The historic more than 130-year-old Horton Grand Hotel, known for such legendary visitors as President Benjamin Harrison, Lou Costello, and Babe Ruth, is undergoing a reinvention that will turn the iconic Ida Bailey restaurant and Palace Bar into one dining and drinking establishment under the umbrella of Salt & Whiskey.
Set to re-open to much anticipation in mid-July, Salt & Whiskey is an ode to two of the most notable exports of the Victorian age. Conjuring up memories of the Mad Man era where sophistication reigned supreme, Salt & Whiskey will retain the rich mahogany bar, marble fireplace and gilt-edged mirror while enjoying a facelift complete with darker paint tones on the paneled walls and other aesthetic details including a new doorway leading directly from bar to restaurant to create a seamless synergy between the two.
Paramount to the new chapter of the hotel’s food and beverage program is the addition of Welsh born chef Aaron Thomas who brings more than a decade of industry experience to the job, most recently hailing from The Rancho Bernardo Inn’s Avant restaurant. His approachable, yet progressive menu will feature highlights including Pork Three Ways with Pork Tenderloin, Pork Belly, Sea Beans, Quince and Crackling, Pan Seared Scallops with Orange Parsnip Puree, Sous Vide Leeks and Cucumber and an elevated take on Fish “N” Chips as a nod to Chef’s childhood growing up in Wales.
Behind the bar, notable barman Nick Goers has procured an all-encompassing selection of more than 600 whiskeys and nearly 1,000 spirits with an emphasis on signatory blends and high-end limited releases. Goers will also present San Diegans and visitors alike with such handcrafted cocktails as the Popavardier with Buffalo Trace, Poppy Amaro, House Barrel Aged Vermouth and Fresh Orange Juice and the Doppelgänger with Kikori, Blackberry Brandy Syrup, Dry Port and Creme de Mure.