Daren Metropoulos is the youngest son of the billionaire businessman known as “Mr. Shelf Space,” the former co-face of Pabst Blue Ribbon’s hipster revival, heir to the Hostess fortune (think Twinkie and its cousins, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs) and a skilled worker in the “Guerilla Marketing” of “Snack Cakes” and “Beer,” according to his LinkedIn profile.

The 33-year-old business mogul and his older brother, Evan, have been wheeling and dealing since puberty and are famously credited for sweet-talking product placement deals that brought together Gulden’s mustard and Jennifer Aniston; Howard Stern and Bumble Bee tuna; Chef Boyardee and WWF wrestlers; and Perrier Jouet champagne, Snoop Dog and Limp Bizkit.

Metropoulos headed his first company — the tuna one — at age 14.

On Tuesday, he added another line to his high-roller résumé: Hugh Hefner’s landlord.

He has been the 90-year-old sexual tycoon’s next door neighbor since 2009, when he moved into the Playboy Mansion’s sister house, his personal car collection in tow. This week, after months of negotiation, Metropoulos bought the complex’s main home — a 20,000-square-foot palace that has for decades housed Hefner, his bunnies and the sexual fantasies of American men.

None will be evicted just yet.

As part of the purchase deal, Metropoulos must allow Hefner to live out his days at the mansion, the place he has called home since Playboy Enterprises bought it in 1971 for $1.05 million, reported the Los Angeles Times. Metropoulos paid $100 million for the mansion — the biggest home sale recorded in Los Angeles County history — but the final deal raked in just half of the listed asking price of $200 million.

Hefner will pay Metropoulos $1 million a year for upkeep, reported the Wall Street Journal.


Playboy founder Hugh Hefner poses at the Playboy Mansion in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles on April 7. (Kevork Djansezian/AP)

The mansion, situated on five acres of picturesque land, features 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, a catering kitchen, wine cellar, home theater, separate game house, tennis court and a swimming pool that connects to the property’s infamous, cave-like grotto, which “most likely needs to be thoroughly cleaned,” Maxim wrote in a story on the sale.

Also, there’s a zoo.

Exotic birds and monkeys live at the complex alongside albino peacocks that are known to wander freely about the green grass and gardens.

But it’s the mansion’s rich history that Metropoulos said intrigues him most. Built in 1927 by architect Arthur R. Kelly for department store heir Arthur Letts Jr., the home now colloquially known as the Playboy Mansion was first the Wolfskill Ranch. It’s nestled in Holmby Hills, which, along with Bel Air and Beverly Hills, forms what is called the Platinum Triangle of affluent Los Angeles neighborhoods.


Daren Metropoulos, of Metropoulos & Co., new owner of Playboy Mansion, at its sister house, his home since 2009. (Metropoulos & Co/PRNewsFoto)

“The heritage of this property transcends its celebrity,” Metropoulos told the Wall Street Journal, “and to have the opportunity to serve as its steward would be a true privilege.”

After Hefner’s “tenancy ends,” the 33-year-old said in a statement that he plans to combine the two adjoining parcels in the 7.3-acre compound to return to the original plan its architect envisioned and enjoy “this beautiful property as my private residence for years to come.”

“I feel fortunate and privileged to now own a one-of-a-kind piece of history and art,” he said.

Metropoulos is no stranger to the mansion’s grandeur. He was photographed beside Hefner, his brother and a line of ear-wearing Playboy bunnies at Snoop Dogg’s 41st birthday in 2012. The brothers were there promoting Pabst Brewing, the cheap beer producer for college kids, middle America and hipsters.

Their father, billionaire dealmaker C. Dean Metropoulos, gifted the company to them in 2010 when the two were still in their 20s and, though already principals at Metropoulos & Co., lacked their father’s humble beginnings. They had summered as boys at Martha’s Vineyard, been featured on MTV reality shows and rode to college in Humvees.

This did not make the hipsters happy.

The brothers, wrote San Francisco blogger Zach Perkins in 2010, “are about as far from both hipster and blue collar (the demographics that keep PBR profitable) as they could possibly be.”

They used “guerrilla marketing” techniques to do what their father’s company has built a reputation on — taking legacy brands and re-purposing them for nostalgic millennials — but they did so in their fast-talking, brash way.

“No one at Pabst had ever screamed obscenities into the phone before [Daren and Evan]. … They were trying to manage through fear and aggression,” Bryan Cook, 36, a Pabst field marketing representative who worked there six years before quitting in 2012, told The Washington Post in 2014. “They were 20-something billionaires whose dad had bought them a new toy.”

They sold Pabst in 2015, after their father acquired the bankrupt dessert snack company, Hostess.

Daren Metropoulos and his brother have led that enterprise since 2013.

A 2010 Bloomberg profile of the duo called Daren’s hair “senatorial” and described the youngest Metropoulos as “narrower, quieter and cleaner shaven than his effusive brother.”

Compared to Evan, who more than a decade ago told a New York Times reporter that he’d “been with more chicks than any fat guy you know, except Pavarotti,” Daren seems to curate his public persona more conservatively. His online presence revolves almost strictly around his business ventures, his Twitter timeline is like a photo album of PBR, Twinkies and professional headshots.

And his bio, which crams his accomplishments into a scantily allotted 160 characters, already boasts his latest achievement: “Owner Playboy Mansion.”

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