Providing Los Angeles with the finest eating, drinking and lodging establishments on the Eastside.
Dustin Lancaster is a Los Angeles based restaurateur and hotelier. Originally an Oklahoma native he was lured to LA to study theatre at the California Institute of the Arts. Upon graduation he moved to Los Feliz where he instantly fell in love with the eclectic, artsy and affluent vibe of the east side which would quickly become the foundation and motivation for many of his projects. After spending most of his 20’s acting in television and commercials he enjoyed a transformative five year stint as the bar manager at Café Stella. There he developed a real passion for quality service, design aesthetic as well as developing a strong affinity for wine that inspired him to open his first venture in 2010, Bar Covell. With the help of partner, Matthew Kaner, this Los Feliz wine bar quickly became one of the city’s go to venues for wine drinkers. It has since garnered such accolades as Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Best Wine Bars” and Esquire’s “Best Bars in America.”
“People would be surprised to know how truly far you can get with a strong work ethic and a positive attitude.”
Within a year, Dustin was ready for another project but not sure what exactly. While on a trip to Boston inspiration struck and after a little brainstorming with partner Tyler Bell, L&E Oyster Bar was born. L&E opened in January of 2012 and was met with overwhelming and resounding positive response and is still regarded as one of the premier restaurants in Los Angeles, thanks to chefs Spencer Bezaire. Most recently being named one of Los Angeles Magazine’s “75 Best Restaurants.”
“I believe that all good restaurants are the result of great collaborators. Without really great partners and staff you won’t get very far.”
Within mere months of opening L&E, Dustin was approached by future partners Ross Stephenson and Michael Blackman to take a look at a spot in the rapidly up and coming neighborhood of Highland Park. The space was an extremely dilapidated Mexican club with black lights and had no windows. But there was something promising and the neighborhood had an undeniable buzz. With a brutal 90 day turnaround The Hermosillo was brought back to life and is now anchoring the uber-hip stretch of York Blvd. And this June the Hermosillo crew along with brewmaster Bob Kunz opened the Highland Park Brewery in conjunction with the bar.
“The restaurant business is too damn hard if you don’t fall in love with it!”
In Late 2013 Dustin and his partners were again presented with an opportunity. A long-standing 40 year old Sunset Junction restaurant was looking for new operators and they leapt at the opportunity to hold the keys. Months of careful planning went into the remodel, trying to preserve the great energy and shape that had been built over decades all the while giving the space a much needed makeover and refreshing update. In early 2014 El Condor opened its doors, serving some of the finest cocktails and freshest Mexican food on the east side.
“It helps that I genuinely like people! That way it just feels like I’m hanging out with friends!”
Dustin’s latest project is an ambitious five-bedroom boutique hotel located directly above Bar Covell and fittingly named Hotel Covell. Dustin being a 13 year Los Feliz resident has known for years that there are very limited options for lodging in the Silver Lake, Los Feliz area and is thrilled at the opportunity to bring his hospitality skill and design sense to this new endeavor.