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There's a riot goin' on: Andaz changes name of forthcoming restaurant

December 16, 2008 |  4:27 pm


Perhaps spooked by the recent spate of rain and near-freezing weather, the folks at Hyatt’s new upscale concept hotel chain, Andaz, have announced a last-minute name change for their forthcoming restaurant inside the old Hyatt West Hollywood.

"After that rain yesterday, I said forget it," Andaz West Hollywood manager Michel Morauw joked Tuesday about the change from 82/Sunny to RH. However, when pressed, he said the real reason behind the name change to RH (a riff on Riot House, a nickname for the famed Sunset Strip property) was Hyatt brass’ desire to acknowledge the hotel’s roots as the so-called Riot Hyatt.

"The concept [of the restaurant] is still the same, but there was a lot of debate internally about the history and the legend of the hotel," Morauw said. The general manager of the soon-to-open hotel said Sebastian Archambault is still on board as executive chef and every other aspect of the restaurant remains intact.

"While that ‘riot house’ name is a bit different than what we are doing at Andaz, at the same time there is an incredible attachment to that name for many people," the Belgian-born Morauw said. "Calling the restaurant RH is a way for us to pay homage to the former Hyatt."

Despite the nod to the Hyatt’s wilder days in the 1970s, when touring rock bands trashed hotel rooms and openly engaged in drug use, the restaurant is likely to be a sedate dining destination, not a nightclub. Perhaps a few friends gathering for a birthday celebration is about as wild as RH is likely to get next year.

"There will be no guitar hanging over the door or anything, but it’s just a nice way for us to remind everyone that here it was ... the famous Riot House."

While neither name especially impresses us, it’s probably not a bad idea to ditch the 82/Sunny moniker — especially on a mostly cloudy day when the temperature is hovering around 55.

— Charlie Amter

Rendering of RH's bar area courtesy Andaz