What if I asked you to open a successful bar/restaurant in LA? What if I upped the ante and challenged you to maintain the heat around that establishment, while opening up two more spots, each with their own moniker and motif? Oh, and what if I demanded that you do it all in a span of three years? Most likely, you’d tell me to eff off. If you’re Austin Melrose (no relation to the famous Avenue on which one of his spots resides), however, you’d say, “Done.”
In truth, Austin, 31, did all of that without any prompting from me. Since 2014, he has – along with business partner Zachary Patterson, 35 – opened three distinct venues: Melrose Umbrella Co., Lono Hollywood, and Culver City’s The Corner Door. The partners’ adventure has taken them from their shared childhood in Bend, OR, to Los Angeles, CA, where one could say they have won over the town with charm, savvy and a work ethic that is at once inspiring and irritating. It is as if, each night, at each venue, Austin and Zach emerge anew, fully energized because something totally amazing and original is going on. Maybe they are. And maybe it is.
Listen, laugh, learn…and we will see you at the follow up interview with Zach in the new year!
Bonus plug: Debonaire Barbershop (Fernando & Dreddy)