Arts District's Simone Closes for Retooling

After opening just seven months ago, the Arts District’s Simone is closing for a month with plans to reopen under the name Duello, the name of the restaurant’s front bar. 

The high-profile Arts District restaurant Simone is undergoing a retooling, just seven months after opening.

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Restaurant representatives announced on Friday, April 5, that the restaurant at 449 S. Hewitt St. will undergo a revamp, shedding the name Simone in favor of Duello, the moniker of the restaurant’s bar. The final dinner under the Simone banner was served on Saturday. 

The bar will continue to operate on Wednesday-Sunday.Plans call for the dining area to reopen on May 4, with a new, lower-priced menu and some minor changes to the interior to follow, according to a representative for the restaurant.

Simone had already seen some hiccups. Jessica Largey, who won the 2015 James Beard award for Rising Star Chef of the Year, and was chef de cuisine at two Michelin-starred restaurants in San Francisco, left Simone in March. In February the Los Angeles Times gave it a very critical review, with reviewer Bill Addison writing in the opening paragraph that he had ordered a 36-ounce rib-eye twice, “and I’ve witnessed its beauty annihilated both times.”

Chef de cuisine Jason Beberman was tapped as Largey’s replacement, and he is re-evaluating the menu. The cocktail program will continue under Iain McPherson.

 sean@downtownnews.com