We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Dorado and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matt, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I’m a rare native Angeleno, and have lived here my whole life (other than college, where I spent four years in Santa Barbara). Growing up a stone’s throw away from Hollywood, surrounded by theme parks and local attractions, and a vibrant performing arts scene, I was surrounded by “show business” from a young age. I was captivated by the magic of entertainment, and the worlds that people created to immerse audiences in. That, combined with an obsession with all things horror and fantasy as a kid, really set me on the path I’m on now.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I created a company called Drunken Devil. We produce–and get ready for this–horror and fantasy-themed dining experiences, nightlife, and immersive entertainment. It all started as a haunted house attraction back in 2015, that featured a hellish bar at the end with burlesque, roaming magicians, and characters. The attraction itself was a bit of a bomb, but people responded well to the bar, so I took that concept of themed nightlife and ran with it. It definitely wasn’t easy–it took years for us to find our niche and really nail down exactly what kind of content we produce. Drunken Devil’s whole mission is to create spooky, wildly themed spaces for people to enjoy and let loose. After the haunted house, we were essentially doing underground immersive warehouse parties, and then we expanded from there. In the past few years, we’ve been fortunate enough to partner with big alcohol brands like Apothic Wine, El Silencio Mezcal, Tito’s Vodka, and Lucid Absinthe, and incorporated custom libations in the narratives themselves. In addition, our shows have characters within a shared universe, and as guests begin to attend more regularly, they get to know different characters and learn more about the world within the events. The pandemic did a number on our business model, so we’re taking time now to reassess and regroup as we prepare for all new content. We are eagerly preparing for brand new, revamped experiences, and a major project coming in Spring 2021 (fingers crossed!)
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m going to answer this outside of the context of a deadly pandemic! Martinis at Musso & Frank are a must. That’s one of my favorite spots in all of LA, and I can spend hours at the bar, chatting with friends. Figaro Bistrot in Los Feliz is my go-to brunch spot, while Little Dom’s a few blocks over is my favorite place for dinner. Because I’m into all things spooky, I’d have to take them to Horror Row in Burbank. There’s enough there for a whole day of exploring, including the Mystic Museum, Halloweentown, Dark Delicacies, and Blast from the Past. I’m a big tiki bar guy, so I’d take them to Tiki Ti, Tonga Hut, and Lono. No trip would be complete without a visit to Pioneertown (along with a stay in Joshua Tree just up the road). It’s got the perfect amount of western kitsch, and the newly opened Red Dog Saloon is an amazing place for beer and bites. I’d have to stop by Pappy and Harriet’s, as well, for a drink and some music.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be here without the unwavering support from my closest friends. They’ve always encouraged me to keep going, and, even more importantly, reminded me of who I am when I feel like I’m losing myself in my work.