RICHARD DRAPKIN has been a driving force in Southern California dining for over two decades. He has worked in many areas of the food service industry, from fast food to fine dining, and with each undertaking, he brings the same strong business sensibilities and visionary attributes.
Drapkin began his career in the restaurant industry after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley and moving to New York. There he worked at the venerable Café des Artists, Tavern on the Green, and Le Grenouille, gaining insight into some of the critical elements needed for first-rate and enduring restaurants. He also opened Hisae’s, the city’s first fusion cuisine restaurant.
In 1982, Drapkin moved to Los Angeles to become director of guest services for the L’Ermitage Hotel before opening Café Jacoulet in Pasadena with former college friend and partner Robert Simon of Bistro 45. In 1985, the two also opened the critically acclaimed Les Anges in Santa Monica.
By 1990, Drapkin was a consultant for myriad areas of the food service industry. His clients included Wolfgang Puck Food Company, Pasqua Coffee, Koo Koo Roo/Arrosto Coffee Company, La Seranata, Baja Cantina, Michael & Robert’s Melange, and Double Rainbow Ice Cream.
Drapkin graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of LaVerne College of Law to further support his consulting work and passed the California Bar in 1999. In 1999, he formed also a strategic partnership with restaurateurs Bruce Marder and Marvin Zeidler. Along with wine-store owner Steve Wallace, they own Brentwood Restaurant and Lounge and are partners in the management company that operates Broadway Deli, Cora’s and Capo.
In 2003 Drapkin and restaurateur Amy Knoll and Chef Neal Fraser opened Grace Restaurant and then in 2006 opened BLD restaurant. Both of these restaurants have been lauded internationally for their cutting edge cuisine, ambience and service.