LOS ANGELES ATHLETIC CLUB
MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES
For more than 125 years, The Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) has remained dedicated to its mission of providing for the body, mind and spirit of its members. A private club that features state-of-the-art athletic and spa facilities, award-winning restaurants, bars, luxury meeting, conference, and hotel rooms, and an array of social, business, and athletic events, membership, indeed, has its perks.
The LAAC is Los Angeles’ first private club. Founded in 1880, when L.A. was town of only 11,000 people, the club was created when 40 prominent Angelenos gathered together to create an American style club for the “best young men” of the community. It quickly emerged as the center for physical culture in Southern California. When the club’s current location opened in 1912, it featured the first building in SoCal to have a swimming pool on an upper floor.
Step inside the 12-story downtown building today and you will most likely be impressed by its refinement and posh décor. Anyone desiring to stay in the club’s boutique hotel, which occupies the top three floors of the historic landmark building, must enroll in the Olive Club membership. The $25 membership fee will be included in your first night’s room charges.
Once you find yourself in The LAAC, make sure to get a good workout in and at some point find time to relax and indulge in quality libations as Bar Director Brandon Ravare has curated a fine craft cocktail program.
A perk for members who enjoy the taste of fine spirits is the club’s Beer and Spirits Guild, which Brandon oversees.
“I reach out to brands that I feel are doing something special in the industry and invite them to the club to showcase their passion projects in a fun and interesting way,” explains Ravare. “Ordinary [and] mundane tastings are discouraged. This mix of industry, connoisseur and socialite, keeps the energy in the room always buzzing with curiosity and wonder. Along with the perks of partaking in these free monthly activities, they also are given special happy-hour rates and the opportunity to purchase liquor lockers in The Blue Room.”
Brandon’s cocktail menu features True Classics like the Bobby Burns; Eastside; Cosmopolitan; and Paloma. The Modern Classics menu features the lovely American Trilogy with Rittenhouse Rye and St. George Apple Brandy; Medicina Latina with both tequila and mezcal; Duke’s Martini with Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch and Pedro Ximenez Sherry; and the Paper Plain with Old Forester Bourbon, Aperol, and Amaro Nonino.
Needless to say, the cocktails at LAAC are stellar.
Guests can unwind and indulge in one of several swank rooms to dine or imbibe, including the Blue Room, Invention, Famous Players, Fresh 8, and Trophy Room. Each room offers its own refined setting to escape and getaway and simply revel in tranquility and unparalleled hospitality.
Enjoy a casual breakfast or lunch in bistro where you options include Eggs Benedict to burgers and Bahn Mi, or feast from a daring dinner menu that features filet mignon, New York steak, New Zealand lamb rack, Atlantic salmon and seafood pasta.
Membership varies depending on Standard or Premium membership, as well as by age. Standard initiation fees for an Associate, age 31-34, is $475 with monthly dues of $144. Executive membership for those age 35 and older includes a $695 initiation fee and monthly dues of $185. Executive members seeking Premium membership age 35 or older will pay an initiation fee of $5,000 and monthly dues of $305. Full Premium membership includes membership to the California Yacht Club, and The Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Whether you’re looking for a good gym workout or a swim, or even a haircut at a classic barbershop, time spent at The LAAC in the gym, spa, or comfy, plush rooms is all about indulgence, refinement, and escape.
The Los Angeles Athletic Club is located at 431 West Seventh Street. Call 213-625-2211.
Story By: Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy Of: The Los Angeles Athletic Club