We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria & Omar Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maria & Omar, what role has risk played in your life or career?
As fortunate children of Mexican parents, we have seen how risk taking has allowed for our generation to enjoy many advantages. Our parent’s sacrifice and risk taking by immigrating, is at the core of who we are as a family and business. Since an early age we have witnessed their passion while they instilled their entrepreneurial spirit. We are completely convinced that with every change comes great risk. We especially found this out in our rebranding process. After 35 years of running our family business as a salsa/regional Mexican nightclub to a full service venue; an event space which includes catering for corporate and social events. We were without a doubt sure the risk would be worth it, as gentrification was at our door and our community’s demographics had shifted. Like any business and especially being a family business, we faced financial risks and of course some heavy emotions throughout the process too. However, we met this risk with preparation. We planned extensively, hired the right team, and heard what our neighbors’ needs were.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
There are many challenges you face once you have made the decision to take risks. The reality of making it happen includes saying yes to clients, opportunities and ideas that seem wild. Making tough decisions and pushing boundaries to get uncomfortable for the sake of growing. Our restaurant and venue is more than a space to celebrate it is a space for the community and for supporting non-profits that make a difference. We are inspired daily by the stories of our clients turned friends and take them into consideration when creating unique experiences.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles is a visitor’s dream. We have beaches like Malibu with canyons and hikes, we have trails in the Hollywood Hills (Runyon and Griffith Park), and mountains a drive away. Anyone’s interests can be satisfied. The culinary scene is on of a kind- multi cultural, distinct and high quality. We have rooftops like Perch in downtown, EPLP in Miracle Mile and others but the coast that shows off our beautiful sunsets, Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We owe our family business’ success to our Father and his brothers that came before us. They were brave enough to be the first in providing Live music entertainment for the Latinx community in Los Angeles with the goal of preserving our culture. Along with our family, we are so fortunate to be part of a community composed of social leaders, event professionals and brands that stand for quality. These relationships have been pivotal for us to grow and stay relevant.

Website: www.candelalabrea.com
Instagram: @candelaonlabrea
Yelp: Candela La Brea
Other: Thank you.

Image Credits

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.