Finally, after dozens of meetings with the Alessio family, in the fall of 1999 the Union Tribune announced that the following year would bring new ownership to the timeless San Diego restaurant. The following newspaper headline was “If You Close It, They Will Come.” The restaurant was sold out for the 4 months leading up its close in February of 2000 and in those final days, Bud Alessio had to hire armed guards, as guests successfully stole everything from silverware to artwork as memorabilia. The year 2000 was a leap year, and the restaurant finally closed its doors with a radio broadcast from the 12th floor on February 29th.
Bertrand immediately began construction and a transition was swiftly underway. The opening came on May 26th with a birthday party for Bertrand and Dean Spanos, who shares his birthday. With a completely new design and perspective, Mister A’s opened to a skeptical public. Despite the question of a new face for the iconic restaurant, it became a smash hit under Bertrand’s reputation, watchful eye, and unparalleled attention to detail.
In 2003, Bertrand brought on head chef, Stephane Voitzwinkler, previously of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Together, they have worked tirelessly to reinvent the cuisine and all offerings, including the addition of a bar menu, Happy Hour service, and brunch service, as well as an array of highly-praised Holiday menus.