With a portfolio of LA bars and clubs such as Shore Bar, Bootsy Bellows and the recently unveiled Hooray Henry's, John Terzian knows how to throw a party. The LA nightlife entrepeneur formed H.Wood Group and has since launched hot spots like Bootsy Bellows (with David Arquette) and A-list events big and bigger. The native Angeleno sits down with us to talk about his love of chicken tenders—no joke—and share his "Show me the money!" moments.
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Time Out Los Angeles: Hooray Henry’s just opened. Tell us about the concept.
John Terzian: The concept is very much London-inspired: The décor and aesthetic are in the same vein of an old London flat or hotel, and the entertainment and the crowd match that. It's a mix of elegance and class, but also having fun in the British way—with a sense of humor. We custom built a brass copper chandelier piece and we have a state-of-the-art, custom-built 3D screen that can be static or have a video on it. They're used at major concerts, but I don’t think any nightclub has used them. The back bar has a scene of an English manor with our friends and family as characters.
Time Out LA: What’s a typical day like for you?
John Terzian: I’m usually up by 8 or 8:30am, when I deal with emails. Then, I start with managing H.Wood events, overseeing the development of the new place, Hooray Henry's, handling the day-to-day of promoters and marketers from Bootsy’s and Shore Bar. I'm also entertaining people—clients, guests—for dinner and early drinks at places like BOA, Chateau Marmont, Soho House and Girogio Baldi—their lobster ravioli is incredible. Then, I go to Shore Bar and Bootsy’s usually three nights out of the week. I start at Shore Bar around 6:30 or 7pm to greet people and help staff, then head to Bootsy’s around 11pm and head home around 2 or 3am.
Time Out LA: Who do you most identify with?
John Terzian: A lot of times, I feel like Jerry Maguire. I strive really hard to go above and beyond every possible aspect of the business. People try to make it harder on you, but you stick to your guns and do the right thing. It’s an uphill battle, but the proof is in the product.
Time Out LA: What would people be surprised to know about you?
John Terzian: My favorite thing to eat is chicken tenders. I get made fun of a lot for it. I love the chicken tenders and the dipping sauces from Red Robin. I want to open a chicken tenders restaurant. At wedding and parties, I usually order off the children’s menu, so I can have chicken tenders. I don’t eat them that often, but if I could, I would.
Time Out LA: What are some of your other favorite places to eat in LA?
John Terzian: My favorite is Henry’s Tacos on Tujunga. I love their beef tacos that come in a hard shell. Gjelina is one of my favorite restaurants. I also like Superba, Tasting Kitchen—that whole Venice area is great. Bay Cities is my favorite sandwich place—I get the Godmother but not with everything on it. I’ve been going to Apple Pan since I was a kid and order the Hickory burger. I like Phillippe's for a French dip sandwich and Langer’s is incredible.
Time Out LA: What’s on your playlist?
John Terzian: Hip-hop is my first love. I'm listening to Jay-Z’s Magna Carta. I also love rock and indie rock and bands like the Lumineers and Imagine Dragons. My first concert was David Matthews Band at the Forum. I think I was 17 or 18. I remember because I got into a car accident on the way there.
Time Out LA: What’s next?
John Terzian: We’re planning the first annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation event with 700 people in Toronto. We're also organizing two events for American Express and are involved in a lot of charity and fundraising like the Children’s Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Give Love, which we’ve been involved with over the last several years. We are also opening a restaurant/bar in the West Hollywood area. It will have a heavy focus on cocktails like Shore Bar. We’re less than 90 days away from starting and 9 months to a year from opening.
Follow Katherine Kims on Twitter: @katherinekims