One of San Francisco's best-known hotels, the Sir Francis Drake, will re-open in early March after a two-year shutdown, but it will have a new name, the Beacon Grand.
The iconic hotel's name and doormen dressed as Elizabethan 'Beefeaters' don't fit the plans of its new owners, Northview Hotel Group, which operates a number of high-end hotels and resorts around the country. Drake, portrayed as a key figure in Britain's rise to ocean supremacy, has fallen into disfavor because he was also among England's earliest and most active slave traders.
The hotel opened in 1928 and was heralded as the West Coast's finest hotel. In the late 1930s it was bought by Conrad Hilton, and sold in the 1990s to the Kimpton hotel group, which sold it last year to Northview.