It sure seems that Arts District restaurant Duello has closed down for good. The bar has scraped its social media presence, the phone lines go unanswered, and as of service hours on Saturday night, the security doors out front were rolled up tight.
Duello’s short arrival and apparent departure comes just at the end of a rather long and winding road. Restaurant watchers will also know the space as Simone, a long-anticipated, highly expensive endeavor from Joe Russo of the Marvel Avengers franchise that featured cooking from Manresa alum Jessica Largey. Despite the build-up, the restaurant received heavy criticism before even hitting the half-year mark, leading to Largey’s ouster and a total flip for the property.
Ultimately, Simone’s ownership closed the back dining room and took weeks to reemerge as Duello, the name for the front cocktail bar space only. The restaurant carried a more mellow ethos under chef Jason Beberman, and tried to work a bar menu that included late night eats, but now the gates are down and Yelpers are reporting the restaurant closed after just two-and-a-half months.
The apparent closure of Duello brings and end to one of the wilder sagas within the Los Angeles restaurant scene, involving a powerful and wealthy movie director, celebrity appearances, a star chef talent, and — apparently — a ton of restaurant infighting. It’s unclear what, if anything, is planned for the multi-million dollar Arts District restaurant space.
Duello. 449 S. Hewitt St., Los Angeles, CA.