Mister A’s, situated on the 12th-floor penthouse of the Manchester Financial building, has stood as an iconic landmark since 1965. The restaurant recently underwent a classic remodel under new owner, Ryan Thorsen, breathing fresh vitality into the revered fine-dining destination while paying homage to its original stylings.
This is the latest transformation for an establishment that has continued to reinvent itself, and brings with it not only a nod to its ongoing legacy, but a strong vision for the future. It captures the elements of a sophisticated brasserie — rich wood millwork, custom damask wall coverings, and marble accents — while infusing retro influences reminiscent of the restaurant’s decadent early days.
The newly built 18-seat bar and 72-seat indoor-outdoor lounge brings back lounge culture and unobstructed 270-degree views of the San Diego skyline. Adjacent to the bar is “The Blue Room,” originally designed in stark contrast to the red hues that dominated in the opening design version, this private dining room was brought back to its gilded glory with floor-to-ceiling drapery, blue carpeting, the original crystal chandelier, and the antique guéridon from the Alessio family.
Historical elements and nostalgic nods appear throughout the restaurant and guest touchpoints. Original arches discovered in a hidden soffit in the lounge are now supported by custom columns that rest above a custom banquet and mural featuring an artistic impression of the eucalyptus trees and jacarandas that dot the landscape of Balboa Park. The Rotunda and hallway now boast stunning hand-painted ceiling frescoes and filigree by LA-Based Charlotte Jackson of Scarab Studio.
2550 Fifth Ave. (12th Floor) San Diego, CA 92103
Ryan Thorsen + Mauricio Couturier