Since its first location opened in Manhattan Beach in 2009, Simmzy’s Pub has made a name for itself as the fun beachside brewpub where you can sit on the patio with some friends and drink craft beer before you head down to the beach. And although Simms Restaurant Group went on to open additional Manhattan Beach restaurants Tin Roof Bistro, M.B. Post, and Fishing With Dynamite, the brewpub remained its casual eatery for craft beer and pub fare.
This past January, the restaurant group brought its beach-town sensibilities to Burbank, more than 30 miles from its birthplace. Valley dwellers can now enjoy rattan furniture and lawn games like giant Jenga and cornhole in the former Casa Cabo space on Olive Boulevard. Fun fact: Those old numbered wood planks you see around the bar are what became of Hollywood Bowl benches after they were replaced last year.
Why open up a beachy pub in Burbank? “We always consider ourselves a beach-style restaurant. But the opportunity came up. Our owner saw it. We just figured, why not try it?” says chef Michael Rubino. “This is leaps and bounds from what any other location looks like, but we’re trying it and it seems the formula is working right now.”
This newest location has something that the other Simmzy’s outposts don’t: a full bar complete with a cocktail program. So yeah, that gives the beach folk something to be jealous about.
Heading the program is Tin Roof Bistro beverage director Pablo Kovacs and bartender Andy Hoff. The pair had made serious sippers at TRB to go along with the more upscale fare, but here the cocktails are approachable with a focus on refreshing.
Instead of just one Moscow Mule, there’s a “Stable of Mules,” meaning a different drink for tequila, bourbon, and gin as well as vodka. Even the Bloody Mary, which has a hit of Tapatio on the bottom, is so light that it’s on the dinner cocktail menu. “The Bloody Mary is completely different from what you’re used to,” says general manager Jim Lynch. “We can have it at night because it is light and a little bit more refreshing.”
The biggest seller so far is the La Rosa margarita with hibiscus-infused tequila made in-house. The restaurant decided to create some of their own cocktail ingredients like bitters and tonic, too, to keep things in line with the way they make their food, from scratch. “If we have the opportunity to make it ourselves, we’ll make it ourselves. We don’t want to buy something we can make ourselves,” says Rubino. “The flavor’s always better, we know where the ingredients come from and it’s not artificial.”
And yes, they have beer here, too. Twenty-four taps including house beers–an IPA and a Hefeweizen made by Golden Road Brewing.
If Burbank is too far for you to go for a Simmzy’s, just wait. There will be one opening in Venice in June and in El Segundo, Huntington Beach, and San Clemente by the end of next year.