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Friday, Aug 19, 2022
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Back on the Freeway Again

For 22 years, attorney Michael Jenkins, 59, worked at downtown L.A. law firm Richards Watson & Gershon. In fact, that’s where he met his attorney wife, Christi Hogin, 50. But because he lived in Manhattan Beach, he endured a tedious daily commute.

“It started out not being so bad,” he said. “The city opened up the Century (105) Freeway, which made it great for a while, until people discovered the freeway.”

In 2001, the couple opened their own firm in Manhattan Beach – Jenkins & Hogin LLP – to eliminate the commute.

“Downtown was great for practicing law, but the commute was bad,” Hogin said. “Plus we had kids we were raising at the time.”

Now, after more than a decade at the beach, the duo is braving traffic yet again. What for? Salads.

Jenkins and Hogin opened downtown lunch spot Tossed in March.

“It’s a whole other side of the brain,” Jenkins said of the restaurant business. “We wanted to give it a go because we believed in the concept, but also because we wanted to put our money into something that would create jobs for people.”

As for the commute, they said it’s not so bad.

“Now we only have to make the drive when we want to,” Hogin said. “We go down there from time to time, and we use it as a new way to meet with old friends.”

Short Selling

When Fred Gutierrez marked his 30th anniversary as a store manager with Jimmy Au’s clothiers for short men in Beverly Hills, it was not your typical celebration. Writers from the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor and California Apparel News were there to cover the event.

“He really takes care of celebrity clients at the studios, so that’s why the media came,” said Alan Au, son of owner and store founder Jimmy. The store sells suits, casual wear and accessories for men 5 feet, 8 inches and under.

Gutierrez, who turns 58 in October, joined Jimmy Au’s back in the early 1980s to manage the Beverly Center store. That store closed years ago as the company decided to get out of shopping malls, but Gutierrez stayed on and eventually became manager of the store in Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle.

Gutierrez is no stranger to the entertainment media and show business. Several years ago, he participated in two episodes of the “Little Couple” reality show on the Learning Channel. So he took the media turnout at his 30th anniversary celebration in stride.

“It really wasn’t a big deal,” he said.

When asked to name his most unusual prominent client over the years, Gutierrez didn’t hesitate: Frank Sinatra Jr. “He’s 5 feet, 10 inches tall, but he really, really likes our selection, so we special order his size.”

The irony: Gutierrez himself is 5 feet, 10 inches tall.

“I used to be 5 feet, 11 inches, but it seems I’ve shrunk an inch,” he said. “Maybe it’s working day in and day out with all those short clients.”

Staff reporters Bethany Firnhaber and Howard Fine contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com.

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