Executive Team

John Lyons

Owner / Founder

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John Lyons began his formidable career in the bar, nightclub and restaurant industry as a bar-back at the age of 14. Working his way up the ranks, Lyons entered the management-training program of American Avents, and quickly found his way at the helm of Boston’s “15 Lansdowne St. Discotheque” along with his brother Patrick.

It was not long before he and Patrick assembled an investor group to finance the buyout of 15 Lansdowne St., which they re-launched as the nation’s first video nightclub “Metro”. The success of Metro along with a string of other Boston area nightspots helped to define Boston nightlife for the next 25 years. 

John’s passion led him to the study of sound and lighting systems to ensure that his venues were always a cut above the competition. He then developed a revolutionary new speaker line engineered specifically for dance clubs. When he joined forces with loudspeaker manufacturer Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW), a new product line came to life. Today, this line of speakers, dubbed “The Avalon Series” after its progenitor, can be heard in thousands of venues around the world. 

Considered one of the world’s top audio and lighting designers, John has since expanded his reach from coast-to-coast. In addition to his continued involvement in the Avalon clubs, he is founder and president of John Lyons Systems. His design/build company includes two divisions: Moonlighting, which provides top-tier lighting design and installations, and Avalon Sound, which provides professional audio design and installations, which service all of his properties as well as many high-profile bars, nightclubs and restaurants owned by others, including Hyde Lounge, Caramel (Bellagio), Japonais, Bare (Mirage), and Tao (Venetian). 

Through John Lyons Systems, John has further built on his reputation for technical know-how, professional audio, video and lighting installations and top-notch project management. His recent projects have taken him and the John Lyons Systems team across the country and around the world, and have strengthened ties with the top names in the nightlife industry including Brent Bolthouse, SBE Entertainment, MGM Mirage, The Light Group, Mohegan Sun and China Grill Management. 

Lyons serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Martini Park, a multi-city restaurant and lounge establishment.

Barney Holm

General Manager

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Having been born in New York City in 1967, I, Barney Holm, then moved to London, England, where I stayed until I was 25 years old. I worked fairly extensively as a child actor working on both movies and television until deciding that the actor’s life was not for me. I moved to Los Angeles when 25 years of age to make a new start, and am one of the few people to settle in Los Angeles to STOP being an actor, rather than to try and find stardom.

In 1992 I started working at The House of Blues in West Hollywood. I worked directly for Isaac Tigrett, President and Founder of the company. House of Blues was already established in both Boston, and New Orleans, with the third venue under construction in West Hollywood. I was directly involved in the construction and launch of the venue, both as Mr Tigrett’s “Right Hand Man” and then in operations once the venue was launched.

In the nearly ten years that I worked for the House of Blues organization I dealt with all aspects of managing a large multi-use entertainment venue. I was, at different times, the Security Manager, Food and Beverage Manager, Assistant General Manager of the Music Hall, Restaurant and private Foundation Room, which has given me a great education into the exciting world of Venue management.

In 2002 I was approached by Mr. John Lyons who I had known for many years as a friend of the family. He told me that he was opening a new place in Hollywood and asked me to come and help him with the operation. Having known of Mr. Lyons history of Nightclub Ownership and operation, I happily accepted the position of General Manager and made a move to Hollywood to start my tenure at Avalon night club. Avalon was formerly “The Palace”; a beautiful theater that was built in the 1920’s and, unfortunately, allowed to fall into disrepair over the years. After an extensive renovation, Avalon was launched and quickly became, and still is, one of the marquee entertainment venues in Hollywood.

To this day I find myself in the enviable position of loving both what I do, and the people with whom I do it!!

Emma Suttles

Special Events Director

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Richie Worboys

Lighting Designer & Technical Director

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From his roots in Chelmsford, United Kingdom, Richard Worboys’ fascination with DJ and disco began at the ripe old age of 4 when he attended a wedding reception and witnessed the magic that music and lights can work on a crowd. By age 15, Richard owned his own mobile disco rig. After years of honing his craft, his big break came when he began full-time work with Rank Entertainment and greater success came soon thereafter.

In 1995, he won the UK Light Jockey contest at the London Hippodrome. Two years later, in 1997, he won the UK Light Jockey contest at the Ministry of Sound as well as the World Light Jockey contest at the London Hippodrome. That same year, Richie began to design and program the lighting for new nightclubs; the first being in his hometown of Crawley in Sussex, UK. From 1997 to 2000, he applied his design and programming skills to another eight 2,000+ capacity venues.

After a meeting with John Lyons in Boston, Richard packed his bags and made his way across the pond to the U.S. in June 2000 to join the Avalon family.

While working at Avalon Boston, he found himself involved in many aspects of the club, including managing the audio systems, assisting with production, as well as set design for the hugely successful “Avaland” Saturday nights.

In 2003, Richie began to split his time on both coasts to help build Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles while still working in Boston.

Richie made a permanent move to Los Angeles in 2004 and further expanded his role by joining John Lyons Systems as lighting designer. He has lent his talents to many high profile venues in LA, as well as several Las Vegas properties for MGM and The Light Group.

When he’s not working on a John Lyons Systems installation, Richie can be found rocking the light show at Avalon Hollywood “Avaland” Saturday nights.

In his spare time, he still dabbles in music production.

Don Tartaro

Production Manager

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Don Tartaro grew up in the suburbs of Syracuse NY, in a household with a piano in the basement, Hammond organ in the living room, dad’s Fender P bass, his guitar and (since dad’s band rehearsed in the basement) often a drum kit as well. He played his first paying gig at age 12. He gigged regularly at school dances, teen centers and parties throughout high school. Then he purchased his first multitrack reel to reel tape deck at age 17 and recorded local bands in the basement of his home.

He went to Berklee College of music in Boston for two semesters, then in his early 20′s went straight to earning a living as a professional musician. This in turn lead to his live audio career. Venues back then did not have house sound systems, so someone had to become the band audio tech and he was happy to volunteer.

For about a year, in his late 20′s, he hosted, floor managed and sometimes edited a community access TV show called “Musicuse”. Around that same time (1982) he opened an 8 Track recording studio called “Uptown Sound” with two partners.

He produced and engineered client projects and served as a studio musician playing guitar, bass, drums, keys, sax, flute, harmonica and singing backing vocals. In his early 30′s, he started a family and while still working as a professional musician and running “Uptown Sound”, he also accepted a part time position as circulation director for a local arts and entertainment weekly called “The Syracuse New Times”.

In 1989, he, his wife, and two kids, moved to Long Beach, CA. There he took a job as a live audio engineer at a well known jazz club in Santa Monica called “At My Place”.

1993, he started a small sound company called “MT audio”, supplying (audio) labor and sound system service to several west side music venues and bought and installed a sound system which we leased to a Santa Monica club called “Fair City”.

In 1994, “Fair City” co-owner Keith Roberts and his band “The Young Dubliners” got their first record deal. When the bands label set up some national tour dates, Don was recruited as tour manager and FOH audio engineer. By ’96, too busy touring to run a business, he sold his share in “MT audio” and took a position working as an audio engineer at “House of Blues – Sunset” when not on tour.

Through the rest of the 90′s and till 2002, he spent half the year working and managing national and international tours for “The Young Dubliners” and the other half of the year mixing live concerts at HOB and freelancing at other LA venues and with many other artists.

In 2002, Don accepted a full time salaried manager position at “House of Blues”.

There he was the in-house production crew chief and dealt with every aspect of artist relations including credentials, hospitality, tech rider, parking, transportation, guest list, ticket audit, accounting and settlement.

In early 2004, he got a call from a former HOB “Blues Brother”, Barney Holm who had become the General Manager of Avalon Hollywood, looking for a venue Production Manager. He met with Avalon owner John Lyons who made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, so he didn’t ……. and they all lived happily ever after.

Carl Coulam

Executive Chef

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Chef Carl A. Coulam has worked in the culinary industry for the past three decades.  At age 17, he began his apprenticeship with Ralphs Naast at The Chronicle, which led him to the New Orleans Café working under the direction of Phillip Du Mont and to his final apprenticeship with Marco Schlenz at The New Yorker Club.

Chef Coulam continued his culinary career working as an Executive Chef for Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont.

Upon moving to Los Angeles, Chef Coulam freelanced for many of LA’s top catering companies including Patina, Gai Klauss and Along Came Mary, which enabled him to participate in movie premiere parties, as well as Emmy and Academy Award functions.

In the late 90’s, Chef Coulam owned and operated an independent catering company in Encino, California, serving both cooperate, private and studio clientele.

Chef Coulam moved on to became the Event Chef for Smash Box Studios, where he prepared food for renowned photographers, world famous supermodels, and A-list actors and musicians.

Later, working as the Executive Chef for Gotham Hall in Santa Monica, he designed many culinary delights for numerous events for fortune 500 companies, movie premiers and charities.

Gotham Hall was Chef Coulam’s final destination before landing at Avalon Hollywood, where he has been the Executive Chef for Honey and Avalon’s catering division for the past five and a half years.

Dalton Buckles

Avalon Assistant General Manager / Bar Manager

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Dalton has been hard at work in the hospitality industry for over 15 years.  While attending the California Polytechnic Pomona University, Hotel and Restaurant Management Program, he worked for Islands Restaurants.  Upon completion of the program, and graduating with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Business, Dalton moved into a management role with Islands Restaurants.

In 1999, Dalton was given the opportunity to open a new restaurant from the ground up. With this challenge he joined with Sean MacPhearson, prominent restaurateur and hotel owner, and opened Swingers Diner in Santa Monica.  In winter of 1999, he was given the responsibility for overseeing operations at the Swingers Hollywood location.  In 2000, taking on the roll of General Manager of the Swingers in Santa Monica, Dalton brought function and consistency to the Swingers operation.

Dalton’s experiences and knowledge led him to consult and work with other restaurateurs, Warner Ebbink; 101 Coffee Shop, Dominick’s, and Little Doms, Shareen Arazm; Shag, Central, and Parc. He also teamed up with Brian Suket to open Clear Bar in Studio city.

In working closely with several successful restaurateurs Dalton is confident in all aspects of the bar and restaurant business, from concept to operations, company growth to franchising.

From 2002 – 2009, Dalton was partners with Loyal Pennings. The two operated several clubs in Hollywood; Las Palmas Supper Club, Deluxe, Concord, and El Centro, and the infamous LAX, where he became Chief Operating Officer.

From LAX, Dalton grew into managing the 25000 square Avalon super club, where he has worked since 2010.

Mark Jablonski

Bardot Assistant General Manager

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