“It’s in my genes, I had no choice!” A Southern California native, Mike Simms knew from an early age that he would foray into the world of hospitality. He and his brother grew up running around the kitchen and under the tables at French Market in West Hollywood and The Kettle in Manhattan Beach – his father’s and grandfather’s restaurants – but later did stints washing dishes and busing tables for spending money throughout high school.
After graduating from Cornell’s prestigious Hotel School, Mike moved to the Napa Valley and managed Tra Vigne restaurant, where he was able to fully immerse himself in food. In trying his hand at home brewing, traveling to the world’s best wine regions and developing relationships with various winemakers, Mike came to realize his passion for beer and wine. In 2005, he took this experience and returned to his native Southern California, compelled to connect local restaurants to surrounding farms, breweries, and wineries and celebrate all things craft. He joined forces with his father Tom and brother Chris to form The Simms Restaurant Group and went on to open Tin Roof Bistro (2009), Simmzy’s Manhattan Beach (2009), Manhattan Beach Post (2011) and Fishing With Dynamite (2013).
In 2007, Mike developed the Tin Roof Bistro in Manhattan Beach. Amidst delays, he stumbled upon vacant space just steps from the ocean in Manhattan Beach and decided (along with his brother Chris) the neighborhood needed a spot that served a simple, delicious burger and quality craft beer and wine. This concept quickly came to fruition in the form of Simmzy’s and opened in 2009, three months before Tin Roof Bistro. In 2012, Mike shared his knowledge and passion for wine and beer with the community of Belmont Shore at Simmzy’s much anticipated second location. Now in 2014 Mike looks forward to his third Simmzy’s in Burbank, with another one coming soon to Venice.
Whether it’s teaching servers about new styles of beer, encouraging cooks to use new techniques, or honing his own palate with an Introductory Sommelier Certificate, Mike is a firm believer in empowerment through education. In the same vein, Mike prides himself on promoting from within (a current GM started off as a server, and a one-time dishwasher now boasts the title of executive chef), and truly believes in putting people first.
When he’s not at Simmzy’s, Mike can be found surfing in Manhattan Beach, spending time with his wife and daughters, or planning his next aerial flight over California’s wine regions.