San Diego's Iconic Mister A's To Reopen This October After 3-Month Makeover

September 30, 2022

San Diego's 57-year-old, sky-high fine dining restaurant Mister A's will reopen early this October after a three-month makeover that included the addition of a new bar & lounge and updated menu. 

Mister A's was founded in 1965 by John "Mr. A" Alessio on the 12th floor of then-newly constructed Fifth Avenue Financial Center in San Diego's Bankers Hill. Following Mr. Alessio’s passing, the restaurant was sold to experienced French restaurateur Bertrand Hug in 2000, although the Alessio family still owns a 20% interest in Mister A's. At the time, Bertrand was making waves across the country for his French-inspired Mille Fleurs restaurant in San Diego's affluent North County community of Rancho Santa Fe. After taking ownership of Mister A's, Bertrand immediately began renovating the space and reopened in May 2000 with a joint birthday party for himself and Chargers' owner Dean Spanos, who shares his birthday. The restaurant eventually changed names to "Bertrand at Mister A's", but went back to Mister A's in 2015 in celebration of the establishment's 50th anniversary. 

Earlier this year, longtime Mister A's manager Ryan Thorsen took over majority ownership of the iconic San Diego restaurant. The 34-year-old Thorsen began his tenure at Mister A's in 2010 after answering a Craigslist ad for a floor manager position and worked his way up to become the Director of Operations at both Mister A's and Mille Fleurs.

Mister A's closed as of July 5 for an expansive renovation spearheaded by local designer and restaurateur Mauricio Couturier, who is the owner of Wolfie's Carousel restaurant in Little Italy and previously owned Bang Bang in the Gaslamp and El Camino in Little Italy. Mister A's interior dining room has been updated to maintain a fine-dining ambiance but with a retro brasserie feel. The red velvet furniture and golden fixtures have been replaced with white, walnut, blue, and soft gray accents. The back of the house kitchen area has also received a substantial upgrade, as have the restrooms. The outdoor patio deck has been improved with the addition of wrought-iron chairs, love seats, and potted olive trees. 

Mister A's Blue Room
A highlight of the restaurant revamp, the banquet room on the east side of the space has been raised up to the level of the main dining room and a new 18-seat bar & lounge area has been added, along with additional indoor and outdoor seating for up to 48 patrons. This will allow for more casual customers to come by for a drink and a snack without the fuss of a full multi-course meal. 

"In my 12 years here, we haven’t offered everything we could and have had to turn down people every night for drinks," explained Thorsen in a published quote. "Bertrand would be the first to tell you he loved the idea of doing this but his focus was always to make sure it had the European standards of fine dining. There was also the feeling that a larger bar could cannibalize the fine dining side. But our current management group's take on it is we haven’t had the opportunity to ramp up to bring in new guests and make us feel more approachable."

Longtime Executive Chef Stephane Voitzwinkler will continue his role running the kitchen and maintain an elevated French-inspired menu but with the addition of more casual lounge menu. From the lounge menu of small-bites, expect items like a compact lobster roll served on a toasted brioche bun and topped with caviar, as well as smoked salmon potato skins with crème fraîche dip. A new wild-caught salmon Wellington will be among new seasonal dishes served in the main dining room. 

Mister A's will reopen on Tuesday, October 11 at 2550 Fifth Avenue in San Diego's Bankers Hill community. For more information and to make reservations, visit