The original hotel was built in 1911 and named the Colonial Hotel. It served many different people, but mostly workers from the nearby Standard Oil refinery (now the Chevron Richmond Refinery). In the 1930s it was purchased by J. V. McAfee, a former manager at the Claremont Hotel. He also changed its name to the Hotel Mac.
Beginning in the 1940s and 1950s, however, Hotel Mac began to lose its popularity and character. In 1971 a fire damaged the structure, and it closed for business. In 1978 two men named Bill Burnett and Griff Brazil formed a company to restore and reopen Hotel Mac as a fine dining restaurant. The hotel also reopened.