As a local, David Slay knows how much his Manhattan Beach neighborhood loved Jimmy’s Kouzina, a Greek restaurant formerly known as Old Venice that recently closed after 35 years in the community.

As an accomplished chef with his own vineyard where he grows a lot of his produce, Slay is planning on putting the space to a really good use — it will become Slay Italian Kitchen.

“It’s opportunity. The Manhattan Beach dining scene is on fire,” said Slay, explaining his reason for his second restaurant in the beachside neighborhood as he stood inside the space, which is still under construction.

A mid-November opening is expected for his rustic Italian restaurant at 1001 Manhattan Ave., where he will serve dishes heavy on seafood with pastas made in-house as well as seasonally inspired pizzas, all made with produce from Slay Estate & Vineyard in Santa Barbara, where he grows items such as tomatoes, lettuce and fruits.

“There’s nothing like when you have something right out of the ground,” he said.

He’s also planning on a beer and wine bar where he’ll be pouring pinot noir and chardonnay from his own brand of wines.

And while kids are welcome, they’ll have to eat adult food.

“It’s going to be an adult restaurant, no kids menu, no pizza by the slice. It’s more rustic Italian and stuff that fits the neighborhood with a lot of fish dishes,” he said.

But if kids go there they better eat all their food because prices will hover around a $50 per person range.

Slay Italian Kitchen marks yet another addition to his quickly growing portfolio of restaurants.

Slay, who lives a couple of blocks away from his upcoming spot, also opened the nearby Slay Steak + Fish House in Manhattan Beach about nine months ago, plus he owns Park Ave Steaks & Chops and Il Garage Ristorante in Orange County.

Once his new spot opens, diners can expect to taste dishes such as branzino roasted in sea salt, grilled spot prawns with olive oil, linguine pescatore and seasonal pizzas.

“Right now we’re playing with some squash blossoms and a few different mozzarellas,” Slay said of his pizza plans. “Homemade sausage, homemade pepperoni will be staples on the menu, too,” he added.

The 50-seat restaurant will keep Jimmy’s open kitchen concept but will add more light colors, hardwood tables and murals depicting olive trees and vineyard scenes. And there are plans to eventually open a patio on Manhattan Avenue.

And since Slay is a local, he knows he has a lot to live up to by opening in a spot that so many locals loved for so long.

“I believe that when someone comes here it’s up to us to win them over and get them back,” Slay said.

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