The Good Ol’ Girls Club was modeled after the ever-popular men’s gathering, Stag Night.
Started by Mark Evans in 2008, Stag Night is a continuation of the historical Santa Maria Club which was incorporated in 1920. The Santa Maria Club began with a group of businessmen who purchased a property located at 800 South Broadway, with the purpose of establishing a clubhouse. One of the founder’s, Ed Craig, built a BBQ pit at the now historic Landmark Building, and the Stag BBQ held on the second Wednesday of every month quickly became famous.
It’s difficult to say why the Santa Maria Club’s famed Stag BBQs began to decline in the 1970s, but Mark believes that the Club did not encourage young people to join. As the Stag BBQ appeal started to fade, expenses of operating the Club and maintenance on the building began to rise. Monthly dues increased and so did the cost of dinners. In March 1981, the Santa Maria Club sold the Landmark Building, and the Club eventually disbanded.
On September 10, 2008, Mark and a group of friends gathered around, as many of us do, a Santa Maria Style BBQ, and pitched the idea of a men’s club based on the traditions of the famed Santa Maria Style BBQ. A club that encouraged young men to learn the ins and outs of the of the BBQ, embracing camaraderie and fellowship that comes with grilling meat over an open flame. A club with a mission of “hospitality, food and friends simply meeting up, shoulder to shoulder being the guiding principle.” Carrying on the values of the Santa Maria Club, Stag Night provides a space where friendships develop and grow. For the young men who join, lessons learned are not just in the art of our community’s beloved Santa Maria Style BBQ.
While logistics of the Good Ol’ Girls Club differs from that of Stag Night and the original Santa Maria Club, our spirit remains the same. Unofficially starting in a similar way, at the home of founder Lacy Litten on August 23, 2019, the GOGC also provides a space where friendships develop and grow. While bonding over grilling meat on an open flame may not have the same appeal to us as women, it is the camaraderie and fellowship of true Santa Maria Style hospitality that we aim to capture, embrace, and encourage in those who may be new to our community and our traditions.
We are fortunate to have full support of Mark and the Stag Night team in our efforts to carry on these values. In Mark’s words, “The journey is for all of us, to help out when we have the strength, and maybe, just maybe, find a bit of comfort when we need it, knowing that the clouds that befall each of us in time, will, in time, clear away so that we can see the road again. Stag Night is a place to put down the armor for just a bit, take a breath, see a friend, mend a fence, brag a bit, if you want to … it’s all OK.”