— Auction and Gala Benefiting Meals-On-Wheels Greater San Diego–

The long-awaited grand opening of The Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant in Old Town will be celebrated on Friday, July 9, with a grand opening gala benefiting Meals-On-Wheels.

The event will include live entertainment including actors, historic interpreters, strolling musicians and more.  Guests will be able to participate in games of chance circa the mid-19th century, stagecoach rides, and live entertainment and dancing.  The menu will be a sampling of The Cosmopolitan Restaurant American regional cuisine and the drinks selection will be reminiscent of popular 1870s beverages, such as whiskey sours and sarsaparilla.

Leading up to the event, there will be an online auction to bid on the opportunity to be the first to stay in the 10 rooms that comprise The Cosmopolitan Hotel, with all proceeds from the auction going to Meals-On-Wheels. The auction can be viewed at www.proxybid.com/mealsonwheels.

The 181-year-old Cosmopolitan includes an indoor and outdoor restaurant by the same name, boutique hotel with 10 rooms on the second level, along with private dining rooms for special occasions.

The event will be $150 per couple and $85 for a single ticket.

For more information about Old Town’s Cosmopolitan Hotel, visit: oldtowncosmopolitan.com.  To buy tickets, call 619-297-3100 x22 or visit: www.meals-on-wheels.org.

Leading up to the grand opening gala, there will be an online auction to bid on the opportunity to be the first to stay in the 10 rooms that comprise The Cosmopolitan Hotel, with all proceeds from the auction going to Meals-On-Wheels.

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— Free Festival with Circus and Stagecoach Rides —

The grand opening of the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will be commemorated with a free public festival on Saturday, July 10, featuring an open-air night-time circus.

The day-long event will begin at 1 p.m. with live entertainment including strolling actors, musicians on stage, and more.  Circus performers will be throughout the park during the day to bring a festive, celebratory atmosphere to the center of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. There will be stagecoach rides, horse saddling and tacking lessons and other activities for the entire family.

At 4 p.m. merchants in the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park have arranged for a multi-denominational blessing ceremony on the steps of The Cosmopolitan Hotel with a  Kumeyaay sage ceremony and blessings from religious institutions that were part of the history of Old Town San Diego.  The blessing ceremony will be followed by dignitaries from the California State Parks in Sacramento and others addressing the significance of the structure that was originally built in 1827 as the home of Don Juan Bandini.

Sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes, the Zirk Ubu circus will take the stage at 8 p.m. in the center of the state park, performing 19th century-inspired acts such as an aerial tissue dance, acrobatics, fire breathing, juggling and sword swallowing.

“This festival is commemorating the completion of a three-year, multimillion-dollar restoration,” explained Cosmopolitan proprietor Joseph Melluso. “We wanted to celebrate the hard work that everyone has put into this project with a festival that all of  San Diego will enjoy.  We hope everyone will come out and celebrate The Cosmopolitan’s return to glory.”

Visitors will be able to dine at The Cosmopolitan Restaurant that day and enjoy its American regional cuisine with a special menu for the grand opening.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant is part of Fiesta de Reyes, operated by Old Town Hospitality Corp. on behalf of California State Parks.  In addition to The Cosmopolitan, Fiesta de Reyes boasts the alfresco Casa de Reyes restaurant in a lush garden setting, Barra Barra Saloon, and 17 specialty stores.  For more information call (619) 297-3100 or visit www.FiestaDeReyes.com

The Cosmopolitan is the only hotel in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and is surrounded by museums, historic buildings and quaint shops, overlooking a central grassy plaza. The Cosmopolitan has both indoor and courtyard seating in its restaurant, 10 boutique hotel rooms on the second level, along with private dining rooms for special occasions.  The historic indoor saloon will feature 19th century recipes showcasing bourbon and whiskey and will soon be launching The Cosmopolitan Whiskey Club with priority access to special events, travel tours, discounts, history lessons and much more.

There is free parking available in the Caltrans parking lot on Taylor Street in Old Town for this event.  For more information about Old Town’s Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant, visit oldtowncosmopolitan.com.

The 181-year old Cosmopolitan Hotel’s main feature and central focal point, the balcony that wraps around the second story, will give visitors views to San Diego Bay, as well as a perfect perch for watching entertainment in the state park’s central plaza.

— Old Town Business Owner is Recognized for Turning Around State Concession   —

Fiesta de Reyes owner and operator Chuck Ross was presented with the declaration of June 22, 2010, being “Chuck Ross Day” in San Diego County.

Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price and Supervisor Ron Roberts presented the proclamation at the Board of Supervisors meeting this morning. The proclamation recognizes Ross’ “outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to area residents.”

“To be presented with my own day in the county of San Diego truly is an honor,” said Ross. “I appreciate the recognition from Chairwoman Slater-Price’s office as well as the Board of Supervisors.”

Ross was recognized for his efforts in revitalizing the struggling Plaza del Pasado concession, now named Fiesta de Reyes, in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. He was also honored for his spirit of partnership with other businesses, and boosting sales tax revenue by $1.5 million.

Since he took over from Delaware North Corp. of New York, Ross helped launch or resurrect 17 small, locally- owned businesses in San Diego, bringing new tenants to Fiesta de Reyes.

Ross has dedicated himself to bring back the concession to what it once was and to bring San Diegans back to Old Town. Sales in the retail shops at Fiesta de Reyes are up 69 percent over last year and food and beverage sales in his two restaurants are up 26 percent, despite the economy.

Ross has committed himself to give back to the community such as recently holding an American Cancer Society fundraiser in the state park that drew over 3,000 visitors and raised $5,000 in a single day.

In early June, he was also awarded “Business of the Year” by the San Diego Business Improvement Council for his “exceptional demonstration of staying power, growth, financial strength, innovation, resilience and support of the Old Town San Diego Business Improvement District.”

Ross has been a San Diego resident for 28 years. He is founder and president of Old Town Family Hospitality Corp., is a long-standing member of the San Diego community with decades of experience in the hospitality business. He also operates San Diego Catering Concepts, a catering operation that has designed banquets to fit customer’s needs for over a decade and a half.

Fiesta de Reyes is comprised of three restaurants, Barra Barra Saloon, Casa de Reyes and the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant, along with 17 one-of-a-kind gift shops.  The Cosmopolitan Hotel is gearing up for its grand opening in early July.  For more information or to contact Chuck Ross, visit fiestadereyes.com.

June 22nd was declared Chuck Ross Day because of his “outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to area residents.”

— Owner Chuck Ross Takes Home Overall Award —

Fiesta de Reyes owner and operator Chuck Ross has been named “Business of the Year” by the San Diego Business Improvement Council, it was announced by Jennifer Finnegan, president of the Business Improvement District Council.

Presented at the 2010 Small Business Awards luncheon in early June, the award acknowledged his “exceptional demonstration of staying power, growth, financial strength, innovation, resilience and support of the Old Town San Diego Business Improvement District.”

The BID Council annually presents the award to one recipient, based on nominations from each of the Business Improvement Districts in the city.  A panel at the San Diego district office reviews local nominations and selects a winner.  According to Richard Stegner, executive director of the Old Town Business Improvement District, never before has an organization from Old Town taken home the overall award.

“I am honored and excited to win this award for Fiesta de Reyes,” said Ross. “Our entire team has gone to great lengths to bring San Diegans back to Old Town, whether it be to the community-wide events, the festivals in the state park or to Fiesta de Reyes. We are so thrilled to be a part of this community.”

Ross was recognized for his efforts in taking over the ailing Plaza del Pasado concession in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park one year ago and, in that short time, growing the business to the tune of $2.4 million in sales tax revenue for the city of San Diego.

Since he took over from Delaware North Corp. of New York, Ross helped launch or resurrect 17 small businesses in San Diego, bringing new tenants to his plaza. Sales in the retail shops at Fiesta de Reyes are up 69 percent over last year and food and beverage sales in his two restaurants are up 26 percent, despite the economy.

Ross has been a San Diego resident for 28 years. He is founder and president of Old Town Family Hospitality Corp., is a long-standing member of the San Diego community with decades of experience in the hospitality business. He also operates San Diego Catering Concepts, a renowned catering operation that has designed banquets to fit customer’s needs for over a decade and a half.

Fiesta de Reyes is comprised of three restaurants, Barra Barra Saloon, Casa de Reyes and the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant, along with 17 one-of-a-kind gift shops.  The Cosmopolitan Hotel is gearing up for its grand opening in early July.  For more information or to contact Chuck Ross, visit fiestadereyes.com.

Chuck Ross is founder and president of Old Town Family Hospitality Corp., which owns and operates Old Town’s Fiesta de Reyes. He is a long-standing member of the San Diego community with decades of experience in the hospitality business.

Summer means warm weather, family barbecues and vegetables harvested straight from the garden. It means the same thing at Old Town’s Fiesta de Reyes. Just in time for things to heat up in Old Town San Diego, executive chef Rolfy Chavez has added mouthwatering new summer entrees to both the Barra Barra Saloon and Casa de Reyes menus.

“I love cooking with fresh ingredients,” said Chef Chavez.  “I wanted to add more fresh vegetarian options to our menu and spice up the grill, and there is no better time to start than summer.”

Start out your menu sampling at Barra Barra with new spicy chicken wings, and then help beat the heat with any of these new summer entrees: blackened fish tacos with chipotle cream, camarones a la diabla (spicy shrimp) or summer-style fajitas, a southwestern favorite served with crisp-tender zucchini, roasted corn, and garden herbs. Cool things off with traditional deep-fried vanilla ice cream, served with sweet and savory agave syrup.

 

This sizzling summer-style fajita with grilled shrimp, chicken, and beef is one of the many new summer items at Casa de Reyes.


Casa de Reyes is heating up its new menu items as well. Wake up your taste buds with new fire-grilled shrimp and langostino lobster burritos served in flour tortillas, shrimp tacos, beef rolled tacos (flautas), or freshly caught fish tostadas with grill roasted corn.

 
Fiesta de Reyes is located at Juan and Calhoun streets, a one-block stroll from the Old Town Trolley Station. In addition to the Casa de Reyes restaurant and Barra Barra Saloon, the plaza boasts 16 specialty stores and the soon-to-open Cosmopolitan Hotel.  For more information call (619) 297-3100 or visit www.FiestaDeReyes.com