Photography . . . Travel . . .

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Cosmopolitan Hotel

In 1829 Juan Bandini, the son of a Peruvian sea captain, built his 12-room hacienda in the area of what is now Old Town San Diego. Among other things he used 50,000 adobe bricks in the one-story structure. In 1869 Albert Seeley bought the then crumbling adobe, renovated and added a second story to the building and opened it as the Cosmopolitan Hotel. The hotel operated until 1887, then later served as a store, pickle factory, boarding house and hotel. It was incorporated into the Old Town State Historic Park in 1968. When I moved to San Diego in 1980, and up until it closed for renovations a few years ago, it was the Casa de Bandini Mexican Restaurant.

It has now been restored to the Cosmopolitan Hotel, as it looked in 1887. They kept the original 1829 adobe bricks on the lower floor, and the upper floor exterior siding is wood from 1869. 

The wood bar was in a saloon in Silver City, Idaho in 1870, and spent some time in Tombstone, Arizona before findings its way to San Diego.

We sat outside in the courtyard for lunch. The menu is different, certainly not a Mexican restaurant, but there are some influences. I'm not sure I can describe the theme - I had a salmon and potato tart, with poblano chilis and creme fraiche. It was quite tasty. There are thinly sliced potatoes cooked in butter under that mound of salmon and watercress. Those are the poblano chilis on top.

The floors in the interior dining room are Juan Bandini's original 1829 hardwood. If there wasn't a computer terminal in the background you might think you were back in the late 1800's.

They have 10 hotel rooms on the upper floor. I'll have to go try one some time.

Click here for more pictures from the Cosmopolitan Hotel, a few others from around Old Town, and an assortment of other things, all taken over the last few days with my newest camera, an Olympus Pen E-2P, with 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens.

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San Diego, California, United States
About me . . . When I'm not working I like to be out exploring and photographing. I do this blog just for fun, and to be able to share these images with friends. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I enjoyed creating them.

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Header image: Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola, Arizona. End image: Downtown San Diego, California skyline from Coronado Island. Profile picture: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, by Heather Baiamonte.