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Meet Ashley Calloway of Regency West in Leimert Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Calloway.

Ashley, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Starting with my grandfather Fred Calloway, our family planted deep roots in Leimert Park back in 1973 when he and his business partner bought a block of commercial property in the heart of Leimert Park, on Degnan and 43rd. With six storefronts, my grandfather decided to keep one for ourselves which then became the Regency West! The Regency West quickly became a staple in the black community for events, parties, and comedies. Celebrities like Robin Harris, Joe Torrey, Lenny Kravitz, etc. got their start right here in Leimert Park at the Regency West! The legacy has grown and 46 years later we are still in the community as some of the last black owners.

As time goes on and generations change, it was now my turn! Keeping tradition alive, I now help my dad run the Regency West as the general manager and owner. I started working at the Regency when I was about 12 years old so it was only natural that as I got older and developed a true sense of business, that I step into the family business!

Has it been a smooth road?
The road to success is never smooth and I know my grandpa endured a lot to get us to where we are today. And although we have been around for over 40 years, the neighborhood is changing and we must stay relevant but most importantly open and standing strong for the black community! As gentrification enters Leimert Park, I am adamant on keeping our community ours and preserving the rich history. The “Regency Block” as I call it is apart of that history and we’re not going anywhere! My goal for the future is to keep our block filled with thriving black businesses to show these people that we’ve been here and always will be!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My family, the Calloways, owns a block of commercial real estate right in the middle of Leimert Park! We have 6 storefronts, one being a staple in the community the Regency West! We are an event space that has been around for over 40 years. From comedy shows, birthday parties to weddings, we do it all! We have a weekly taco Tuesday which is always packed and a good time! The grown and sexy come out and party like its a Saturday night; it’s truly a beautiful sea of melanin and magic and people having a great time just being themselves; a whole vibe! We are so proud and honored to provide a place for our people feel welcomed, loved and comfortable celebrating their special moments with us. We are one of the last standing historical black-owned venues in South LA and I will always continue to protect that legacy and serve the community!

I made it my point for people in the community to get to know Ashley, the next generation. Everyone knew my grandpa and dad so I made it my mission to say hi to everyone and always walk around with a spunky energy and a smile. Now as general manager, I am growing, learning and continuing on the Calloway legacy.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
In my case, my business is a blessing and a family gem that has been handed down over generations. Starting out like my grandfather did is much different now but we do need more black-owned event spaces and more black commercial ownership in our communities! Black ownership is everything and one of the keys to truly making an impact.

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