A small Beverly Hills hotel, once a 1920s boardinghouse, reopened last week with a new name and image after three years of renovations.
Sirtaj, now a 32-room boutique hotel, was formerly Reed’s Hotel, a cramped 51-room facility with few amenities.
Father and son co-owners Navraj and R.J. Singh bought the hotel in 2005 and operated it as Reed’s for four years before closing it for upgrades. They spent almost $6 million to reinvent the hotel, which included installing an elevator and building a full-service kitchen and bar.
“It was a bigger undertaking than we expected, but well worth it,” R.J. Singh said. “We’re excited to relaunch it with the new brand, new energy and new look.”
The hotel’s modern new appearance was designed by Santa Monica firm Akar Studios and was inspired by Indian culture and colors.
Guest rooms, which the younger Singh said he expects to average about $250 a night, are each outfitted with large flat-screen televisions, iPod docking stations, espresso machines and bath accessories such as robes and slippers.
Guests also receive a complimentary welcome drink upon check-in. Room-service breakfast is included.
If they prefer, guests can also eat their breakfast at P.S. Beverly Hills, a 50-seat restaurant and bar that also opened last week at the hotel.
Executive chef Wes Leiberher, formerly of Koreatown hot spot Beer Belly, will maintain a rotating seasonal menu.
R.J. Singh said he expects the eatery to have wide appeal.
“It’s going to be a restaurant that serves our guests, but also a community restaurant,” he said. “We’re in a residential area so we want to welcome our neighbors to our hotel.”
In the 1970s, Sunset strip hotel Andaz West Hollywood was a happening place – so much so that it earned the nickname “Riot Hyatt” thanks to the rambunctious rockers who partied there.
But three decades later, it sees less activity. The hotel announced last week that its lobby restaurant, RH, will reduce its operations beginning May 1 because it hasn’t drawn enough diners.
The 3,000-square-foot restaurant, which is currently open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, will limit its dinner hours to Friday and Saturday nights and will nix lunch altogether.
The cuts to food and beverage operations extend to room service, too, which will only be available to hotel guests for breakfast and dinner each day, rather than 24 hours.
The hotel’s bar, which serves small plates in addition to alcohol, will remain open daily.
Lin Schatz, who joined the hotel as general manager last month, said even though the restaurant couldn’t attract enough diners to sustain it, the hotel is doing well.
“The Andaz West Hollywood’s overall business is healthy, but our food and beverage department has not enjoyed that same degree of success,” she said.
Attracting diners has not been the restaurant’s only problem. Since opening in early 2009, the restaurant has gone through three executive chefs. The latest, Jorge Chicas, left last fall and has yet to be replaced. Executive sous chef Gemma Gray will run the hotel’s limited dining operations.
Schatz said that years of exploring ways to make the restaurant a success have not panned out, but that she will not give up.
“We will continue to seek a sustainable business model for the restaurant,” she said.
British fashion retailer Topshop opened a 30,000-square-foot L.A. flagship store with a men’s department – Topman – at the Grove last week. … Pitfire Artisan Pizza opened a restaurant in Manhattan Beach late last month. The pizza parlor is the seventh for the Venice-based chain. … Culver City restaurant City Tavern will open a second location to serve California comfort food at downtown L.A. retail complex Figat7th this fall. … Los Feliz co-operative boutique Co-op 28 Handmade & Vintage opened a 600-square-foot men’s department in its Vermont Avenue store earlier this month to sell vintage and handmade clothing, accessories, home items and other design and gift items. … L3 Capital LLC in Chicago announced that it purchased two Beverly Hills retail properties, at 408 Beverly Drive and 410 Rodeo Drive, for $20 million. New York contemporary fashion brands Theory and Alice + Olivia, respectively, will open at those spaces in late March. … Gourmet French restaurant and market Monsieur Marcel opened at 447 N. Canon Drive this month. The Beverly Hills outpost is the third for L.A. co-founders Stephane and Katy Strouk. … West Hollywood hotel Mondrian L.A. opened a fashion boutique in its recently renovated lobby this month called Base Mondrian. … Restaurateur Kyle Puranamaneewiwat opened sushi restaurant Raw this month at 201 S. Robertson Blvd., where Oishi Sushi closed in November. … Culver City salad chain Tender Greens will open its 10th restaurant in downtown Los Angeles later this year. … Small-plates restaurant A.O.C. on West Third Street reopened in a new location further west on Third this month.
Staff reporter Bethany Firnhaber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 235.
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