It's Over, Jim: After 20 years of business, Jimmy's in Beverly Hills is closing. Does that mean the "we're closing for renovation" story the owners ran by us in late July was, well, a fib? No. Apparently, remodeling was more trouble than expected, so instead of reopening in October as planned, the venerable industry hangout will remain closed forever.
Owner Jimmy Murphy says: "Dining in an elegant setting is not what it used to be. It seems to be trendier. People are always looking for the newest thing."
Murphy plans to spend more time traveling with wife, Anne, in his native Ireland. He's also working on developing a musical about the life of Charlie Chaplin for Broadway. Son Sean Murphy, who's been managing Dad's restaurant for the last 10 years, is looking for a new venture in which to be involved.
City Secret: A small lunch-only restaurant downtown opened quietly a few months back. Located behind the Bradbury Building next to Biddy Mason Park on Spring Street, the City Pier Seafood is the project of restaurateur Julie Stone (who was a managing partner in both 72 Market Street and Maple Drive) and her partner Bruce Silberman. The kitchen is presided over by chef Peter De Lucca, who got to know Stone when the two worked together at 72 Market. De Lucca also has done stints at Le Toque, West Beach Cafe and Abiquiu. The most you'll pay for an entree here is $12.50, which gets you one of the daily specials of whole fish.
The menu, which could be described as a cross between Cafe N'Awlins and Water Grill, also includes fish tacos, lots of seafood salads and even a couple of specials for any fish-hating friends you drag along.
Since the City Pier only serves lunch, its hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. One hour of free parking is available with validation at the Broadway Spring Center. The City Pier Seafood, 333 S. Spring St., Suite E6, L.A.; (213) 671-CITY.
O.C. Watering Hole: The Clubhouse, a cushy hang for hungry and thirsty golf buffs, is opening in South Coast Plaza in early 1999. It's part of a chain that started in Oak Brook, Ill., with such celeb investors as Jack Nicklaus, Kevin Costner, Fred Couples and Robert Wagner. The menu is all over the links with such dishes as toasted ravioli appetizer, seafood Louis salad, BBQ chicken pizza, fried chicken wrap, pecan catfish, rack of lamb and steaks. You can wash down the food with beers, wines, liqueurs, scotches, cognacs, martinis and specialty mixed drinks. After you're done eating and imbibing, you'll be lured over to the pro golf shop to spend even more money.
Back to School Blues?: To lessen those end-of-summer doldrums, Sisley's Italian Kitchen in Sherman Oaks will be feeding kids, ages 2 to 10, free all during September. That's anything at all from the restaurant's children's menu: cheese, pepperoni or barbecue chicken pizza, good ol' spaghetti with marinara sauce, or with a meatball--or for the culinarily conservative kid, spaghetti with butter and cheese. Each kid gets a free item just as long as Mom or Dad orders an entree, too. Sisley's Italian Kitchen, 15300 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; (818) 905-8444.
Mexican Independence Day Fest: El Cholo on Western Avenue in Los Angeles celebrates Mexican Independence Day with traditional foods, mariachi music and folk dances on Wednesday, beginning at 6 p.m. Everybody who orders an ounce of super-premium Patron tequila infused with fresh fruits ($12) goes home with a Cuervo T-shirt. And some lucky person will win the lottery. Grand prize? Dinner for eight at any El Cholo restaurant. El Cholo, 1121 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles; (213) 737-7718.
Tasty Tidbits: Former L.A. chef Ken Frank's new Napa Valley restaurant at 1140 Rutherford Road in Rutherford opens Sept. 16. Reservations for the new La Toque can be made by calling (707) 963-9770. . . . Chasen's in Beverly Hills will be open for lunch daily as of Monday. It closed over Labor Day weekend to redo the flooring downstairs, so now it's ready for the extra traffic. . . .
Chaya Brasserie on Alden Drive (currently in its 15th year, by the way) can now seat you on the patio to the side of the restaurant--on nice days, that is. . . .
Mi Familia, the contemporary Mexican restaurant on 3rd Street in Los Angeles, has added a new tepache bar where sangria and margaritas are served to accompany an array of small bites. These include handmade gorditas and mini sopes. Mi Familia, 8222 1/2 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; (213) 653-2121. . . . Did you know that the House of Blues on Sunset serves lunch during the week? Neither did anyone else. It's the same menu as at dinner (same prices, too--ouch), but valet parking is free until 3 p.m. . . .
Zenzero in Santa Monica has gone through a couple of changes lately. Cosmetically speaking, the bamboo in the front of the restaurant has been hacked down and replaced by bougainvillea. And the walls, which had some orange paint on them for about a year, are back to their original cream color. Menu-wise, there's now a separate bar menu, and on Sundays a brunch with live jazz.