For The Pendry hotel and Downtown San Diego, it is all about the millennials.
“We could feel the shift in luxury,” said Michael Fuerstman, co-founder and creative director of The Pendry hotel brand. “We were looking to expand our parent company, Montage Resorts, so we took a step back and looked at the new wave of luxury customer.
“The target age for us is the 30-something guest, one who is exceptionally well traveled,” Fuerstman said. “They have an appreciation for art and architecture, cultural and creative programming, and are looking for something in between a lifestyle hotel and a luxury hotel.”
By 2020, millennials — those born roughly between 1982 and 2004 — will make up more than 50 percent of San Diego’s workforce.
Unlike baby boomers, millennials don’t necessarily want to own something; they want experiences, where luxury and lifestyle are seamlessly intertwined. As a rule, they consider wealth a very important attribute, enjoy living and working in urban areas, and have become in many ways the prototype for the unprecedented revitalization that is happening in Downtown.
The Pendry, located at 550 J St., is slated to open its doors this month — January 2017 — and is one of the first of several new residential and commercial projects planned for Downtown. Also in the mix is the millennial-driven WeWork, at 600 B St., a newly opened co-working office space that consists of six floors and 90,000 square feet of a contemporary character.
“Millennials want highly amenitized workplaces, homes, condos and apartments, so on the experience side, The Pendry is probably at the top of what they would want to see, “said Kris Michell, CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP), the member-based, nonprofit organization that advocates for the economic growth and vitality of San Diego. “The Pendry and Montage Resorts chose San Diego to debut its first lifestyle hotel. This represents a tipping point for us, as it’s illustrative of San Diego’s emergence on the world stage as a cultural influencer.”
Other projects for the area that have been approved include: 7th and Market, a 39-story retail, hotel and condominium complex; Maker’s Quarter, a five-block urban district in the East Village with street-level retail, 800 residential units and 1 million-square-feet of creative office space; and, Manchester Pacific Gateway, a combination of commercial, retail, Navy offices and two hotels located at the former Broadway Navy Complex.
The number of residential and commercial developments on the horizon is good news for San Diego and North County residents looking for more lifestyle options, according to DSDP. That’s also why The Pendry team tapped Clique Hospitality and its San Diego-based founder, Andy Masi, to run the dining and entertainment venues.
“We recognized the opportunity to be a real cultural, entertainment and culinary hub within the city, and collaboration with local partners and brands was very important to us,” Fuerstman said. “Andy lives and breathes San Diego but also brings worldly exposure from outside of the market. Clique has years of experience in Las Vegas running upscale restaurants, lounges and nightclubs. He understands what works here and is pushing the bar forward to bring in an element and interesting things that aren’t here yet.”
Each restaurant in the new hotel is located on the street with separate entrances that make them feel as though they are their own individual brands.
The Pendry’s signature restaurant, Lionfish, will have local award-winning chef JoJo Ruiz in the kitchen, with a focus on modern coastal cuisine.
Nason’s, at the corner of Sixth and J avenues, promises to be an authentic beer hall, which will highlight the numerous craft beer makers for which San Diego is known. Located just a 5-minute walk to Petco Park, Nason’s will feature signature keg tappings, local brewers, pretzels, sausage and bratwurst along with special events.
In addition, the Oxford Social Club, an underground club located next to Lionfish, is a play on the ultra lounge scene of 10 to 15 years ago, with a DJ booth and soft, moveable seating that gives it a communal feel. A lobby bar, spa and outdoor rooftop pool deck are included in the amenities.
Montage Resorts, which currently operates six luxury hotels, are known in the industry for their service culture and Pendry General Manager Michael O’Donohue, with his more than 22 years of experience in luxury hotel management, hopes that this will set The Pendry apart.
The 12-story hotel offers 317 contemporary guest rooms and 36 suites, all with an elegant but comfortable modern design. The intent of the staff is to make the experience for the guest a seamless transition from outside to in, and that includes guests who travel with their pets. The Pendry is a pet-friendly hotel where man’s best friend is more than welcome.
“The most critical part of our success will be the service, taking what Montage is known for and bringing that to San Diego,” O’Donohue said. “It’s in their DNA. From a citywide perspective, we are seeing record levels of growth both this year and next. We believe that San Diego is on the rise and we’re hitting it at the right time.”
For more information, visit pendryhotels.com/san-diego.
—Terri Stanley is the creator, producer and host of the Emmy award-winning Boston lifestyle show styleboston and former executive editor of Boston Common magazine. Since moving to the San Diego area, she freelances as a lifestyle writer and short film producer. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE SCENE — Broadway. (Nomad, Midtown, Times Square) A theater extravaganza.
THE MUSTS — Ultimate destinations — within 20 walking blocks
THE EATS — DAY ONE: The Parlour at the Nomad- Brunch – Featuring the ‘ne plus ultra’ of chicken sandwiches masterfully crafted by chef/owner Daniel Humm with buttery brioche, fois gras and black truffle. Pair it with a glass of Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Bourgogne blanc from Burgundy France 2011. (One of the many fine wines by the glass sourced from around the world). For dessert: Milk & Honey- a deconstructed sweet with shortbread, brittle and ice cream. Finish with a glass of Sauterne and a white Peony tea. Truly a flawless dining experience. Ask for Rudy – a dedicated artist in customer service.
Aldo Sohm Wine Bar— Dinner: at 51st and 7th (located across the Galleria from Le Bernadin)- This restrained and discreet Wine Bar is the casual love child of star Sommelier Aldo Sohm and renowned Le Bernadin Chef/Owner Eric Ripert. It is a marriage of fine small plates and some of the best sourced wines of the world. Like Le Bernadin, the professional staff hits the right note in service. Unlike Le Bernadin, no reservations are needed. In fact, they are not taken at all. Musts are the Truffle Pasta with aged Parmesan – a decadent delight – both delicate and dynamic, the roasted, spiced carrots and the grilled chorizo manchego Panini. Wines by the glass never tasted better than in their super fine crystal stemware from Zalto (a collaboration with Mr. Sohm). Try the 2013 Vouvray Domaine Huet by Le Mont, and the 2012 Cotes de Nuits-Villages Les Essards by Antoine Lienhardt. Perfection.
DAY TWO: Stumptown Coffee OutPost at The Ace Hotel – a neighborhood favorite. A simple, smooth cup of java. Authentic Doppio Macchiato. Get it to go and be a ‘flaneur’.
Eataly–Lunch:at 23rd and 5th Avenue- Mario Batali’s– Authentic Italian Mecca delivers sensory overload. A Harrods food court for Italian foodies. With a curated Alessi outpost to satisfy the discerning designer. La pizza & la pasta served in an insalata de Finocchio – arugula, fennel, shaved parmigiano with lemon vinaigrette and a chewy/ crispy pizza with prosciutto & mozzarella. Molto bene. Simply satisfying.
THE SHOPPING — MOMA Design Store at 5th AV and 53Rd – get your artistic culture on. This is curated like the Museum with some hi -lo design objects heavy on the functional luxury. Some perennial favorites include the Sky Umbrella and the Yanagi flatwear.
Fishes Eddy—889 BROADWAY, Purveyor of American Sturdy ware. Hotel ware reimagined – Many items with humorous anecdotes. Dare you NOT to leave with a smile
THE SHOWS — “The Audience”: (Matinee) Starring the incomparable Helen Mirren at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre at west 45th St. A transformative tete a tete with the Queen and her successive Prime Ministers. Intelligent, witty and touching glimpse of the royal weekly behind the scenes meetings. This restrained and elegant production is directed by Stephan Daldry (“An Inspector Calls,” “Billy Elliot”) and designed by Bob Crowley (“Once,” “Glass Menagerie”).
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre at West 47th St. A mystery (it’s title is taken from a Sherlock Holmes quote) with brilliant perspective from the eyes of 15-year-old protagonist Christopher Boone—who describes himself as a mathematician with behavioral difficulties (identified as Asperger’s Syndrome). If anything, the play is about being an outsider, about differences. It is based on a novel by Mark Haddon, winner of 17 literary awards. The playwright is Simon Stephens (“A Doll’s House,” “The Cherry Orchard”). Alex Sharp, a 2014 Julliard graduate makes his extraordinary Broadway debut.
Honeymoon in Vegas: (Matinee) Starring Tony Danza at the Nederlander Theater at West 41st St. – Based on a screenplay by Andrew Bergman, with a rousing score by Jason Robert Brown- (a fine story teller like Stephen Sondheim – only funny, with the angst of Woody Allen). This has everything a Broadway musical needs – a splashy opening number with a catchy tune (Betsy), humor, shtick, romance, and flying Elvis’. And, yet, it has a surprising restraint, due in part because of a charming performance by Mr. Danza.
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