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 and Leisure’s, “America’s Best Wine Bars”. And Esquire’s “Best Bar’s in America.” Shortly after, Lancaster partnered in opening popular Silver Lake staple, L&E Oyster Bar, followed by The Hermosillo and Highland Park Brewery in Highland Park. He has since gone on to open El Condor, Hotel Covell and now very proud to be part of his first non-eastside venture in Augustine.
Matthew Kaner quite enjoys how things smell and taste. In fact, as a kid he wouldn’t taste anything until he smelled it first. Now a 15 year veteran of the wine world, Matthew began his wine career at the Wine Cask Wine Store in Santa Barbara, California where he also grew up. Moving to Los Angeles in 2006 brought him to a job at Silverlake Wine, where he worked his way up from holiday help to the manager.
In 2009, his friend Dustin Lancaster came to him with an idea…”I want to open a wine bar and I’ll only do it if you’ll do it with me.” His response: “you tell me when and where.” In July of 2010, Los Feliz’s Bar Covell opened with a new spin on wine…ditch the traditional wine list and use your words. Bar Covell has a program of over 150 wines by the glass and the staff instead start a conversation/interaction with each guest to gage what they are in the mood for at that moment.
Matthew was named one of the Sommeliers of the Year by Food & Wine Magazine in 2013. Matthew is the President of Will Travel For Wine, Inc and will travel anywhere and everywhere for wine. So far his travels have taken him up and down the coast of California, to Australia, Spain, France, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Morocco, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Oregon, Virginia, and New York State for wine adventures.
David Gibbs interest in wine began while in high school, with Beaulieu Vineyards Georges DeLatour Private Reserve from the ‘60s and ‘70s. A professional musician, he started collecting while on tour throughout the ’80s and ‘90s, and is happy to share his collection of vintage wines with anyone interested in tasting history.