San Francisco's Sir Francis Drake Hotel reopening as Beacon Grand: Travel Weekly

Following a top-to-bottom renovation, San Francisco’s historic Sir Francis Drake Hotel is set to reopen this spring under a new name: the Beacon Grand. 

The property, located in downtown Union Square, first opened its doors as the Sir Francis Drake in 1928. 

In March 2020, however, the hotel shuttered due to the pandemic. During its closure, the property changed hands, with Pebblebrook Hotel Trust selling it to Northview Hotel Group for $157.6 million last spring. 

Prior to the pandemic, the Sir Francis Drake Hotel had most recently operated as part of the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants portfolio. 

Northview’s decision to change the hotel’s moniker comes as some streets, schools and other landmarks across the U.S. face growing pressure to shed names that pay tribute to historical figures with racist legacies. According to a spokesperson for the Beacon Grand, controversy around the hotel’s original namesake “was a factor in the decision to change the name,” though the fresh branding was also chosen to better communicate the fact that “this will be an entirely new hotel.”

Chief among the hotel’s updates is a revamp of all 418 of its guestrooms, which will now feature hardwood floors, freshly tiled showers and new furniture. 

The property’s lobby has also received a face-lift, as has a mezzanine space overlooking the lobby, which will now function as a new F&B concept known as the Beacon Lounge. The Beacon Lounge will function as a cafe during daytime hours, then transition into a craft cocktail-focused bar in the evening.  

Joining the Beacon Lounge will be the Library, a Prohibition-inspired venue serving up rare whiskeys from around the world.

Later in the year, the Beacon Grand will debut a new restaurant housed in space previously operated as the Italian eatery Scala’s. The yet-to-be-named brasserie concept, jointly led by chef Roland Passot and San Francisco Bay Area-based restaurant group Vine Hospitality, will serve French-inspired fare.

By early 2023, the property plans to reopen its Starlite Room rooftop lounge space, which is similarly receiving a full overhaul.

The Beacon Grand is currently accepting reservations for stays starting June 1.

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