The History of the Inn
In 1925, Palm Springs was little more than a sleepy desert village. The Humphrey Birge family, owners of the Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company – then the “Rolls Royce of America,” liked the calm beauty of the scenery and built a Spanish-style estate at the foot of the magnificent San Jacinto
Mountains. They lived there for ten years until the demise of the clan’s matriarch. The property was then sold to Ruth Hardy, a lady from Indiana, who changed the pace of the town and of the Inn itself. She transformed the estate into a 20-room hotel that was distinctly different. You didn’t just call for a reservation; you had to be invited. If Mrs. Hardy didn’t think you measured up to her standards, you were simply told that there was “no room at the Inn.”
She proceeded to operate the Inn as a private club, closing six months of the year. She personally supervised every facet of the operation. The small restaurant was for hotel guests only and if you were invited by one of the guests, you had to obtain Mrs. Hardy’s approval. The Inn hosted a veritable “Who’s Who” of show business, finance and politics. Guests included Howard Hughes, Salvador Dali, Norman Vincent Peale, Spencer Tracy, and Mrs. L. M. Giannini from the Bank of America family.
Ruth Hardy became an important figure in Palm Springs. She was a city councilwoman, responsible for lighting the trees on Palm Canyon Drive, and a park in town was named after her. In 1965, Ruth Hardy passed on and the Inn was sold to a regular guest from a prominent San Francisco banking family.
In 1975, New York businessman Melvyn Haber visited Palm Springs as a respite from his hectic life in the Big Apple. Mel came upon the Inn while strolling around town and immediately fell in love with it. He bought it in April of 1975, completely renovated the entire property, and created Melvyn’s Restaurant and the Casablanca Lounge. Today, the Inn and restaurant continue to cater to industry leaders in show business and politics.
In 2016, San Francisco-based hospitality management company, PlumpJack Group, acquired the Ingleside Inn and Melvyn’s Restaurant from Autumn Haber after the passing of her father, the late Melvyn Haber. The Inn and restaurant join PlumpJack’s growing collection of award-winning
wineries, restaurants, bars, retail stores and boutique hotels.
Balancing authenticity with luxury, modern amenities and guest comfort, PlumpJack Group entrusted Napa-based design firm, Shopworks, with the property restoration throughout the second half of 2017. The revitalization included polishing up the storied Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge, simultaneously preserving the identity while ushering the celebrated establishment into present day. The PlumpJack Group is dedicated to honoring the historic integrity and beloved character of Melvyn’s Restaurant and the legacy of the iconic Melvyn Haber, while elevating the one-of-a-kind hospitality experience for guests of the Inn.
A visit to the Ingleside Inn is like staying at a friend’s country estate. Although totally secluded, the Inn is just one block from the very heart of downtown Palm Springs. Tucked at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, the Ingleside Inn affords both a luxurious hideaway where you are continuously pampered, plus immediate proximity to Palm Springs’ finest shopping, dining and nightlife.
Mr. Mel Haber
In 1975, New York businessman, Melvyn Haber, visited Palm Springs as a respite from his hectic life in New York. He came upon the Inn while strolling downtown Palm Springs and fell in love with it on the spot. He bought it in April of 1975, completely renovating the entire property and created Melvyn’s Restaurant and the Casablanca Lounge. It continues to cater to industry leaders, show business personalities and political figures.
Sadly, Mel Haber passed away in October of 2016 of lung cancer at the age of 80. The PlumpJack Group recently took over management of one of Palm Spring’s most iconic hotels, the Ingleside Inn, and Melvyn’s Restaurant. PlumpJack plans to restore the storied Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge while preserving its identity, ushering the celebrated Palm Springs establishment into the present day and paying homage to longtime owner and one of the Coachella Valley’s most iconic personalities, the late Melvyn Haber.
The PlumpJack Group is a hospitality management company dedicated to creating unique lifestyle experiences with a portfolio including award-winning wineries, acclaimed restaurants, nightclubs, bars, retail stores, catering service, and luxury resorts. The PlumpJack Group began in 1992 when Gavin Newsom, former San Francisco Mayor and current Lieutenant Governor of California, launched the PlumpJack Wine Store on Fillmore Street. His goals was to make wine discovery more fun and approachable for all types of customers from connoisseurs to the curious. More than two decades later, under the leadership of Hilary Newsom and Jeremy Scherer, The PlumpJack Group has evolved into Northern California’s premier lifestyle and hospitality brand.
To learn more, visit PlumpJack.com