Friday, July 30, 2010

New Electric Car Charging Stations Installed in San Jose

Coulomb Technologies is a visionary company that is currently building infrastructure to support a barrage of upcoming electric vehicles (e.g. Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S). Coulomb's very first customer was actually the City of San Jose, and around city hall you'll find 3 of their first charging stations. So when Coulomb received a $37m government grant to build thousands of free charging stations across California, what city do you think they picked to start with? Well, as of yesterday we're the proud owners of the first 2 Chargepoint America EV charging stations which are located in the McEnery Convention Center parking lot. Several hundred more are to follow in other parts of San Jose and Silicon Valley, giving us a nice head start in building out infrastructure for electric cars.

New Yorks Times Article RE: Downtown San Jose

Awesome article in the New York Times about San Jose entitled "Fresh Start for a Rebirth Stalled by a Recession." I think it actually does a pretty good job at conveying the current situation Downtown. As an added bonus, the article also mentions a new development in North First featuring 1,750 apartments sitting on top of retail called Crescent Village. The folks from the development forum think it will be built on the site of a former Sony campus. For the full NYT article click here!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Alaskan Adds ANOTHER Flight, San Jose to Los Cabos

Yet another Alaskan Airlines flight is in the works for our newly remodeled airport. This time, it's an international flight to Los Cabos, Mexico--a popular tourist destination with many great beaches and hotels. This is the first international flight SJC has added in quite some time [CORRECTION - Voltaris added a flight to Mexico on June 30th]. Pending approval, the new route kicks off Nov 20th with service 3 times per week. For more info, you know the drill.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lou's Village is Being Resurrected in Willow Glen!

Remember that new 41,000sqft development in Willow Glen? Well it turns out that one of their anchor tenants is none other than Lou's Village, one of San Jose's original flagship restaurants. Lou's plans to open up in 2012 on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Willow St. For more details, click here!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Sherman Cellars Wine Tasting Coming Downtown!

I was reading A Perfect Finish's newsletter--a damn good wine bar on 1st, btw--and stumbled on this bit of news that somehow fell through the cracks of everything else I read about downtown. As of Aug 3rd, we will officially have a wine tasting room in Downtown San Jose! An added bonus is that it will be right around the corner from one of the few wine bars in San Jose (and the only one I know of that is open until 2am on Fri and Sat in Silicon Valley).


Wine Tasting Comes to downtown San Jose!Sherman Cellars
Sherman Cellars, 40 Post Street (just down from A Perfect Finish) will celebrate the Grand Opening of their Winery Tasting Room, Tuesday August 3, at 12:00 noon.  Join us, our city Councilman, Sam Liccardo and other dignitaries for the newest tasting room in Santa Clara Valley

Creekview VineyardsSherman Cellars will feature the wines ofCreekview Vineyards of San Martin.  The winemakers, Teri and Greg Peterson make an incredible array of whites and reds from Santa Clara Valley fruit, including their own estate vineyard.  From Santa Clara Valley Chardonnay to their big Melody Estate bordeaux style red their wines always please. 

After August 3, Sherman Cellars will be open for tasting: Wednesday through Sunday, 11am to 5pm.  
288-WINE (9463)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bowling for Downtown San Jose?

I go out of the country for a few days and all sorts of San Jose development news pop up. Let's start with this one... trendy bowling may finally be coming to downtown San Jose. Lucky Strikes was supposed to lease the ground floor of The Globe back in 2007, but the recession shut that deal down. Now it looks like Lucky Strikes is reevaluating this opportunity AND Tavern + Bowl is also in the running to take over that spot. The retail space has been soundproofed years ago in anticipation of a bowling alley and is pretty much ready to go when the owners of The Globe (CIM) decide which proposal to accept. For more details, head on over to the San Jose Business Journal.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Challenges of Local Small Business Owners

Alright everyone, brace yourselves... it's incredibly rare, but I'm actually going to say something negative about San Jose. Often to grow you have to take a critical look at yourself and make a conscious decision to improve. I think that's exactly what we need to do in order to improve the retail scene in San Jose, especially high-potential, burgeoning areas like Downtown.

A couple days ago I had the great pleasure to meet with the proprietor behind Satori, a phenomenal new tea shop located in San Pedro Square next to Peggy Sue's. After hearing her challenges in opening up the store, I decided to break that section out of the blog post I'm planning for their upcoming grand opening. I'm doing this for 2 reasons: 1.) I think this topic requires special attention and applies to many current and potential business owners and 2.) Satori doesn't deserve to have anything negative in their grand opening post--they are 100%, positively, without a doubt the type of business that downtown needs more of... unique products, local character (including local art), community focus, and a new experience for downtown patrons.

Okay, now for the stuff I hate to write about, so I'll make it quick. The proprietor decided to put her entire life savings into a store selling what she's truly passionate about--awesome tea!--and she wanted to do it in the heart of San Jose. How long should it take to open up a small tea shop in San Jose? Two months? Three? Well, it actually took an entire year... every day of which means lost revenue and a lower probability for success. How much should it cost for business licenses and permitting in a 1,000sqft space in an area the city is actively trying to drive retail to? No need to guess, I'll just say it... $15,000. Huh?

I think something is not right with the situation above. The message we send out to business owners should be "COME TO SAN JOSE! WE ARE A CITY BUILT ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND WILL MAKE IT RIDICULOUSLY EASY FOR YOU TO DO BUSINESS HERE!  That type message doesn't seem to always align well with reality, and I have heard this from several business owners that I have spoken to, not just Satori.

If you ask anyone that really knows me, I really do love San Jose more than any other city on the planet.  I hate writing anything negative here, but this is one kink that we need to iron out before districts like Downtown can become the magnetic retail destinations they should be. Santana Row is great an all, but we need places where local businesses offering unique products and services can also thrive and grow the collective soul and culture of our great city.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Merc Article on the State of Downtown Dining

There was a great article in the Merc last week about how dining in Downtown San Jose is moving away from traditional restaurants and moving towards casual, inexpensive, and trendy eateries. The map below showcases some promising signs. While 4 places have shuttered their doors, 13 are replacing them. For the full article, just head over here!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Thank you to everyone that participated in today's contest!  Our winners are Melanie Cregger and Joie Pascual, both of which live in San Jose and will each receive a pair of day passes for Raging Waters!! A huge thanks to Raging Waters for sponsoring the prize for this contest. If you're curious about the answers, here they are:

Posting Time Hints (Posting time was 3:22pm)

HINT #1: San Jose is divided into 10 districts, which one is Downtown San Jose in? 3
HINT #2: The year that San Jose became the State Capital. 1849 >> 1+8+4+9 = 22

1.) What was San Jose's original name? El Pueble de San Jose de Guadalupe
2.) Which 2 colors are used in San Jose's flag? Gold and Blue (also SJSU colors btw)
3.) What is the tallest building in San Jose today? The 88
4.) Who was San Jose's first official major after becoming an incorporated city? Josiah Belden
5.) What is the oldest building in San Jose? The Peralta Adobe
6.) What is the name of the lake next to Raging Waters? Lake Cunningham
7.) How many water slide attractions are there in Raging Waters? Would have accepted either 6 or 7 (two of them are usually grouped as one).


Alright folks, here's the drill. The first TWO (2) individuals to answer the following trivia questions correctly will each win a pair of Raging Waters tickets (winners must not be related to each other or to writers for The San Jose Blog). ANSWERS MUST BE EMAILED TO:

Here are your Questions:
1.) What was San Jose's original name?
2.) Which 2 colors are used in San Jose's flag?
3.) What is the tallest building in San Jose today?
4.) Who was San Jose's first official major after becoming an incorporated city?
5.) What is the oldest building in San Jose?
6.) What is the name of the lake next to Raging Waters?
7.) How many water slide attractions are there in Raging Waters?

Now for a twist. There is a bonus 8th questions that will give you a 5 minute advantage if you are able to guess a correct answer (5 minutes will be subtracted from the time I receive your email with answers to the questions above). The question is: name a single restaurant in Downtown San Jose that Josh Santos has NOT been to. Here is a list of restaurants to help you out. I have to warn you that there are less than a dozen restaurants on that list that will qualify you for the bonus.

Good luck everyone!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hints for the Raging Waters Contest!!!

As announced last week, The San Jose Blog is giving away 2 pairs of tickets to Raging Waters! On Wednesday, July 14th at an undisclosed time, we're posting a series of San Jose-centric trivia questions. The first TWO individuals to answer all of the questions correctly win a pair of tickets! 

Today, I'm going to give readers some help with 2 hints that will narrow down the potential posting times. The first hint will give away the hour during which we will be posting the contest questions and the second hint will give away the minutes. I imagine the first one will be fairly easy to crack, but the second hint is far from straightforward and I'll tell you right now the answer is not the most obvious one... Good Luck =)

HINT #1: San Jose is divided into 10 districts, which one is Downtown San Jose in?

HINT #2: The year that San Jose became the State Capital.

Monday, July 12, 2010

World Cup Finale in Downtown San Jose

Matt Bruensteiner from San Jose Metblogs has some great photos of the World Cup Championship Match in SoFA! I wish I could have made it, looks like a great event... I'll mark my calendar for 2014.


From the better late than never file, here’s a few photos from the World Cup championship game showing downtown on Sunday. A pretty impressive crowd filled South First Street, just south of San Carlos, where the Jumbotron was set up:
The Dutch fans were the champions, at least in the Funny Hats competition:
But it was Spain’s fans who got to cheer in the 116th minute:
Final score, Netherlands 0, Spain 1, and Spain will be world champions for the next four years.

Click here for the original post!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 2010 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • High Speed Rail officials have decided that an aerial structure should be used to bring HSR into downtown San Jose (as opposed to an underground option).
  • The City Council approved a 4 story parking facility near the HP Pavilion if a Downtown San Jose A's Stadium is approved.
  • The State is planning to build a 20-courtroom, 234,000sqft facility across from St. James Park.
  • The second Dine Downtown week resulted in at least 4,500 three+ course dinners sold!
  • 12 new pieces of art have been installed on utility doors throughout Downtown.  This brings the total to 37 pieces of art from 15 participating high schools.
  • Ruffled Feathers Eatery is now open!  They are in the same spot as the former Asqew Grill, right next to Camera 12.
  • The Agenda Restaurant is now Bayonne and their basement is a speakeasy-style lounge called Single Barrel.
  • A sports bar called Savu is replacing Hawg's Seafood next to The Rep. They signed a 10 year least with 2 additional 5 year options, and are paying market rent.
  • San Jose is getting 2 major sporting events in 2012, th US Figure Skating Championships and the US Olympic trials for men's and women's gymnastics.
  • Groundwerx is about to initiate their next beautification project at on San Carlos St. between 2nd and 4th St. 
To read the full newsletter, click here!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We're Giving Away 4 Raging Waters Tickets!!!

The San Jose Blog is happy to announce that we're going to have a little contest to cool you off this summer! We're giving away 2 pairs of tickets to Raging Waters exactly one week from today, Wed, Jun 14th!!

This contest will be part skill and part luck.  The skill component will test your knowledge of San Jose with a series of trivia questions. The first 2 people to answer all of the trivia questions correctly win (the winners can't be related to each other or to any of the posters on The San Jose Blog). Sounds simple right? Of course, there's a catch. I won't be giving out the exact time when the trivia questions will be posted on Wednesday, but you'll get a hint or two. AND... there's a second catch, which is a side-contest that may give you an advantage in winning the tickets (the specifics of the side contest will not be revealed until the 14th).

Stay tuned for additional details!

Santana Row Punches Recession in the Face, Adds 3 New Stores

Earlier today, Santana Row announced a handful of new merchants. First off, we have the first Yard House in Northern California, which will occupy the entire retail space in the 300 block of the Row (at the entrance, adjacent to Crate & Barrel). This will be a flagship 10,000sqft restaurant with 130 beers on tap and a scheduled February 2011 opening.

Joining the Yard House we have the first South Bay locations of 100% Pure Cosmetics (Oakland-based) and Jest Jewels (SF-based).  We can also round out the news with a 1,000sqft bar and lounge expansion at Straits, which should be open for business very soon.
Yard House - Great Food - Classic Rock - World's Largest Selection Of Draft Beer

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

San Jose Sharks: Draft and Free Agency Update

What an exciting last couple of weeks this has been! First began the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, where exciting young prospects were selected, and then began the opportunity to sign players with a "free agency" status. While the Sharks still have some decisions to make concerning their 2010-2011 team, as general manager Doug Wilson aims to create a roster rife with playoff success.

Perhaps the largest piece of news, aside from the last update where Evgeni Nabokov's departure and Patrick Marleau/Joe Pavelski's re-signing were announced, the Sharks have signed a new goaltender: Antero Niittymaki of Finland - a two-year contract for $2 million per year. Previously playing for both the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, he is mostly noted for leading Team Finland to the silver medal during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy (where he was also voted the tournament MVP). Nabokov, meanwhile, has returned to the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League, in Russia), where he, today, signed a four year contract with the SKA St. Petersburg team. Best of luck to him there!

As far as the draft picks from the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, here are the Sharks' selections (hat tip to for the names and stats):

1st round (28th overall) – Charlie Coyle
Position: RW/C
Birthplace: Boston, MA
Size: 6-foot-2, 202-pounds
Shoots: Right

3rd round (88th overall) – Max Gaede
Position: RW
Birthplace: Maryland, MN
Size: 6-foot-2, 187-pounds
Shoots: Right

5th round (127th overall) – Cody Ferriero
Position: C
Birthplace: Boston, MA
Size: 5-foot-11, 190-pounds
Shoots: Right

5th round (129th overall) – Freddie Hamilton
Position: C
Birthplace: Toronto, ON
Size: 6-foot-1, 187-pounds
Shoots: Right

5th round (136th overall) – Isaac MacLeod
Position: D
Birthplace: Nelson, BC
Size: 6-foot-4, 205-pounds
Shoots: Left

6th round (163rd overall) – Konrad Abeltshauser
Position: D
Birthplace: Bad Tolz, Germany
Size: 6-foot-5, 190-pounds
Shoots: Left

7th round (188th overall) – Lee Moffie
Position: D
Birthplace: Wallingford, CT
Size: 6-foot-1, 200-pounds
Shoots: Left

7th round (200th overall) – Chris Crane
Position: RW
Birthplace: Virginia Beach, VA
Size: 6-foot-0, 189-pounds
Shoots: Right

Here's hoping the Sharks can utilize both their veterans and new talent this upcoming year. Although I am confident we can make playoffs again, we need to win, plain and simple.

Hopefully the Sharks can make a couple more good moves before the free agency and trading period ends. Currently, there are quite a bit of high-valued trades/signings going on, although mostly rumored. The hottest topics right now in the NHL concerning free agents are Mike Modano (the greatest American player ever, now dropped by the Stars and very likely to sign with the Red Wings), Ilya Kovalchuk (2001 first pick and solid player having issues choosing between the Devils and the Kings; that and his high salary demand), and for San Jose fans, Owen Nolan (arguably one of the best Sharks players who is rumored, albeit somewhat unlikely, to come back to play at the Tank).

Here is to the upcoming season!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Photos from Epic First Friday (SubZERO)

While there wasn't a South First Friday this weekend, I do have a few photos from the phenomenal SubZERO First Friday in June!

Scott's Seafood Expanding in Downtown SJ

It looks like Scott's is the latest of many restaurants that are double downing in San Jose's cultural epicenter. This will make it the 5th Downtown restaurant to expand this year (Morton's, La Vics, Flames, and Diabolos/Azucar are the other four). It's pretty rare to see restaurants expand even in a strong economy, so seeing five expanding today within a few city blocks is a great sign for Downtown.

Scott's will be adding outdoor seating for up to 60 people. Keep in mind that this restaurant is on the top floor of a 6 story building, so a nice view will come along with that al fresco dining experience. In addition, Scott's is planning to upgrade the furniture, lighting, and paint in the interior portion of the 8,500sqft restaurant.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July 2010!!!

I hope everyone has an amazing Fourth with family and friends! If you are still deciding what to do tonight, below are 4 different venues providing major fireworks shows in the South Bay tonight. There is also a more extensive list over at SJ Metblogs. Have fun!

Central Park in Santa Clara
July 4th All City Picnic - Breakfast, entertainment, music, carnival games, face painting, swimming, food. Fireworks display at 9:30pm. Sunday, July 4, 2010. (408) 615-3140

San Jose Municipal Stadium
San Jose July 4th Fireworks Celebration - San Jose July 4th Fireworks Celebration - 95.3 KRTY'S All-American Country Jam - concert featuring Country Music Artist Chris Cagle and a performance by Ash Bowers. Sunday, July 4, 2010. 588 East Alma Avenue, San Jose, CA. 408-297-1435.

Shoreline Amphitheater
The 24th Annual 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular - featuring the San Francisco Symphony and music from Wicked, Rocky, West Side Story, Peter Pan, Titanic, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars and many more! 4-pack of Reserved Seats are only $79! Tickets at

4th of July Celebration - All Day Sunday July 4, 2010. 7am - 9:30am Breakfast at the Quinlan Community Center, 10am Parade with family concert to follow, 6:45pm musical entertainment at Creekside Park, Hyde Middle School or Sedgwick Elementary. Fireworks begin at 9:30pm. (408) 777-3110, (408) 777-3120

Friday, July 2, 2010

Proposed ordinance threatens San Jose Bike Party

Worth of a read if you enjoy biking or supporting groups and organizations that add value to our community:


The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has a proposed Special Event Ordinance on their June 22 agenda for discussion at 10am.
This ordinance threatens the existence of San Jose Bike Party, as well as any rides of more than 50 riders! It’s overreaching and possibly prohibited by the CVC.
The Silicon Valley Bike Coalition has posted its position on this issue, and have setup aFacebook event with information as well. We urge you to read the proposal and SVBC’s position statement, then take action.
Some of the ways you can help:
  • Write, e-mail, or call your County Supervisor. has their contact information.
  • Show up at the Board of Supervisors meeting, June 22 at 10am, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 70 West Hedding St, San Jose, CA.
  • Spread the word! Blog, tweet, Facebook, etc!


At the June 22 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Supervisors voted unanimously to table the matter until August 2010. It will go back to committee for revision. The video from the meeting is available on the SCC Public Portal.
A big thanks to all those that attended the meeting, contacted their Supervisors, and spread the word. Hopefully the ordinance will be reasonble and consistent with the CVC when it comes up again in August.