Well, it looks like this will be the last holiday season we’ll be able to spend in the ~BIG 4~ as we know it. The new owners of The Huntington Hotel, Grace International (a Singapore-based company) have announced they will be closing the 66-year-old hotel and the Big 4 from January 4th, 2014, to spring of 2014 for a $15 million remodel.
Details are sparse: Is it a massive renovation? Will the piano remain? What is to become of chef Gloria Ciccarone-Nehls (a dead ringer for Liza Minnelli, by the way), and her annual Big Game Dinners? What about all the amazing artifacts, including the vintage map of SF bordellos and opium dens in the men’s room? There’s a whole lotta history in that dining room. All I do know is I am going in for one last cocktail (or two), getting a few cheeky jokes from Ty the bartender, and tucking into a chicken potpie or lamb burger (or trying to convince Gloria to make her venison chili for me). Yes, there are some things that could definitely stand to be updated in the bar and dining room, but there’s a lot that really shouldn’t be touched (hopefully the owners take a page out of the recent Tosca playbook). As soon as I hear anything detailed, I’ll let you know. Sigh.
The classic bar at the Big 4. Photo courtesy of The Huntington Hotel.