The Story Of Mister A's Restaurant

In a time where everything feels like a trend, Mister A’s Restaurant in San Diego remains a classic. Perched atop the Manchester Financial Building in the Bankers Hill neighborhood, it has been an iconic, fine dining establishment since opening in 1965.

Hand holding cocktail with rosemary sprig

Our History

1965: And So it Begins

On May 17, businessman John Alessio opened the doors of Mister A’s restaurant. It was a different era—where gas was $.31 a gallon and Alessio’s martinis were just $1. Soon after the restaurant's opening day, the Manchester Building was christened by then Governor of California Edmund G. Brown.

1970s: A Bright Idea

Alessio arranged to have Balboa Park’s California Tower lit up in order to give his diners the most spectacular view in town . The tower has been lit up every night since.

1999: Bertrand Buys

After years of courtship, the Alessio family sold Mister A’s to local restaurateur, Bertrand Hug. Known for his Rancho Santa Fe staple, Mille Fleurs, Hug brought his fine dining expertise to downtown. The restaurant closed temporarily for updates and reopened as Bertrand at Mister A’s.

2015: A Golden Celebration

Mister A’s and team celebrated 50th anniversary in business with a year full of special events, throwback decor and more. 

2021 Passing the Torch

After 22 years, Bertrand Hug sold Mister A’s restaurant to long-time employee, Ryan Thorsen. Thorsen worked with Hug for over 11 years, and had moved from entry level manager to director of operations, before becoming the owner. Thorsen is also director of operations at Mille.


With Thorsen at the helm, Mister A’s San Diego is ushering in a new era. Both interior and exterior spaces have undergone a beautiful transformation intended to pay homage to its roots. The private “Blue Room” has been brought back to its original style and glory, while the outdoor deck now offers upscale lounge seating and an expanded bar menu to match.