SAN DIEGO—A new Pendry hotel is opening its doors just a few blocks away from the San Diego Convention Center and Petco Park this month, and tagging along with it are six culinary and entertainment offerings, ranging from a rooftop bar embodying the SoCal experience to a beer hall paying homage to a farmer’s market formerly situated in the same location back in the early 1990s.
“We are really excited to have such a wide variety of experiences to offer our guests at Pendry San Diego, but it wasn’t just about offering choice, it was about developing the right concepts for hotel guests and locals alike,” said Michael Fuerstman, cofounder and creative director at Pendry Hotels, during an interview with Hotel Business.
San Diego itself is a mix of urban and coastal environments, which people like to take advantage of while they’re exploring one of California’s largest cities. “San Diegans want to be in the center of the action, but in a way that lets them appreciate the beauty of their city and its environment,” Fuerstman said. “That means a lot of al fresco dining; fresh, coastal-driven food and drinks; and a level of service that feels personal and luxurious at the same time.”
The diverse culinary options being offered at Pendry are designed to keep guests on the property as well as provide them with choices. “It can vary from convenient, artisanal all-day dining to a market fresh, SoCal-driven signature restaurant. Both offer a unique point of view,” he said.
Pendry collaborated with Andy Masi of Clique Hospitality, a Las Vegas-based boutique hospitality company, on several of the property’s restaurant options. “We’ve known Andy Masi for many years, since he was the cofounder of the Light Group,” Fuerstman said. “We have always appreciated Andy’s vision as a nightlife and contemporary restaurateur and, more importantly, as a San Diego native and local. When we were thinking about collaborating with other brands and partners, Andy was always at the top of our list.”
Being a local, Masi supplied Pendry with keen insight about the nightlife scene in San Diego. “It gave us an advantage in creating the best,” Fuerstman said.
Each F&B venue has its own signature story to tell. Together, the culinary offerings illustrate a common tale: “One that is focused on inspiration, creativity and culture, and that seeks to surprise and intrigue San Diegans and visitors to the city,” Fuerstman explained.
Inspired by “fresh, coastal cuisine with a modern flavor,” Lionfish, headed by executive chef Jose “JoJo” Ruiz, highlights fresh catch and prime meats. The two-floor restaurant’s signature dishes include a Hiramasa Crudo and a Baked Venus Clams.
The hotel’s nightlife focal point, Oxford Social Club, inspired by the social clubs of a bygone era, is the “exclusive nightlife experience for people who are looking to enjoy an incredible cocktail in an intimate setting,” according to Fuerstman. The club has banquette seating, plush furnishings and art installations inspired from the personal detail of a private home setting.
As the property’s rooftop lounge, The Pool House at Pendry San Diego, perched above 5th Ave., has a signature bar available to pool-goers wanting an afternoon bite or evening cocktail. At night, local DJs will make appearances for events and gatherings.
Developed in collaboration with Raan and Lindsay Parton, the team behind Los Angeles-based Alchemy Works—a retail, gallery and events space concept—Provisional Café and Mercantile, a restaurant and marketplace, is a “go-to destination for many different things,” said Fuerstman, such as the Vittoria Coffee espresso bar situated in communal dining space, which has sky-high ceilings, bistro tables and a retail marketplace set within a greenhouse. “It’s the place to grab a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers, a place for house-made gelato and handmade grab and go sandwiches,” he said. “It’s a place to sit down for a casual meat with a light, airy San Diego vibe. The menu will change regularly based on what our local purveyors are offering.”
Nason’s Beer Hall “celebrates San Diego in a very convivial way,” Fuerstman said. Local and international beers, international cuisine and vintage bar games are available. The beer hall is named for Nason & Co. Farmer’s Market.
Open daily from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., Fifth & Rose is what the property calls a “classic cocktail bar.” Candles and fresh roses accent the room, along with crimson details. The living room concept, designed to provide a place of comfort, takes hold of the space by honing in on rich stone surrounded by a black and white palette.
“Fifth & Rose is a popular gathering spot for some of the best handcrafted cocktails in San Diego,” Fuerstman noted. “It’s perfectly situated on one of the prime corners in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.”
The property’s new entertainment and culinary options created nearly 400 job openings for associates. “We assembled an incredible team of leaders and professionals in San Diego and from within Montage Hotels & Resorts,” Fuerstman said. “A Pendry associate is inspired to take a personal sense of ownership in creating truly memorable experiences for each guest. Our associates are real, honest and passionate.
“We are looking for these inspired and passionate hosts who are seeking unique adventures and to help find them, we held a job fair with help from Montage Hotels & Resorts associates, which was a key element in ensuring continuity of culture within the company,” he said.
Pendry’s chefs have worked in San Diego for years, bringing with them relationships with local purveyors, farmers and fisherman. “They have the freedom here to have fun with their menus. To try new things,” he said. “To think outside of their boundaries. We know that is where the best work is found and we believe in encouraging that.”
“We think this mix of dining and entertainment is going to be a huge draw for locals in the community, and we have found some of the best young talent in the city to help bring these different establishments to life in a way that feels creative, progressive and exciting,” Fuerstman said. “It’s such a benefit to our guests and group business that we have so many different experiences under one roof so that we become a one-stop
hub for what is happening in San Diego.” HB