The San Diego nightlife scene has been ramping up in recent years, and it’s about to get another big boost when the highly anticipated Pendry boutique hotel debuts in the Gaslamp Quarter. Leading its offerings is Oxford Social Club, another collaboration between Las Vegas-based Clique Hospitality and the 81/82 Group, powerful forces that united to open Clique Lounge at the Cosmopolitan a little more than a year ago.
But where Cosmo’s Clique is something of a reinvented ultralounge, Oxford is a full-on nightclub, says 81/82 partner Jason “JRoc” Craig. “It’s definitely a different project and bigger, and being in a different market has meant spending a lot of time [in San Diego] really understanding the differences. ... The nightlife in San Diego is really starting to elevate, and the newer venues have started paying more attention to the talent game and getting more involved with service and making standards better than before. Hopefully, our level of customer service will step that up even more.”
Craig and Ryan Labbe, who will also oversee the Pendry’s Pool House outdoor oasis, are building the 418-capacity boutique club experience around its stylish atmosphere and, of course, a high hospitality standard. “Oxford Social Club is about the experience, head to toe,” Labbe says. “The [musical] talent will be one layer of the experience—it could range from a notable local or regional DJ to a Vice or a Politik to some cool, unannounced pop-up acts. It’s all going to hinge on the venue, though, the ambience and level of hospitality provided for each guest. Every person who walks in needs to feel like this is their venue.”