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Nyesha Arrington Takes Over Gorgeous Santa Monica Yacht Club

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The former Leona lead is already back on the Westside

Behold SMYC, a Ritzy Yacht-Inspired Seafood Destination in Santa Monica
The former Santa Monica Yacht Club
Wonho Frank Lee

It looks like Top Chef star (and 2015 Eater Chef of the Year) Nyesha Arrington isn’t going to be living the nomad life for long, after her name was spotted as part of a deal at the former Santa Monica Yacht Club space. Arrington has been traveling and cooking since leaving her post at Leona in Venice at the beginning of the year, but now seems to be heading back into a permanent kitchen to give the Westside another run.

Toddrickallen was the first to spot the paperwork sitting inside the window at the Santa Monica Yacht Club. That gorgeously modern restaurant was previously run by Tar & Roses chef Andrew Kirschner but closed just a month ago, leaving room for someone else to step in. Arrington is that person, alongside Luis Villaneda who was previously a partner in Circa in Manhattan Beach and, more recently, opened The Rose as general manager.

Reached by phone, Arrington and Villaneda both declined to give many details, only confirming that they had taken an interest in the property and wanted to bring a kind of upscale casual restaurant to Santa Monica proper. There’s no official name or timetable just yet, either, but Arrington will soon be spending a lot more time locally to get the new menu up and running.

620 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

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