Top Chef contestant and serial restaurateur Brian Malarkey is leaving a batch of restaurants he helped found, including Herringbone, Searsucker in San Diego, and Ivory on Sunset. He announced his resignation today, as reported by Eater San Diego. In addition to restaurants in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, Malarkey had restaurants in Las Vegas, Austin, and San Diego, where he still operates restaurants like Herb & Wood and Herb & Eatery. He’s also involved with two new projects in the San Diego area, Animae and Herb & Sea.
Though Malarkey sold majority stakes in Herringbone, Searsucker, and Ivory on Sunset to global nightlife and restaurant group Hakkasan Ltd. back in 2014, he still retains minority equity for a few of those eateries.
Here’s the statement Malarkey gave regarding the resignation:
Effective immediately I am resigning my position with the Hakkasan Group. Searsucker and Herringbone are two unique concepts I will continue to be proud of. I am grateful for the incredible employees, many that have been with us since the start, friends and the loyal clientele who have helped drive their success and it’s been exciting to watch their expansion over the last few years under Hakkasan’s guidance. However, at this time in my career, I would like to focus entirely on my hometown of San Diego and its incredible dining scene. I’m looking forward to putting 100% of my energy on the Puffer Malarkey Restaurants, including Herb & Wood, Herb & Eatery, two Green Acre locations, Farmer & The Seahorse and two upcoming projects Herb & Sea and Animae
Herringbone gained a decent amount of traction thanks to its location along Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, but Ivory on Sunset has a bit of sleepier existence despite its prime Sunset Strip placement. Malarkey didn’t even mention Ivory on Sunset in his statement despite his involvement that’s still clearly laid out on its its website as the founding executive chef.