Draycott Restaurant Features Palisades Owners
(Editor’s note: The first part of the story introduced Marissa Hermer’s “fairy godmother” Palisadian Kim Clary. Today we continue the story of how the Hermers moved to Pacific Palisades.)
. . . What prompted the move?
After college Marissa moved to London, where she worked in public relations and met Matt Hermer, a native of Wales, who eventually would own a number of restaurants, hotel bars and nightclubs around the world. They married in 2010 and usually spent a couple of months every summer in California, always visiting Clary.
“She’s like the daughter I never had,” Clary said.
Marissa, who also starred for three years in “Ladies of London,” a reality television series about expats living the posh life, said “I loved London; it was Matt who wanted to make the move.”
The impetus? Marissa’s third pregnancy. She was diagnosed with placenta accrete, a serious condition in which the placenta attaches too deep in the uterine wall. Her third child had to be delivered two months early via C-section and her uterus had to be removed. Marissa nearly bled to death.
After the near tragedy, the Hermers’ focus was on family. “It was a time to start over,” Marissa said.
Why not move to Newport Beach where she grew up? “Newport Beach is gorgeous,” Marissa said. “But we wanted some place where there was a real sense of community.
“Going back there would have been going to my family home. Making a life here was something new for us, for our family.”
She said Pacific Palisades felt familiar, not only from her childhood, but that she also liked how this community is so centered on children.
The Hermer children are in three different schools and play AYSO soccer plus YMCA and Recreation Center sports. The family also participates at Village Arts and Enrichment, and Marissa has just discovered ATAM on Alma Real, where “the boys can learn robotics.”
With all these schools and activities, Marissa is grateful for living in such a perfect location. “I can easily drive down to the beach, and we go hiking in Will Rogers.”
She noted that whole family participated in the Will Rogers 5/10K race on July 4.
When the Hermers moved to the Riveria neighborhood in the Palisades, they considered opening a restaurant in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, but then the couple met Rick Caruso, who recruited them to his development.
As the September 22 grand opening looms for Palisades Village, the Hermers are focused on the next week. They won’t gain access to their space until September 17, which means their residence is currently serving as the training ground for the kitchen, bartenders and management team, while also housing much of the restaurant furniture.
Kim Clary’s husband, Dave Morena, has a son Greg, who operates The Albright restaurant on the Santa Monica Pier with his wife Yunnie.
Marissa said that Greg and Yunnie have been indispensable. “Though Matt and I own and operate restaurants and bars in London and Europe [Barcelona and Istanbul], there are laws and sign-offs that are specific to California and they have shared their industry knowledge with us.” The Hermers also had a pop up for 10 years in Ibiza, Spain, and a nightclub for four years in Hong Kong.
“Greg and Yunnie aren’t blood-related family, but we call each other ‘cousins,’” Marissa said, “and their children call our children ‘cousins.’”
Former Taste employee Edward Delena, who has lived in the Palisades for 20 years with his wife and two children, will be the Draycott’s assistant manager.
Annie Black, whose mother Patti owns Black Ink (on Swarthmore, below Sunset), will manage public relations.
Their executive chef will be Los Angeles native Javier Ramos, who comes from Sqirl cafe, where he earned the 2017 Star Chef’s Rising Star Award. The restaurant will feature locally-sourced produce and meat/fish.
Like all good fairy tales, we expect this one to end happily ever after—even though Clary said her husband is tired of hearing about her old boyfriends.