San Diego's Historic The Lafayette Hotel To Close This Fall For $26 Million Renovation Including Addition Of Eight New Bars & Restaurants

September 22, 2022


San Diego's decades-old The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows will close this fall so new owners Consortium Holdings (Born & Raised, Craft & Commerce) can add eight new bars & restaurants to the historic property.

San Diego's Consortium Holdings hospitality company will shutter the Lafayette Hotel as of October 1 to perform a $26 million, complete renovation of the 76-year-old, 2.5 acre property, including upgrading each of the 141 guest rooms. Purchased by CH for $25,815,000 in early 2021, The Lafayette will be outfitted with eight new food & beverage establishments, including a lobby bar & cafe, a classic diner, a luxurious Parisian-style restaurant, a live music venue, an old-school bowling alley, a swanky new pool bar, an intimate chef's table dining experience, and an Oaxacan-inspired eatery & mezcal bar. Consortium Holdings founder Arsalun Tafazoli plans on moving into the hotel to oversee construction, which is being spearheaded by NYC-based Post Company and is anticipated to be completed by mid-2023.
The Lafayette's hotel lobby will be front and center in its ambitious renovation plans. Expect the addition of European decor oozing Old World charm, as well as a new bar and cafe component so guests can grab a drink as they check in.
Replacing The Lafayette's signature Hope46 restaurant, Beginners Diner will be a classic, 1940s-inspired American diner constructed with the help of consultant Richard Gutman, an author and historian known as "America's leading diner expert." The 24-hour eatery will have red leather booths and look like a replica of a Worcester lunch car with a menu of modernized diner favorites, ranging from breakfast options to sandwiches, burgers, salads, soups and comfort food plates.
Faux Pas will be the property's high-end, dinner-only restaurant, offering French civility with a courtyard dining experience sited under an elegant glass roof. Inspired by lavish European hotel restaurants of yesteryear, expect a globally-influenced menu with opulent dishes like prime rib carved tableside, duck a l'orange, and other plates & desserts inspired by historic French Chef Auguste Escoffier.
The Mississippi Room will be sited in an old event space that was used as the setting for the serenade scene in the original Top Gun (where Tom Cruise sings "You've Lost That Loving Feeling"). The new live music venue will have performers curated by Tim Mays of San Diego's The Casbah and Starlite, another local haunt that was recently purchased by Consortium Holdings. The space will also house a rum-centric bar with a cocktail program by Chicago-based Paul McGee, a mixology icon known for his work at Chicago Athletic Association’s Milk Room, Cherry Circle Room, and Lost Lake, known as one of the country's top tiki bars. 
Sited in the old basement area, Gutter will offer a reimagined bowling alley experience with two bowling lanes each with a custom ball return, as well as other onsite games. There will also be wood-encased bar with cocktails, bourbons and other barrel-aged spirits. 
The Lafayette's pool has always been the focal point of the property, and it will soon receive the addition of a luxe new pool bar. Visitors to the sun drenched space will be transported to the Amalfi coast with a new menu of Italian-influenced cocktails and small bites, as well as a garden-like ambiance. Access to this area will not be limited to hotel guests, as day passes and swim club memberships will be available for purchase. 
A 10-seat dining experience will be added to the hotel's kitchen, offering a bespoke experience with ever-changing multi-course menus. The reservation-exclusive Chef's Table will have guest chefs coming for week-long visits where they'll showcase their styles for a small number of guests during at least two seatings per evening. 
The former Red Fox Room space (the original restaurant has moved across the street) will become Mama Intento, a Oaxacan-inspired restaurant built with materials from a century-old Mexican church. Expect a wood-fired oven with a menu of roasted meats and moles. From the bar, which will be built from the dismantled church's altar, expect an adherence to all things agave, with a strong focus on mezcal. 
Prior to Consortium Holdings purchasing the property in March 2020, The Lafayette Hotel was owned by developer Jay Wentz of JCG Development since he purchased it in 2004 for $11 million. Following the acquisition, the hotel underwent a $6 million renovation. The Lafayette was originally known as Imig Manor and built in 1946 by former car dealer and developer Larry Imig. The hotel was then purchased in the 1950s by hotel magnate and then-San Diego Chargers owner Conrad Hilton. By 1960, I-8 replaced El Cajon Boulevard as the main east-west connector of San Diego, and hotel operations ceased due to the loss of through traffic on the boulevard. The building then passed through several owners until March 2004.

The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows is located at 2223 El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego's North Park. For more information, visit lafayettehotelsd.com, and learn more about Consortium Holdings at consortiumholdings.com.