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We've all heard about the infamous Simms Restaurant group and have seen first hand how everything they touch seem to be a success. Well, a strong family history and two hard working brothers are some of the secret sauce behind it. Here is a little more about two of our favorite local restauranteers Mike and Chris Simms...
“It’s in my genes, I had no choice!” A Southern California native, Mike Simms knew from an early age that he would foray into the world of hospitality. He and his brother grew up running around the kitchen and under the tables at French Market in West Hollywood and The Kettle in Manhattan Beach – his father’s and grandfather’s restaurants – but later did stints washing dishes and busing tables for spending money throughout high school.
After graduating from Cornell’s prestigious Hotel School, Mike moved to the Napa Valley and managed Tra Vigne restaurant, where he was able to fully immerse himself in food. In trying his hand at home brewing, traveling to the world’s best wine regions and developing relationships with various winemakers, Mike came to realize his passion for beer and wine. In 2005, he took this experience and returned to his native Southern California, compelled to connect local restaurants to surrounding farms, breweries, and wineries and celebrate all things craft. He joined forces with his father Tom and brother Chris to form the Simms Restaurant Group.
In 2007, Mike developed the Tin Roof Bistro in Manhattan Beach. Amidst delays, he stumbled upon vacant space just steps from the ocean in Manhattan Beach and decided (along with his brother Chris) the neighborhood needed a spot that served a simple, delicious burger and quality craft beer and wine. This concept quickly came to fruition in the form of Simmzy’s and opened in 2009, three months before Tin Roof Bistro. In 2011 Mike partnered with Chef David LeFevre to open Manhattan Beach Post. Building on their partnership, The Simms-LeFevre team later opened Fishing With Dynamite (2013), and The Arthur J (2015), named after Mike’s grandfather, also in Manhattan Beach. Meanwhile, in 2012 Mike shared his knowledge and passion for wine and beer and ventured out of Manhattan Beach to open a second Simmzy’s in Belmonte Shore, followed by additional locations: Simmzy’s Burbank (2015), Simmzy’s Venice (2015), Simmzy’s Huntington Beach (2015). And in 2016, Simms Restaurant Group debuts its newest concept, Lil’ Simmzy’s on the Deck at The Point in El Segundo, CA. Lil’ Simmzy’s echoes the original Simmzy’s vibe with an ultra-laidback menu of beach grub designed for recharging and relaxing with a local craft brew on the patio.
Whether it’s teaching servers about new styles of beer, encouraging cooks to use new techniques, or honing his own palate with an Introductory Sommelier Certificate, Mike is a firm believer in empowerment through education. In the same vein, Mike prides himself on promoting from within (a current GM started off as a server, and a one-time dishwasher now boasts the title of executive chef), and truly believes in putting people first.
When he’s not at Simmzy’s, Mike can be found surfing in Manhattan Beach, spending time with his wife and four kids, or planning his next aerial flight over California’s wine regions.
Born and raised in Southern California, Chris Simms has been involved in the restaurant business all of his life. While attending Cornell University, Chris worked his way up the ladder through various restaurants both in the kitchen and the dining room and began working for P.F. Chang’s China Bistro when he graduated.
After three years with P.F. Chang’s, Chris decided to continue his education in the restaurant industry by beginning work with Mimi’s Cafe?, the restaurant company founded by his father, Tom Simms. Chris and his team opened the first Lazy Dog in Huntington Beach, CA in 2003.
Lazy Dog serves handcrafted American food and drink with seasonally-inspired ingredients. When you walk in, you get a small mountain town vibe from the warm, caring service and the rustic social setting. Lazy Dog is a great place to get together with friends and family, making it the casual dining choice for the next generation.
As CEO, Chris keeps a close eye on operations while guiding the concept and developing new sites resulting in the 30th Lazy Dog to be opened in Chicago, IL in December of 2018.
Chris and his team look forward to executing an aggressive, yet prudent growth plan over the next several years that will include openings in markets across the country.
After leaving the NFL, Matt Leinart did what a lot of retired athletes do: He became a television sports analyst.
That's still his weekend job at Fox during football season, but now he's trying his hand at something a bit further afield. Last April, he passed his real estate exam on the first try and became a licensed agent.
"Every year, I make it my goal to learn something new, but I never end up sticking to it," said Leinart, 34, recalling failed attempts to learn the piano and perfect his golf swing. After his mother, Linda, died of leukemia in January last year, he vowed to break out of his comfort zone.
"Part of my healing process was accomplishing something that she'd be proud of," he said.
Leinart isn't the first athlete to dabble in real estate. Former MLB second baseman Adam Kennedy works as a real estate advisor in Newport Beach, and former NFL defensemen Monty Beisel and Morgan Trent are active agents in Beverly Hills.
The second career enables former athletes, comfortable with cutthroat deal-making and big monetary figures, to use their connections and flex their competitive spirit.
Leinart, the former USC star quarterback, is part of the four-person team of Schneider Properties in Manhattan Beach, where he has lived for nearly a decade.
"My ties to this city help," said Leinart, who has been longtime friends with Nick and Chelsea Schneider, the team's founders. "I'm active in this community. I coach my son's baseball team here."
That, combined with his celebrity status in L.A., has gotten his new venture off to a promising start. He's still chasing his first solo sale but has closed on a handful of homes alongside his team.
Leinart said he sees himself as someone who can use his experience as an athlete and a South Bay resident to better inform home buyers.
"Between the Rams, Chargers and the new soccer stadium coming in, I'd love to be an ambassador for athletes looking to buy a home, since I've been in the same shoes," Leinart said.
He added that the frenzied L.A. housing market provides plenty of opportunities. Now, instead of analyzing defenses and finding ways to score, he's analyzing homes and finding ways to sell.
"In both worlds, you get out what you put in," Leinart said. "In real estate, if you're hustling and maintaining a good work ethic, you'll get deals."
He admits that the learning curve is steep. He has spent days shadowing the team's other agents, figuring out the right lingo, questions to ask and people to know.
He equated the process to memorizing a playbook.
"To an outsider, understanding an NFL playbook is like trying to read Japanese. After spending so much time with it, though, I can read it like the back of my hand," Leinart said. "Learning the intricacies of the real estate industry is the same."
During open houses, Leinart pays careful attention to which questions are most common. That way, when a future buyer asks about the type of roof, or what tops the counters in the kitchen, he'll be prepared.
"I walk into the office like a sponge, absorbing knowledge and taking criticism," he said.
Unique challenges present themselves every day. The nuances of contracts and contingencies can be difficult to nail down. People show up to open houses more interested in grabbing a photo with him than exploring the home.
With the college football season concluded, he's had more time to get a grasp of things, scheduling time for meetings, open houses and private home showings.
"Every day is different in real estate, which is why I love it," Leinart said. "The job gives me flexibility, so I'm still trying to perfect the balance."
As of now, Leinart still loves his career at Fox and has no plans to abandon broadcasting. He's simply treating his foray into real estate as a chance to learn and grow.
Whether his future will find him one day selling homes full time, Leinart isn't sure. For the time being, he said, it's nice to not have a game plan.
To view the original article on LA Times, visit: http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/hot-property/la-fi-hp-matt-leinart-20180407-story.html
A WALK THROUGH HISTORY:
THE EVOLUTION OF THE HERMOSA BEACH PIER
In 1904 the first version of the Hermosa pier was built. It was constructed entirely of wood even to the pilings and it extended five hundred feet out into the ocean. The pier was constructed by the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company. In 1913 this old pier was partly washed away and later torn down and a new one built to replace it.
The new pier was built of concrete one thousand feet long, and paved with asphalt its entire length. Small tiled pavilions were erected at intervals along the sides to afford shade for fishermen and picnic parties. A bait stand was built eventually out on the end. Soon after, about 1914, an auditorium building was constructed; it has housed various enterprises and at present the public rest rooms, the Los Angeles Life Guard Service, and the local branch of the Los Angeles County Library occupy rooms in the building.
Pier Avenue, originally known as Santa Fe Avenue, had long been the small beach city’s main commercial corridor, wending its way from Pacific Coast Highway to the Hermosa Beach pier. By 1996, new restaurants had begun to move into the area, including Brewski’s, Sangria, Club Sushi, Cafe Sabroso and Patrick Malloy’s Steakhouse. Longtime fixture Hennessey’s Tavern took over a neighboring building as part of a $1 million expansion.
After some debate, the City Council decided to make Pier Plaza a pedestrians-only experience, closing it off from automobiles altogether and removing its 27 parking spaces. A grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new plaza was held on Saturday, Aug. 16, 1997.
Today Pier Plaza is home to many restaurants and shops and is frequented by fun seekers, beachgoers, families, and tourist alike. It is just one of the special things that make our city so wonderful.
Hermosa Beach Historical Society
The real estate market will be among the sectors most impacted by the $1.5 trillion tax bill passed in the U.S. Wednesday
The legislation calls for a significantly lowered corporate tax rate and reduced tax rates for individuals with higher standard deductions but institutes caps on mortgage interest deductions and the deduction of state and local taxes. The individual cuts expire in 2025, but the corporate cuts are permanent.
The Senate passed the bill 51-48 early Wednesday, with Sen. John McCain of Arizona absent. Also Wednesday, the House voted 224-201 for the overhaul. President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law in the coming days.
How it will shake out in reality is still unknown, but many real estate experts have been up in arms about the changes, with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) initially warning that it could lower home prices by up to 10% in every state.
Weakened confidence in luxury sector
An oversupply in luxury housing, plus a limited pool of buyers, has already slowed sales in that sector. And tax woes have only increased hesitation from buyers.
“People are going to be trying to figure out what it means for them,” said Donna Olshan, president of New York City-based Olshan Realty. “It’s certainly not a positive for New York.”
She said she recently had clients—who were looking for a home around $4 million—decide to curtail their search until they figure out what their new tax bill is going to look like.
For her clients, Ms. Olshan is very concerned about the new $10,000 cap on how much local and state tax can be deducted from federal income taxes. Under the current law, the amount is unlimited.
“Almost all my clients pay six figures in New York state and New York City taxes,” said Ms. Olshan, who has clients in both Manhattan and suburban Westchester, New York. “What does that mean for them?”
This cap will mean a big difference for homeowners in regions with high local taxes, including New York, California and Connecticut. Of the 12 House Republicans who voted against the tax bill, 11 were from one of these states.
Buyers may roll back their budgets as a result, Ms. Olshan said, and certain would-be buyers may choose to continue renting. They may be more likely to stall until they can figure out how the changes will affect them.
“It definitely makes people pause,” Ms. Olshan said. “The benefits of homeownership are being slashed.”
Other New Yorkers are also nervous about how the bill will affect the city. Last week, a Moody’s analysis predicted the lower deductions could cause home prices in Manhattan to drop by up to 9.5%. It could cost New Yorkers up to $30 billion per year in higher taxes, Partnership for New York City CEO Kathryn Wylde told the Wall Street Journal.
New York does have a high percentage of foreign buyers, who won’t be affected by the changes by the U.S. tax law. Some say these buyers could help keep the market stable.
“If they see some give in the price, this may help fuel the market and serve as a counterbalance,” Ms. Olshan said.
Many brokers already have strong connections with overseas buyers, and they may look to strengthen their ties. But it’s too soon to tell if international customers will come out ahead, brokers said.
California is in a similar boat, said Selma Hepp, chief economist at California-based Pacific Union International, adding that the “impact could be devastating” for many in the San Francisco Bay Area and Major Cities like Los Angeles
“Just how much impact it will have is hard to tell. But taking the deductions away will be pretty substantial. It adds up quickly,” she said. “If you own a $3 million property, you could be paying almost $90,000 in state and local taxes,” she said. “With the $10,000 cap, that’s an $80,000 difference in your deductions.”
Less incentive to move
Another big change for individuals is the lowering of the mortgage deduction, which the National Association of Realtors said is “a direct threat to homeowners and consumers. Not only would millions of homeowners not benefit from the proposal, many would get a tax increase,” according to a statement from the organization in early December. “Additionally, homeowners could lose substantial equity from the more than 10% drop in home values likely to result.”
The association was somewhat appeased when the final bill raised the final deduction amount to the interest on the first $750,000 borrowed. That was increased from the House bill, which had the cap at $500,000, but not as much as the current $1 million allowance.
Many upper-middle class homeowners probably breathed a sigh of relief with that change. Ms. Hepp said most income groups stand to lose, but Bay Area households making between $100,000 and $200,000 would be the most severely impacted.
It isn’t as much of a worry for high-worth households. Most true luxury homes—over $3 million b Ms. Hepp’s measure —have always been beyond the deduction. Plus, luxury buyers are more likely to pay in cash, she added.
Existing mortgages will be grandfathered in, with the lower deduction applying to new loans. That might give people less incentive to move. In addition, Ms. Hepp said, the change in the rules regulating capital gains could slow the market even further. Currently, households can exclude up to $500,000 in capital gains from the sale of a home if they’ve lived there two out of the last five years. The new bill requires people to have lived at the home for five of the last eight years.
“This is going to add a lock-in effect,” Ms. Hepp said. With homeowners staying put instead of trading up, there could be an inventory issue in some markets.
Not sure what to serve at your Thanksgiving party? Here are a few of our favorite signature dishes that won't break the bank or have you spending all day in the kitchen:
Cranberry Brie Bites
MUFFIN TIN DEVILED EGGS:
For the full recipe, visit: http://bzfd.it/2tNJAzap
As we prepare to eat well, share kindness, and give thanks- Be the hostess with the mostess this holiday season and host your Thanksgiving in style with these easy and creative tips that will leave your guests wondering how you pulled it off!
Evergreen Name Place Cards:
Use a sleek linen style paper and then add a touch of the outdoors, then you're good-to-go! All you have to do is a keep a few sprigs of Rosemary from your stuffing recipe to thread through your seating arrangement cards.
Corn Husk Wreath:
Who knew a wreath made of corn husk's could look so chic!
An easy, affordable and stylish pumpkin that you never have to throw away at the end of the season.
All Natural, But Far From Ordinary:
For an all natural look, incorporate natural linens, woven string, a touch of green, and a cinnamon stick for a timeless rustic design.
Pumpkin-up your Platter
Want an easy way to add some fall flavor to your charcuterie spread? Use mini pumpkins as holders to help label your delicious spread.
Everyone Loves A Touch of Glitter
When the only thing prettier than color-changing fall leaves, are ones coated in glitter and hung with love.
Not sure how to style your Thanksgiving centerpiece? Go monochrome and bring out all the white pieces you can source. Another easy and affordable way to achieve this look is a trip to your local dollar store and some white spray paint. All-white never looked so good!
End Your Party With A Bang
Style your guest with a To-Go Box that never looked so good. Use mini-containers to assemble the perfect to-go meal for leftovers. This will surely leave a lasting impression on your guests!