AK no longer: Chef Conny Andersson announced that AK Restaurant + Bar will be closing Saturday, June 20, because of "creative differences" with his financial partners. The Swedish-inflected Venice restaurant opened last November. It will continue to operate under a different name and menu, according to a release from Andersson, who says he is currently searching for a new L.A. location for AK (but didn't it stand for Abbot Kinney?). 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 392-6644, www.akinvenice.com.
No Giraud at Social Hollywood: Jeffrey Chodorow's China Grill Management says Alain Giraud, chef-partner at Anisette in Santa Monica, will not be involved in the restaurant at Social Hollywood. When chef Michel Richard left the location, he had asked Giraud to take over the restaurant as a consulting chef. At the time, Giraud said he was negotiating an agreement with China Grill Management (which also operates Asia de Cuba among other restaurants) and was planning on designing new menus. Apparently, those negotiations fell through (Squid Ink reports that "Giraud's stress level went up"). “While we believed that Alain Giraud was an ideal match for the banquet side of Social Hollywood, this was not the time for this collaboration," said general manager Joseph Ojeda. Social Hollywood is exploring "a number of other options." Meanwhile, the Bar at Social Hollywood is open Thursday to Saturday. 6525 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 337-9797, www.citrusatsocial.com
Vermont taps OG chef: Now that restaurateurs Wayne Elias and Chris Diamond have closed Mark's in West Hollywood and moved to Vermont restaurant in Los Feliz, expect menu changes on June 29, when executive chef Stephane Beaucamp returns to the kitchen. Beaucamp was formerly Vermont’s executive chef; the restaurant's most recent chef, Laurent Quenioux, is setting up Bistro LQ in the old Mimosa space on Beverly Boulevard. Beaucamp already has rolled out "Lobster Bake" on Wednesdays. He'll also continue “Dish It Out Mondays,” a specially priced menu that was a Mark’s tradition. 1714 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 661-6163, www.vermontrestaurantonline.com
Valentino in Houston: Restaurateur Piero Selvaggio plans to open PS Valentino Vin Bar at the Hotel Derek in Houston this fall. It's an expansion of the primi concept he installed at his flagship Santa Monica restaurant Valentino -- small plates with an extensive list of wines by the glass.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo courtesy of Vermont restaurant