La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel recently shared an update on its plans to reintroduce its in-house bar and restaurant, The Whaling Bar. Plans for The Whaling Bar’s reopening have been in place for several years, according to a story by La Jolla Light. Now the historic hotel has partnered with local hospitality group SDCM to bring the project to completion.
The announcement on social media reads, “We have news! We’re thrilled to welcome back The Whaling Bar this fall.The La Valencia team will drive The Whaling Bar’s design (including the return of the original 1940s-era Wing Howard paintings) while the bar’s day-to-day operations will be handled by San Diego’s acclaimed SDCM Restaurant Group. La Valencia Hotel will continue oversight of all other on-site food and beverage concepts.”
The 1920s-era building transformed into La Valencia Hotel in the 1940s and became known as an artists’ hideaway, hosting big-name writers, musicians, and Hollywood’s finest. The Whaling Bar became an iconic gathering place over the years but the revelry came to an end in 2013 after an acquisition brought along changes to the property and replaced the bar with upscale Café la Rue.
Matt Spencer’s SDCM Restaurant Group has a tall order to fulfill, revitalizing the much-loved bar. The group comes with an ample resume of destination dining heavy-hitters, operating restaurants like Little Italy’s Kettner Exchange, trendy Camino Riviera, The Grass Skirt, as well as its neighboring speakeasy Captain’s Quarters, to name a few.