William Kettner was a Democratic Congressman representing the 11th district in the early 1900’s who, during his service, secured funds for the dredging of the San Diego Bay, the construction of the All American canal and a Panama-California Exposition (for which Balboa Park was built).
Although a shrewd politician, he won friends easily with his warm personality. He was know for addressing colleagues as "brother", earning him the nickname of "Brother Bill" in San Diego and Washington. When he got to Washington many official documents referred to his hometown as “Santiago,” by the time he left the whole country had it right. He was so successful in those early years that by 1914 the name of the United States armored cruiser California was changed to the USS San Diego.
He was known as an honest man, an intelligent negotiator and most importantly a friend. Among his many friends were assistant secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt and Commander of the Second Battalion of the Fourth Regiment of the Marines Colonel Joseph Pendleton. Kettner was able to convince Roosevelt that the San Diego climate would be healthier than the Bay Area for the naval recruits and in 1919 plans to bring the Navy to San Diego passed in Congress.
By the time Kettner died at the age of 65 in November 1930, San Diego was home to an improved Naval Base in Point Loma, to the 32ndStreet Naval Station, Naval Air Station North Island, Naval Medical Center at Balboa, Camp Kearney (now MCAS Miramar), and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. More importantly San Diego was now one of the largest and most influential cities in the country. In 1921, as recognition for his many accomplishments, City Council renamed Arctic Street Kettner Boulevard.
As we were designing Kettner Exchange, we sought to pay homage to Kettner's attributes by creating a dignified yet welcoming environment with subtle nods to our great bay and nautical history. We’d like to think many influential people such as Kettner will enter this place and enjoy an honest drink with a gratifying meal in America’s Finest City.
(619) 255-2001 2001 Kettner Blvd. San Diego, CA
MON - WED 5PM - 12AM
THURS & FRIDAY 5PM - 2AM
SAT 5PM - 2AM
SUN 5PM - 12AM