SAN DIEGO—The Guild Hotel, a landmark in San Diego’s downtown, announced a partnership with Be Saha Hospitality Group. The team behind San Diego concepts Wormwood, Botanica, and Tahona has taken over the food and beverage operations. Be Saha Hospitality will open a concept in the hotel’s courtyard (formerly Luca) in the spring of 2023 and will also reimagine the Guild Bar, garden, and lounge, as well as handle all onsite events and room service.
Be Saha Hospitality Group has brought on Tijuana chef Ruffo Ibarra and culinary director Janina Garay to spearhead the project. Ibarra owns Baja’s Oryx Restaurante and is an ambassador for World Central Kitchen and This Is About Humanity.
Chef and culinary director Janina Garay, who is also on the Bocuse d’Or Mexico team, has been with Be Saha Hospitality since 2021, just prior to the opening of the Wormwood in University Heights.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Onal Kucuk, general manager at The Guild Hotel. “We’ve been searching for a food and beverage partner for a while now, but were patient in the process, waiting for the right fit. As a locally-owned hotel, it was a priority of ours to work with a San Diego-based group. Be Saha makes for the perfect partner at The Guild Hotel, not only because they are local but also because of their artisanship and dedication to craft culture and social good.”
“Be Saha’s mission is to bridge borders between cultures and people, and The Guild Hotel is the perfect place to continue sharing stories of wanderers,” said Amar Harrag, founder of Be Saha Hospitality Group. “We’re excited to give reverence to the heritage of this landmark, and we can’t think of anyone better than chef Ruffo Ibarra to create this new dining experience for locals and travelers. It is an honor to have him join our group and join forces with our culinary director, Janina Garay. We can’t wait to unveil the new concept.”
The Guild Hotel was previously a Navy and Army YMCA built in 1924 as a place for people to socialize and connect. In 2019 the building was restored into a boutique hotel property. Central to the property and sitting just off of the bar is the hotel’s courtyard, which initially housed eatery Luca. Since the onset of the pandemic, the space has been awaiting a new food and beverage concept to match The Guild Hotel.