San Diego's Historic The Lafayette Hotel Sets July Opening Date After Nine Month Closure & $31 Million Renovation

June 30, 2023

San Diego's decades-old The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows has set a mid-July opening date following a nine month closure and $31 million renovation by owners Consortium Holdings (Born & Raised, Craft & Commerce), which added eight new bars & restaurants to the historic property.

San Diego's Consortium Holdings hospitality company shuttered the Lafayette Hotel last October 1 to perform a $30+ million, complete renovation of the 76-year-old, 2.5 acre property, including upgrading each of the 139 guest rooms. Purchased by CH for $25,815,000 in early 2021, The Lafayette has been 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. The renovation was spearheaded by NYC-based Post Company. Hotel rates will start at $299 and go upward to $600+.
The Lafayette Hotel has scheduled its friends and family preview party for Monday, July 10, with its grand opening expected to occur on Wednesday, July 12. There is no word on how many of the new venues will be open from the outset. Based upon a recent visit, there is still much work to be finished, with dozens of workers still scrambling around the property as of late this week. A Sisco Restaurant Food Supplies truck was spotted delivering goods, which is a good sign that the scheduled opening will occur as planned. Once fully open, the Lafayette will house eight new, distinct dining and beverage outlets. The first installations to open will be The Pool Bar, Lobby Bar, The Gutter, Beginner's Diner and Quixote, with the rest anticipated to unveil by this fall. A spa concept inspired by Russian, Roman and Turkish bathhouses is also being planned for the hotel.
The Lafayette's hotel lobby was 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 cocktail or coffee drink as they check in.
Replacing The Lafayette's signature Hope46 restaurant, Beginners Diner is 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 eventually 24-hour eatery has red leather booths and looks like a replica of a Worcester lunch car with a menu executed by Chef Ted Smith featuring modernized diner favorites, ranging from breakfast options to sandwiches, burgers, salads, soups, comfort food plates, and boozy milkshakes.
Sited in the old basement area, The Gutter will offer a reimagined bowling alley experience with two bowling lanes each with a custom ball return, as well as other onsite games like skee ball, shuffleboard, arcade basketball, foosball and pool tables. There is also a 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 received 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. 
The former Red Fox Room space (the original restaurant has moved across the street) has become Quixote, a Oaxacan-inspired restaurant built with materials from a century-old Mexican church. Expect a wood-fired oven with a menu from Chef Jose Cepeda featuring roasted meats and moles. From the bar, which has been built from the dismantled church's altar, expect an adherence to all things agave, with a strong focus on mezcal. 
Tentatively dubbed Le Horse Continental Room, the property's high-end, dinner-only restaurant will offer 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 and desserts inspired by historic French Chef Auguste Escoffier.
Lulu’s Jungle Room & the Mississippi Room is 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 jazz supper club and 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 also houses 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. McGee also consulted on the mini-bar selection for each room. 
A 10-seat dining experience has been 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. 
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 anticipated to reopen in parts starting as early as Wednesday, July 12 at 2223 El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego's North Park. For more information, visit, and learn more about Consortium Holdings at