Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2014. It has been updated throughout with the latest information.
According to LA Confidential, there’s an old adage that goes, “The people who run Los Angeles belong to The Jonathan Club; the people who own Los Angeles belong to The California Club.”
These venerable, intimidating Downtown institutions were never the only clubs in town, but maybe it was that apparent binary that inspired LA’s huge proliferation of private, members-only societies.
Today, there’s a club for elites of nearly every stripe: globe-trekkers, athletes, magicians. These clubs remain close-knit, and you still need the endorsement of active members to join, of course. Many of these clubs function not only as a physical place to have meetings with people you’d like to impress, but as an “in” to a much larger network of national and international exclusivity.
Despite a brief decline, it seems that members-only clubs are once again starting to appeal to young, professional Angelenos—just look at the rising popularity of places like the British transplant Arts Club and the forthcoming Arts District location of Soho House. (In some cases, coworking spaces are rising to the levels of social clubs of yore.)
For those who might not be able to gain entry into these under-the-radar societies, we’ve mapped some of Los Angeles’s most interesting exclusive clubs, from the Adventurers’ Club to the Magic Castle.Read More