By: Forbes

Forbes Los Angeles Business Council members are as diverse as the city in which they live. Restaurateurs, engineers and world changers, the following entrepreneurs make it clear that with perseverance and creativity, anything is possible — even growing food on Mars.

Selected for membership in the Council for their specialized expertise and unique perspectives, these individuals are powering growth throughout Southern California and beyond.

Charles Lew, Owner/Operator, Stout Burgers & Beers and Boomtown Brewery; Managing Partner, The Lew Firm, APC

As a successful restaurateur, lawyer and consultant with multiple hospitality concepts across the United States, it may come as a surprise that Charles Lew’s first project — a state-of-the-art, 2,000 square foot sports bar — ended as a bust. His absentee sub-landlord wasn’t paying the rent.

“I swore I’d never open another restaurant,” Charles said. “Then, a few months later, I opened Stout.” That tenacity and an unwillingness to surrender proved to make all the difference.

Stout Burgers & Beers, an inventive, upscale pub, offers a vast selection of more than 30 artisanal draft beers alongside what Lew likes to call the “better burger,” a healthy burger dressed with a variety of unique, homemade toppings, such as specialty cheeses and arugula. Today, the restaurant has five locations throughout California, Kentucky and Tennessee.

That momentum led Lew to pursue a variety of other visionary concepts — from a taproom and event space in the Arts District of Los Angeles to a coffee house collaboration with Metta World Peace  — in what he truly believes is the City of Dreams.

“ This whole city is built by dreamers ,” Charles said about LA.“It doesn’t matter how preposterous my ideas are, this is the only city I’ve been in the entire world where someone will say, ‘Yes, do it!’ This begs you to be creative and think outside the box.”

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