Where the agents party
Where to schmooze your way to the topIt's been said that navigating the cutthroat world of Hollywood agents is a lot like swimming in a shark tank.
In between actual work signing clients, there are strategic dealings, backstabbing and compulsive visits to Defamer.com for gossip galore. (We hear Endeavor banned visiting Defamer from office computers—good thing God invented the BlackBerry.)
Even after hours, the action never cools. Want to make it in this business? You’ve got to be a master of schmoozing. You also need to know where and how to make the scene—or you’ll be stuck in the mail room for eternity.
Bar 1200 at the Sunset Marquis Hotel1200 Alta Loma Rd., West Hollywood
Agents frequent Bar 1200 in the Sunset Marquis for its intimate, important-people-only atmosphere. Unless you’re a hotel guest, celeb, manager or agent, you’re not going to cross the velvet rope. One hotel employee tells us, “We’ve even had agents book a room for the night just to ensure their entry into Bar 1200. They don’t want to be embarrassed in front of a client or potential client at the door.” That’s quite a lot of effort to talk about the weekend box office over martinis.
Winston's7746 Santa Monica Blvd. , Los Angeles
Agents usually party for a reason: to close deals, sign clients and steal clients from other agents. But at Winston’s, they party just to party. They like to let loose early in the week, before the “regular people” invade the tiny space on the weekends. The only laid-back bar considered acceptable for a CAA-er to frequent, Winston’s brings out the chill, before-I-had-three-assistants attitude in every agent.
Bond Street9360 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
The lounge at BondSt has been peppered with dealmakers and movie stars like Brad Pitt, Chloe Sevigny and Kate Hudson since it opened. And it makes sense: Aside from being uber-chic and uber-expensive, it’s situated a stone’s throw from where the Hollywood bigwigs actually work.
Tower Bar8358 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Says one agency insider, “Tower Bar is where all the legitimate agents go for cocktails. They don’t care about being seen, because they’ve already made it, and maitre d’ Dmitri Dimitrov helps ensure their privacy. He’s famous for it.” OK then.
The Club Bar9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
The real reason agents grab drinks at the Peninsula Hotel’s Club Bar is to see who their competitors are wining and dining—or to show a competitor the potential client they’re courting. It’s an unspoken meeting ground for William Morris heavyweights—especially on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Dominick's8715 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles
Where does an agent have a cocktail with a client too famous for words? One William Morris assistant tells us, “Agent Jason Trawick has been known to take his client Britney Spears to Dominick’s, where they sip cocktails at the small bar on the back patio.” Rest assured that when that happens, it’s all over the tabloids the next day.
X Bar2025 Avenue of the Stars, Century City
X Bar is connected to CAA via an underground tunnel, and even the kids in the mailroom manage to find time to drop by for drinks. Seasoned agents talk about themselves in the lounge, while their assistants double-fist gin-and-tonics and BlackBerrys on the patio. (Where, of course, they talk about their bosses talking about themselves and count the days until they fill their bosses' shoes.)
Writer's Bar at Raffles L'Ermitage Beverly Hills9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills
Rule number one: Never be seen having drinks with anyone in the mailroom. Rule number two: Never enter the Writer’s Bar without a suit, a BlackBerry, and an “I run this town” aura about you. How to tell actual agents from those seeking agents? Notice who’s enjoying the caviar, as opposed to who’s digging for one more dollar for an $8 beer.
Les Deux1638 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood
Junior agents in L.A. may put in face time at the Peninsula, but they still prefer a nightclub like Les Deux. Flanked by young Hollywood starlets and drunken wannabes, they survey the scene with a double-vodka-and-soda in hand. Jesse Thompson, director of acquisitions at Peace Arch Entertainment, says, “Les Deux is the go-to place for younger agents to see and be seen. They tend to flock to the outdoor patio to discuss their future client-stealing plans and place bets on how long the latest additions to the mailroom will last.”
Craft10100 Constellation Blvd., Los Angeles
Any New York City hot spot that opens in Los Angeles just adjacent to the new CAA building is bound to be an agent haven. We hear CAA president Richard Lovett and ICM chairman Jeffrey Berg have even sat back-to-back in the restaurant’s booths. And according to one ICM assistant, the morning office gossip is always about who was sipping what with so-and-so at Craft.