Ready to know more about San Diego?


CH Projects’ Latest Hotel in San Diego Gets a Name

The Baby Grand will open on Coronado this fall with 31 rooms and an oysters and Champagne bar
Courtesy of CH Projects

Add another notch in CH Projects’ beltThe Baby Grand is the newly revealed name of the group’s revamped hotel slated to open this October on Coronado.

CH Projects launched in 2007 with East Village eatery Neighborhood and has since expanded into a bonafide hospitality empire, boasting nearly 20 standalone restaurants and bars (Part Time Lover, Born & Raised, Craft & Commerce, Polite Provisions, Seneca Trattoria, etc.), a $31 million revival of North Park’s historic LaFayette Hotel, and La Pensione Hotel, a planned hotel-slash-wellness center-slash-corporate headquarters in Little Italy. 

The group’s baptism as hoteliers has proved successful so far at The LaFayette, getting named our Critic’s and Reader’s Pick for Best Reinvention for 2024 and Esquire’s Best New Hotel of the Year. Arsalun Tafazoli, co-founder of CH Projects, says expanding into hotels has been a challenge and a logical evolution of the group’s ongoing efforts to create experiential escapes that reflect San Diego in new, interesting ways. 

“Hotels were a natural progression for us because they encompass every aspect of the human experience,” he explains, adding that CH Projects’ biggest objective is to push themselves and San Diego culture forward. 

Tafazoli says its name references the storied history of large-scale European “Grand” hotels, serving as communities’ venerable hearts and souls. He hopes to leave Coronado with precisely that type of timeless mark in a more intimate setting—not unlike the smaller version of a grand piano.

“It’s like a more compact iteration of this grand thing, and that’s what we were trying to do at the time,” he explains. “So I just took that idea and ran with it.”

In 2022, Tafazoli signed a long-term lease for the conveniently located but dilapidated La Avenida Inn and began overhauling the 31 rooms and pool. Fresh additions to the space will include a Greek-Mediterranean fusion brasserie tentatively called Nighthawk, featuring a custom-built hearth oven to prepare whole proteins in the style of Greek open-air markets. The hotel will also have multiple bars, including a reservation-only oyster and Champagne bar tentatively called While Supplies Last. Of course, everything is subject to change. 

“We start out with a core narrative, and things evolve as they progress,” he says. “So much of what we do has to do with feeling, and I think as we get to experience the space as it’s being built and trying to decide what warrants that emotional response and connection… the project evolves into the best iteration of itself.”

The space’s aesthetic centers on what Tafazoli calls “refined decay,” reminiscent of his trips to seaside markets on Greek islands. The goal is for guests to lose their sense of place and give into an immersive experience that he hopes goes beyond mere replication, enhances the visit, and subverts people’s expectations. 

“Essentially, with every project we take on, we’re liars,” he says. “We just want to be good liars.”

Courtesy Taste of East Village

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

Beth’s Bites

National Donut Day is probably the least offensive of all the made-up national food holidays. This year, iconic LA bakery Randy’s Donuts is sweetening the deal by opening its second San Diego location in Bonita on June 7. The company will offer the first 10 people free donuts for one year and one free glazed donut per customer from 6 a.m. until noon. 

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa hosts its third annual Agave Fest on Friday, June 21. The spirits soirée starts at 6 p.m. and promises plenty of Baja-inspired bites, cocktails, live music, raffle giveaways, and more. Tickets are $95 and include unlimited food and drink experiences, performances and live entertainment, and a raffle. 

Get your food passports ready—the second annual Taste of East Village is coming in August, and 35+ restaurants are participating this year including Callie, City Tacos, Cowboy Star, Fairweather, Mission Brewery, Half Door Brewing, and The Kebab Shop. Early bird tickets are available for $40 until July 4, when they bump up to $45. Both prices are before service fees, so budget accordingly.

Have breaking news, exciting scoops, or great stories about new San Diego restaurants or the city’s food scene? Send your pitches to [email protected].

By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

Share this post

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA