointed he was with the drinks at gay bars. He felt the craft movement should have been embraced early on. I shrugged and figured it was coming. And now that Bar Mattachine is here, maybe others might rethink their drinks program. I have heard of some movement at the grand dame of them all, The Abbey. When the Abbey flips, the rest will surely follow. In the meantime, Bar Mattachine is my pick for a gay bar with good drinks. Of course, that means I’ll have to resurrect my Gays and Dolls bar crawl and hit up Redline (6th and Los Angeles), Precinct (4th & Broadway) and now Bar Mattachine. And we must not forget long time favorite New Jalisco (2nd and Main) with their wonderful drag shows.
Bar Mattachine is named after the Mattachine Society, a gay rights group started by Harry Hay. It is of course appropriate to have a drink named after the leader, the Harry Hay. This was my favorite drink of the night as it rings all the bells- brown, bitter, stirred. It’s essentially a Manhattan variation with Rittenhouse rye.
The Harry Hay – Rittenhouse 100 proof rye, Benedictine, Amaro Vallet Bark of Angostura, maraschino liqueur, Dolin rouge sweet vermouth,
I really liked the art and vibe of the bar. This dueling tongues mural by the main bar is amazing.
For a more refreshing drink, try the Hartwood. The smokey mezcal is balanced with pineapple and demerara sugar. This is much needed as we head into yet another hot weekend.
Hartwood – El Silencio mezcal, pineapple, lime, demerara sugar, Angostura bitters
My other favorite types of drinks are flips, fizzes and sours. I just love egg and egg white drinks. A great one is the Strawberry Banke Fizz. The drink was perfectly shaken and incorporated a delicate gin. But if you don’t want a raw eggy drink, try the Pershing Square Fix. It’s one of those great thirst-quenching drinks.
Strawberry Banke Fizz -Hendrick’s gin, curacao, house strawberry honey syrup, egg white, lime, soda
Pershing Square Fix – vodka, house curacao, crushed raspberries, lemon
We headed upstairs to the Quick and Easy bar where there’s a lounge area as well as a frozen drinks bar. Bar Mattachine plans to have live entertainment in the lounge. I love the disco ball and the trippy wall paper.
You may have had froze daiquiris before but nothing like these. I tried Rudi’s Downfall which made long for a beach chair and cabana boys fanning me but I settled for the promise of go go boys in the lounge … one can dream. This drink is named after Harry Hay’s lover Rudi Gernreich who was a fashion designer. He was well known as being in the closet fearing if he came out, it would hurt his fashion line. Of course the joke is if he had a couple of these drinks, it would have been his downfall.
Rudi’s Downfall – Flor de Cana 4-year-old rum, Flor de Cana 7-year-old rum, pineapple, lime, honey syrup
Now when to organize a gay bar crawl of DTLA?(213) 278-0741 © The Minty 2015