People We Love: Kalin & Boyan Kinov

Growing Rooted Traditions


Although Kalin Kilov has only lived in the US for less than four years, he and his brother Boyen have quickly become beloved faces throughout Malibu. As co-owners of John’s Garden, the Bulgarian nationals have helped update the venerated cafe’s years-old menu, integrating a rotating weekly special entree, all while remaining true to the classic staples the community has loved for decades. “At some point, you’ve tried everything three times,” said Kalin. “That’s the idea of the weekly special. Even if you’re a customer for 35 years you still have something to surprise you.” he said. Deep-seated loyalty to the heritage of the 43 year old eatery has been at the core of the Kinov brothers’ takeover. Boyen worked at John’s Garden for years before he was offered the chance to buy out the restaurant from the founding Musante family in 2012. Kalin joined his brother a couple years later, leaving a management position at Coca Cola in Bulgaria to join both his brother and his parents, who had all immigrated to the U.S. years before. Sitting on the shaded patio outside John’s Garden on a characteristically beautiful day, Kalin gestures towards the idyllic country mart central plaza. “I love it,” he said. “This is such a great place to be.”

MALIBU MAGAZINE loves the Kinov brother for their commitment to both innovation and deep seated traditions. MM

Holly Bieler