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The Restaurant That Replaced Simone Is All Closed Up in the Arts District

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Duello closed over the weekend

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Simone, now duello, bar inside at night, lights
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

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.

Outside Duello in LA’s Arts District with closed doors
Duello at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night
Farley Elliott

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.