Industry Insiders: Bobby Green, Designer of L.A.’s Top Themed Bars

When Bobby Green (center) transformed a space in Los Angeles into a log cabin-inspired bar in 1998, and quickly saw lines form to get inside, he knew he had hit on something huge.

“I realized that people don’t just want a cool bar with red lights and velvet chairs; they want more,” says Green, the man responsible for transforming L.A. nightlife into a highly thematic, immersive experience into another era. As the creative director of nightlife company 1933 Group, and a self-professed “old soul,” Green has since opened, among others, the Mexican grotto-inspired bar La Cuevita, the post-Prohibition Thirsty Crow, and most recently, the Savannah townhouse Sassafras Saloon, trucked in straight from Georgia.

“Sassafras is our biggest and grandest spot so far,” Green says. “We had more money and time to make the place perfect, so we shopped around Savannah to buy bits and pieces that really capture that lazy, relaxed Southern feeling.”

While Green is inspired by the movie set that is the city of Los Angeles, most of his ideas come straight from his favorite memories of growing up in Oklahoma, and skiing in New Mexico and Colorado every year. “I live in another era,” Green says. “There are so many places I’ve gone to and love, and all I want to do is recreate them, and let others have those incredible experiences.”

Los Angeles Opening: Sassafras Saloon

Having so successfully transported LA hipsters to the Great Northwest with their Bigfoot Lodge (before it was all trendy to be old-timey), 1933 Group have taken a turn to Southern days of yore with their new Sassafras Saloon.

The glories of the old south are in full effect (minus all the bad stuff, of course), with a 19th-Century townhouse literally trucked over from Savannah and reassembled. Think antique fireplaces, an old "courting couch" (gentlemanly behavior is expected, fellas), an actual wraparound porch fitted to the interior, and a big, stuffed grizzly bear. With drinks like the rye-and-sarsaparilla Sassafras Royal, the Toasted Pecan Julep, and barrel-aged cocktails, this is as Rhett-and-Scarlett as Hollywood has been since Gable and Leigh took to an MGM soundstage in 1938. Frankly, my dear…

Want to be first? Sign up for BlackBook Happenings now and get the latest openings and events in the city of your choice delivered to your inbox every Monday.