The Tea Room at h.wood


If you thought it was difficult to get into some of your favorite nightclubs, you haven’t seen anything yet. Tucked inside the h.wood at the far east end of the Hollywood & Highland complex, the Tea Room is a very exclusive one-room club within an already very select nightclub.  

The Los Angeles Times recently reported on this elite club which only opens on Wednesdays with a “rush of sultry young women and slender young men with intricate tattoos waiting in line for admission.” Unfortunately for many, only a very few will actually get in.  

Owned by nightlife mogul Loyal Pennings and two extremely driven 29-year-old entrepreneurs, John Terzian and Brian Toll, the Tea Room serves “prohibition tea, which is basically alcohol-infused tea out of tea pots, just like some speak-easies did during the 1920s,” according to The Los Angeles Times.  

The space used to function as a storage room for h.wood and singer Cher used to frequent the club requesting tea, as she doesn’t drink alcohol, according to Terzian. Fortunately for Cher, one of Terzian’s investors, Sameer Gupta, owns tea plantations in India, and it wasn’t long before the men transformed the storage space into the Tea Room.
Gupta, who is known as their “tea chef”, has created a special h.wood blend and “infuses the liquids with alcohol-based magic, including varieties made with bourbon, rum, and tequila.” Eventually, the Tea Room is anticipated to open as a traditional tea room during the day, keeping its more “raucous” and exclusive characteristics for when the sun goes down. 
Socialite Paris Hilton has been seen at the Tea Room and Terzian said, “We cater to our friends and family. They are our loyal patrons; they feel comfortable in places that are unique and homey and not trying to be some flashy thing.” Rather than hiring a designer to decorate the Tea Room, Terzian used his family’s belongings. He comments, “Most of the décor is from my grandmother’s house,” including old-fashioned silverware, a number of teapots and some 19th century keys that are framed behind the bar. Around the rest of the room, those who make it in will enjoy “worn velvet couches, leather booths, dim crystal chandeliers, and a glitter-covered piano where former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert once played.” 
In addition to family, the fact that Terzian and Toll know some of Hollywood’s elite certainly helps the Tea Room’s exclusive reputation. On the evening that Hilton showed up, Katy Perry, Rose McGowan, and James van der Beek also were spotted. 
How so? Well, Terzian and Toll both grew up in Los Angeles. According to The Los Angeles Times, “Toll went to Beverly Hills High and Terzian to Harvard-Westlake; after that, they attended USC, where they started separately promoting parties and events. Things took off from there. Terzian began working for DJ AM’s business manager when AM co-owned club LAX with Pennings. Toll worked as the promotional director for that club.”  

Pennings, Terzian, and Toll are also working to transform LAX back into Las Palmas, which was the original club that was removed to create LAX initially. Terzian says it’s all part of a greater business plan that involves “going back to basics. We’d rather embrace the past and give people something they’re comfortable and familiar with,” he says.