Chris Simms and brother Mike opened Simmzy’s two weeks ago in the former Manhattan Beach home of Ebizo’s Skewer. The Simms partnered with chef Anne Conness (Napa Valley Grille, EM Bistro) on a gourmet neighborhood pub with a beer emphasis.
Both brothers grew up in the restaurant industry and attended Cornell’s School of Hospitality. Their grandfather founded The Kettle, a 24-hour Manhattan Beach institution. Their father founded the Mimi’s Café chain before selling the brand in 2004. Chris Simms owns three branches of Lazy Dog Café, and there are more locations in the works.
The opening menu features options like pulled pork panini with Niman Ranch pork that’s braised overnight with sherry vinegar and pickling spices, then sandwiched with Fontina and pork jus. Simmzy’s Burger hosts smoky caramelized onions. All the breads and buns come from BREADBAR. You’ll also find fries and salads, including a chicken salad with apples, walnuts and herbed goat cheese. Simmzy’s wood-burning grill feeds on a mix of oak and mesquite charcoal. For dessert, Simmzy’s offers S’mores pudding with semi-sweet chocolate pudding, homemade Graham cracker and bruleed marshmallow, which comes in a Chimay glass. Mike Simms anticipates a revised menu every two months.
Chris, who goes by Big Simmzy, ensures that the pub’s 24 taps are “off the handle.” In their first two weeks, they’ve already swapped out 10 kegs. The brothers are both home brewers and decided to devote their taps to craft beers like Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA and Midas Touch, North Coast Brother Thelonious and Green Flash West Coast. Pints cost $5-8. Mike Simms promises to “change in and out as new fun stuff comes on the radar.”
On Brewery Thursdays, expect $1 off featured brewery pours all night, beginning at 5 PM. For May 20, Simmzy’s scored Magic Hat #9. The Simms’ bar is one of only five spots in L.A. to snag the Vermont brewery’s rare beer. People who don’t care about beer can choose from 30 wines by the glass.
As for the décor, Mike Simms said, “Being close to the beach and me being an avid surfer, we did a contemporary cleaned up lifeguard tower with cedar awning.” He described an “indoor-outdoor feel,” with half the seats overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The Simms brothers aren’t through in Manhattan Beach. In a couple months, they plan to open Tin Roof Bistro in Manhattan Beach Village with Chef Conness. They’ve been working on the concept for a year and a half. The building’s original function was as an office building, so it took 14 months to slog through entitlements.