As previously reported, Chez Mimi has been sold. The current incarnation of the beloved Westside restaurant will close on June 13 after 13 years in its current space on 26th Street, across from the Brentwood Country Mart. Owner Micheline Hebert (nicknamed "Mimi") is sad that property values have pushed rents up, and are forcing many neighboring tenants to reconsider the renewal of their leases. She loves her location and her clientele, and is therefore currently on the hunt for a new location in the same Brentwood/Santa Monica area.
"It all depends," muses Mimi, "In a previous location I had an ice cream machine so we made all of our own ice creams, but here I didn't have space for it. I hope to have space for it in the next kitchen. The menu depends on the equipment, on the kitchen." She did mention having plenty of new ideas for menu items, but felt torn with having to replace dishes that her regulars love, "They won't let me!" she exclaims, "they want their moules, their trout, their vichyssoise. It's hard to change." While Hebert has looked at several locations nearby, none of them are quite right. Still, she hopes to reopen soon enough, if for nothing else than the sake of her employees, "my staff, I must think of my employees," she says. Rare is the restauranteur that has such a following - not only in clientele, but also in personnel. Clearly a Santa Monica-Brentwood landmark, Chez Mimi will be missed. — Daniela Galarza