San Diego hotels renovation
The new Wild Hare Bar Garden. Photo credit: Courtesy, Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

The Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter has completed a $22.5-million renovation that includes a new restaurant concept, Wild Hare Bar Garden, opening Monday.

The eatery, featuring Executive Chef Emiliano Sotelo’s California cuisine, will feature locally
sourced meat and produce as well as organic ingredients from the chef’s terrace herb garden.

The garden-inspired menu includes a signature dish with roasted carrots, spiced goat cheese and artisanal honey, and pan-fried chicken paillard with poblano butter and more. Desserts include carrot cake.

The beverage menu offers rotating local craft beers, hand-selected wine and craft
cocktails that extend the rabbit concept, such as “Lucky Foot,” made with local Cutwater mezcal, carrot juice, lime and jalapeno, or “I’m All Ears” with Trust Me organic vodka, strawberries, lemon juice, orgeat and bitters.

San Diego hotels renovation
Cocktails at the Wild Hare Bar Garden. Photo credit: Courtesy, Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Cocktails also will be served with biodegradable agave straws, as part of the
beverage team’s commitment to a sustainability program. Natural wine corks will be recycled and re-corked to support carbon-negative solutions.

The interior decor at Wild Hare Bar Garden attempts to bring the outdoors in, with mirrors behind the banquette to allow the outdoor bar to be reflected within the interior.

The restaurant officially opens Monday, with breakfast from 6:30 to 11 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Bar hours are Monday through Thursday from 4 to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight.

An award-winning design firm, the waldrop+nichols studio based in Dallas, created what the hotel describes as a “contemporary casual California aesthetic” for the overall renovation, featuring artistic and playful elements of some of the Gaslamp Quarter’s earliest inhabitants – rabbits.

The focal point is a carved maple wood wall with abstract, organic shapes.

“All prior divisions were removed, creating an open and flowing space that allows guests the
opportunity to work, socialize, dine and partake in cocktails, all while connecting effortlessly to the outdoors and enjoying the amazing San Diego weather,” said Reggi Nichols, president, and founding partner at the design firm.

The hotel features elongated curved sofas, marble tabletops and rattan and wicker seating, most custom-made with sustainable materials, along with custom light fixtures that highlight neutral colors and textures.

The renovation also includes a 225-pound rabbit sculpture with a sleek metal finish near the reception desk. The artwork pays homage to the early days of the district, once known as “Rabbitville” before it became the Gaslamp Quarter.

“We are excited to showcase our beautiful hotel in downtown San Diego,” said General Manager Francesca Ramirez. “We are most excited to welcome our guests with the same genuine hospitality we are known for, one that comes from the heart.”