This article originally appeared in the December 2016 print issue of LOCALE Magazine.
Clique Hospitality Founder Andy Masi Brings New Nightlife to Downtown San Diego
The Expert: Andy Masi
Credentials: Founder, Clique Hospitality Group
Andy Masi, Founder of Clique Hospitality Group gives us a sneak peek into San Diego’s new modern luxe hotel and what guests can expect from Pendry San Diego soon.
Masi’s enthusiasm for Pendry San Diego is tangible and contagious from the start of our conversation. Immediately, Masi dives in by explaining the background of Pendry and what it will offer San Diegans and travelers.
“A lot of it came from understanding what was happening in San Diego and identifying what was missing. Around three to four years ago, the food scene here began to grow – look at Kettner and Little Italy – and the city started to mature. People were getting engaged and coming alive. We thought – let’s build a venue around this that’s located in the Gaslamp, among incredible people. While I’m taking what we’ve learned in Vegas, we’re creating what San Diego wants. We’re creating something that’s locally bred. The soul of Pendry is uniquely San Diego, ” said Masi.
The Pendry’s uniquely San Diego vibe is evident with the venue’s seafood specialty restaurant and craft beer hall, a rooftop pool so guests can take advantage of sunny Southern California weather and multiple venues that cultivate a “cool, different beat” for upscale, fun evenings spent eating and drinking with friends.
Pendry San Diego has six restaurants and clubs within the property, including three of Masi’s projects—Lionfish, Oxford Social Club and Pool House.
Lionfish is the Pendry’s signature, world-class, design-driven restaurant. The two-story restaurant features a seafood-based menu (along with prime meats) that speaks to San Diego’s coastal culture. Chef JoJo Ruiz, named one of Eater’s 2015 “Young Guns” leads the kitchen. Masi boasts of Ruiz’s “passion, creativity and execution of food, ” recommending the chef’s beet-cured trout sashimi, crispy duck tostada and lobster carpaccio to LOCALE foodies.
Masi moves on to Pool House, Pendry San Diego’s beachy rooftop pool that overlooks downtown San Diego and spans the entire length of the hotel. Pool House offers an incredible pool during the day complete with private cabanas, Bermuda chaise lounge chairs and daybeds and a post-work hangout for small bites (and music!) and great crafted cocktails in the evening.
“Hip, young, aspirational, fun people needed a place to go, and we realized this is what they’re looking for—incredible weather and outdoor vibes. We wanted to give the Gaslamp an outdoor entertaining, food and drinking venue that didn’t exist. Who doesn’t want to be drinking outside?” said Masi, who claims enjoying a Michelada next to the pool is his recommendation.
Masi recommends guests conclude their evenings at Oxford Social Club, Pendry San Diego’s elevated nightlife venue inspired by clubs from older eras. The venue features an innovative cocktail menu, alongside plush furnishings and art installations.
“San Diego is a fun place to hang out, but there’s not many places with intimacy and conversation. Oxford gives this; it’s a bar with the vibe of a club. There’s incredible bars around the world—New York, Miami, Los Angeles—that are sophisticated without blaring loud music. Most people don’t get to experience that in San Diego, and San Diego was ready for that as the city matured. We are catering to our sophisticated traveler who wants to hang out but doesn’t want the craziness of big nightclubs, ” said Masi.
Masi filled us in that world-class talent is scheduled in the coming months at Oxford to create the fun, playful, sophisticated environment.
Lionfish, Pool House and Oxford Social Club are just a few among Pendry San Diego’s unique venues. Additional spaces in the hotel include an elevated cocktail lounge, a German bier hall with a California craft beer twist decked out with large TVs, vintage bar games and industrial décor, a boutique spa that offers meditation and yoga courses and a space for gourmet coffee, dining and boutique shopping.
Masi concluded with a teaser that there’s nothing like the Pendry in San Diego—the hotel will bring luxury to the younger, hipper market with a unique San Diego twist.
“Guests can get excited for the whole hotel. There’s incredible rooms and opportunities. We are creating an incredible destination and an entire curated experience. People will come hang out and won’t leave, ” said Masi, excitedly.
Pendry San Diego’s opening date has yet to be released, but Masi promises the hotel’s debut to be a “must-attend” event.
550 J Street
San Diego, CA 92101