BUILT INC’s John Sofio plays tour guide in the City of Angels

Ditch the travel guide and your Urbanspoon app. Really. We’ve got you covered. When it comes to pre- and post-show haunts, our speakers share their insiders’ view on LA. First in this series is John Sofio, founder, BUILT  INC(who is also the mastermind behind some of Hollywood’s hottest hot spots, including Blind Dragon and The Nice Guy). Make sure to catch him on the New in the West and Sensory Overload: Blind Dragon panels.

What’s your favorite place to eat/drink in LA?What would you order?

  • My favorite place to eat in LA is the Pacific Dining Car in the historic Westlake district. The authenticity of historic LA resonates with my love for the city. I would order the Bone in Rib-Eye charred medium well at 3:30 in the morning.
  • My favorite place to drink in LA is Bar Stella in Silver Lake for the understated Euro feel and crowd. There is a great mix of mature creatives that allows for an easy conversation and thought. The old fashioned is a classic here
What’s LA’s best-kept food secret?
  • Langer’s Deli #19 – Hand Cut Pastrami on Rye with Cole Slaw, Swiss Cheese and Thousand Island dressing
If you have an afternoon off, where would you go? What would you do?
  • I would drive my 911 Twin Turbo Porsche through the Angeles Crest Forest and into the High Desert, stopping at the Historic Utopian Site from 1916 the ruins of Llano Del Rio.
What’s the most inspiring thing about LA?
  • The most inspiring thing about LA is finding young creatives to mold their minds.
What’s your favorite music venue in in the city?
  • The Thirsty Crow on Sunday afternoon, The Nice Guy on Monday night, The Satellite (formerly Spaceland) for a good indie show.

Who’s Going and Why You Should, Too

By Mary Scoviak

Here’s why industry leaders and up-and-comers have our West Coast event on their calendars

There are lots of reasons to come to BDwest March 31 – April 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. First, it’s our debut in LA—and not just any place in the City of Angels, but DTLA, with all of its development and urban energy. We’re making the most of that by getting attendees beyond some very cool velvet ropes, from a night in the Conga Room during the Boutique 18 and Up-and-Coming Hoteliers celebration during the Opening Reception March 30 to a tour of The Broad museum.

Second, we’ve made the conference programming broader than ever. You can tap into discussions among thought leaders during any of the CEU-accredited panels and workshops or get up-close and personal with various sessions with the all the intimacy of TED Talks.

This is also the opportunity to shop till you drop. More than 300 exhibitors will showcase the newest wish-list FF&E for hospitality projects. And, if you need onsite inspiration, you can see how that all comes together in our four signature Design Spaces.

But, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s the scoop from design community on why, yes indeed, BDwest is a priority.

Lindsay Broad, director of interior architecture, NICOLEHOLLIS, San Francisco
Her panel: Boutique 18 Update: Catching Up With BD’s Up-And-Coming Designers
Why she’s going: “BDwest offers concepts that no other event does—like the Boutique 18 (with its focus on young designers); its intimate and more regionally focused networking and social events, and a great location surrounded by inspiration.”

Renee Chiarelli, associate principal, tvsdesign, Atlanta
Her panel: Meet the Boutique 18
Why she’s going: “Just as I am seeking out smaller-scale, lifestyle hotels, I’m a fan of smaller-scale, intimate conferences. BDwest is one of those.”

Rachel McCaslin, interior designer, HOK
Her event: Best Product judge
Why she’s going: “It’s a relaxed and professional atmosphere with an amazing turnout from brands and owners and great panel discussions.”

Natalie Smith, vice president/hospitality interiors, HKS, Dallas/Fort Worth
Her panel: Imagine: A No-Boundaries Forecast
Why she’s going: “It’s a new experience. This will be my first time.”

Kathleen Dauber, partner, HBA, Santa Monica, California
Her panel: New in the West
Why she’s going: “BDwest is a great mix of fun and design along with its recognition of young up and coming designers. The focus is on the future with the Boutique 18 and the Hospitality Fashion Runway.”

Andrea Dawson Sheehan, ceo/art director, Dawson Design Associates, Seattle
Her panel: Boutique Design Power Players: Women Leaders in Hospitality Breakfast and Panel Discussion
Why she’s going: “BDwest delivers panels with content I’m interested in hearing. It brings some of the top suppliers together on the West Coast, and there’s the showcase of the Boutique 18.”

Chad Sorensen, managing director, CHMWarnick, Chicago
His panel: Teachable Moments: What Owners Want
Why he’s going: “BDwest is a creative environment like no other. It has a good balance of size (not too big, not too small) and a high quality of attendees. In addition, it offers great add-on events.”

For more on what they plan to see and do, check out the March issue of Boutique Design. Then visit www.boutiquedesignwest.com and sign on for two full days of information, inspiration, networking and being part of the design tribe.

Designed Spaces at BDwest


Collaborative spaces on exhibit floor will showcase FF&E and other design elements from exhibitors/sponsors at fourth annual BDwest trade fair and conference, March 31–April 1 in Los Angeles

BDwest will feature four Designed Spaces created by leading hospitality design firms using furniture, lighting, fabric, flooring, wall coverings, art and other elements from BDwest exhibitors and sponsors.

Interspersed among hard-wall exhibit spaces on the trade fair floor, BDwest’s Designed Spaces allow attendees to experience a variety of exhibitor products in a hospitality context, such as a bar, lounge, theater or coffee shop. The spaces serve as hubs for learning, networking and customer engagement, with most offering food and beverage service.

Designed Spaces created for BDwest 2016 include:

THE DALTON by Puccini Group, San Francisco, CA
Display #711
Feature Area Sponsors: feltex|meridien, Gainwell International, Meridien Accents, The Meridien Companies, Kravet Contract
Product Contributors: Soho Myriad, Sonneman – A Way of Light, Wonderly’s

PIX LOUNGE by Design Poole, Winter Park, FL
Display #901
Feature Area Sponsors: Ariston Hospitality, Encore Hospitality Carpet, HG Arts, Justin David Textiles, Lite Tops / Stiffel, Wonderly’s

ARCHIPELAGO by DESIGN360 unlimited, Santa Monica, CA
Display #323
Feature Area Sponsors: Aqua Hospitality Carpets, Cheng Meng Furniture, Maya Romanoff, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Contract, Valley Forge Fabrics
Product Contributors: Eastbridge Studio, Neoteric Luxury Outdoor Collection, Vondom

KINO by Stonehill & Taylor, New York, NY
Display #1023
Feature Area Sponsors: Hubbardton Forge, Interface Americas, Inc., Montague, P/Kaufmann Contract, Shelby Williams
Product Contributors: Alice Goldsmith Ceramics, Soho Myriad, Trellage-Ferrill Studio, Trend Mfg.

“Designed Spaces created by leading hospitality design and manufacturing firms are an integral part of our BD trade fairs and serve as destinations for inspiration, learning and networking,” said Michelle Finn, President, Hospitality Media Group, and SVP, ST Media Group. “Each space is unique and showcases the incredible talent of our industry members. We’re excited to see these design concepts come to life at BDwest.”