Tyrei Lacy has a gift for triggering the release of serotonin through the human body; he knows how to make people feel good and create a memorable time. Known in the music world as ‘DJ Tee,’ he has traveled the globe with hip-hop legends, mixing sounds that forced the body to move involuntarily to his beat.
With his hypnotic tunes, DJ Tee has spun at all the hottest clubs and events Los Angeles had to offer, during a nostalgic time of massive crowds in shared spaces. After he chopped and screwed his last beat, Lacy looked around for his next passion that pumps positivity through the collective community.
He found himself still in love with the atmosphere of heightened energy and shared memories. Therefore, Lacy opened up a bar, the Game and Sports Bar & Grill (G&S), and more recently, The District by GS, a contemporary eatery for a luxury experience and fine dining.
Located at 5630 West Manchester Ave., the G&S bar has been a must-visit destination for over 10 years. An explosion of cheers filled the venue as soon as the seal was broken; the red satin ribbon was cut in December of 2010. Celebrities from his musical journey and public officials of Los Angeles mingled and shared an unforgettable memory. Lacy reminisced over the beginning, “It started with a good time; the good time then of course rolled into our amazing food.”
The 10-year stretch in food and hospitality pushed Lacy to challenge his current reign in creating a lucrative stratosphere. The District by GS has the aura of Black excellence, paired with crisp execution. Located on 3888 Crenshaw Blvd., Lacy intentionally placed the restaurant in the pulse of the collective community. Crushing the stereotype of having to travel outside the central hub of their neighborhood, Crenshaw natives can have a sense of luxury and Avant-Garde experiences locally created.
The eccentric DJ turned entrepreneur shared the snowball effect in the lively atmosphere and star-like quality transferred into every bite of food that is served. Lacy explained the focus has grown deeper within the taste of the restaurant.
He described the different shades he wanted to paint over The District by GS. Lacy said, “The reason it’s not named after the same—Game Day Sports Bar, is because I don’t want the same expectations.” He gave the example of franchised dining. It carries the same ambiance throughout their chain of locations, in turn, the patterns rush over the consumer’s mind, and they can predict their experience based on a preconceived notion.
The challenge found in branding for The District by GS was to demolish the status quo of elevated cuisine, and that it can only be found in one or two areas in Los Angeles. The essence of the business is rooted in the quality of its performance and The District by GS looks to supersede the wildest expectation.
A man of many hats, Lacy is no stranger to public service. He has dedicated his time and energy to the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce. As a representative of over 500 businesses in the area, Lacy worked closely with many local thresholds that shaped the economic structure of Los Angeles during that time.
In recognition of his imprint on the community and new bar opening, Dec. 20 is acknowledged as “Game Day” in Los Angeles, to commemorate his new venture and Lacy’s achievement in improving the community.
As a multi-faceted source of innovation, Lacy founded two other prominent ventures, One Nation Entertainment Inc. and West Coast Top Floor Entertainment Inc. Lacy can also recount a multitude of memories of him treading through the streets of the city, making those connections to promote public and private events. Those moments shaped his way of always finding a door to success, in any environment.
In an alternate timeline, before COVID-19 changed the reality of entertainment, The District by GS was looking to be a profound moment of opulence. Starting with breakfast served on selected days: Saturday and Sunday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., the menu offers “District Fruit” paired with imported sparkling champagne. One could pair a glass of “Veuve Brut Yellow Label” ($146 per bottle) or “Moet Nectar Rose” ($262 per bottle) with tantalizing fruit picked at the peak of its season.
Keeping true to his cultural tastebuds, Lacy curated a menu of traditional dishes with an elevated home-style twist. Found on the exclusive breakfast menu: Shrimp or Salmon and Grits, and The District Deluxe Breakfast, which includes finely prepared chicken breast strips fried to perfection over a soft freshly made waffle, sauteed country potatoes, finished with a generous serving of fluffy scrambled eggs.
At this present moment, COVID-19 was an unexpected variable that no one accounted for. Lacy, being a man that finds a way, has been maneuvering through this wave graciously and with his businesses adapting to the new age.
He credited his stability to the unwavering community support; the seeds Lacy planted as a public servant blossomed in a time of drought within the food and hospitality industry. Lacy reflected on being minority-owned during this estranged time, “We don’t view that as an excuse, I can say that the focal point is quality in what we do—no matter what.”
One can still indulge in the decadence that’s manicured at The District by GS. Outdoor dining is available at their Crenshaw location. Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., one can enjoy the high altitude of flavor chased by the sensation of imported bubbly in an open-air setting. With the previously noted breakfast experience, The District’s doors will open earlier, at 8 a.m., on Saturday and Sunday.
Lacy has an innate ability to set the tone. He has used his mind to focus on the betterment of the community, entertainment to achieve the spread of joy, and created thousands of great memories. Lacy has divided his life’s work between producing a worthwhile scene and rebuilding a community setting. He continues to propel the impetus of cultural advancement and leads the collective community into a reality of higher greatness.