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L.A.'s Men of the Moment

By Allison Mitchell

Photography by Vijat Mohindra

03.17.17

From the only screenwriter in film history to clock $226 million at the box office before age 30 to a booming restaurateur-turned-brew aficionado, the men of Los Angeles are having a moment. Here, five trailblazers sound off—in their own words.

JOHN RANKIN
LATEST DEFINING MOMENT
: Ushering in the next wave of craft brewing in the Arts District with Boomtown Brewery

“I moved to New York when I was 20 and ended up attending The Culinary Institute of America years later. I loved New York, but the California lifestyle appealed to me. I landed a job at Soho House West Hollywood and was thrust into the epitome of L.A. culture. It was really amazing. Ultimately, I moved onto The Hudson as general manager, where we built a successful business, and I met my wife, Meritt Elliott; went on to open The Churchill with the same team; and finally opened Laurel Hardware, where I was also a GM before jumping to owning and operating the space. I started to look for new venues in L.A. to open my own restaurant, and I found Boomtown through friends. I walked the 17,000-square-foot space, tasted some of the home brews from head brewer Sam Chawinga, and I had a vision of what it could be. It invigorated me to learn about something I knew little about but had passion for. We’re making full-flavored and complex yet balanced beers with witty names like the Zzyzx porter—a nod to the exit between L.A. and Las Vegas—and the Bad Hombre Mexican Mule. We’re located in the heart of the Arts District. From the murals I’ve been able to put together for our building to the furniture to the graphics, art is a huge part of what we’re doing. Watching it come together and the way people are embracing it has been magical.”

Shot on location at Boomtown Brewery; Wall Mural by DJ Neff