Sunday, April 3, 2011


I have never been more proud to be a San Josean. Yesterday the SJMADE and SJEATS events took place and both were completely packed with people coming to support local vendors. SJMADE was entirely comprised of local store owners, artists, and purveyors of San Jose made and inspired goods. The two locations where this took place were entirely filled to capacity throughout the event. To give you an idea of how many people were there, it took me 10 minutes to walk from one side of the old Tied House building to the other. Half way through, all vendors selling food were completely sold out and by the end of the night many of the most popular products were entirely gone.

Going on at the same time was SJEATS. This was the very first event of it's kind in the South Bay and was run by Ryan Sebastian, the proprietor behind San Jose's famous Treatbot Karaoke Ice Cream Truck. It shares some similarities to Off the Grid in SF, featuring multiple gourmet food trucks. The difference was in the number of people. Just about every truck has a 1-2 hour line. Chairman Bao I think hit a 3 hour wait at one point. By the time I got there for lunch, 4 trucks were completely sold out of all food. Dinner was just as crazy with people lining up an hour before the trucks even got there. Despite the long waits, people were smiling, laughing, and having a great time. I went with a pretty large group, so we split up and went to 4 different trucks and then shared everything (and yes, the food was obscenely good). Also, several of the food trucks said this was the busiest they have ever been, period. Some claimed to sell twice as much product as they ever have at any event int the past, including Off the Grid.

What happened to the people tired of waiting for the food trucks? They cleaned house across the San Pedro Square restaurants, which were the busiest I have seen them... ever. By 2pm, The Mmoon was entirely sold out of empanadas. They had to close down for 2 hours and even after reopening they were down to only vegetarian options. La Pinata had a one hour wait. Satori was full, as were Peggie Su's, Los Cubanos, and San Pedro Bistro and Wine Bar.

For those who still fail to see Downtown San Jose's potential, these two events were pretty much proof that the surface hasn't even been scratched on what Downtown can become. One of the highlights for me was getting a glimpse of what San Pedro Square could become after the urban market opens up. When high-quality and unique products and services come together, the people will surely follow.


  1. it was unlike anything I had ever seen in dtsj. i came hungry so i was super disappointed about the unorganized lines at sjeats but overall the two events rocked! i hope some city council/redevelopment agency folks came out for it because the atmosphere was exactly how downtown should be..always.

    and mmoon saved the day for us! great new sj eatery.

    great work with the blog, keep it up.

  2. I couldn't agree with you more, Josh. The long lines show you how underserved DTSJ is. I think the San Pedro Square Market will just scratch the surface.

  3. I also have to give major credit to the Mmoon. Before going to the Sharks game last night (where the Sharks handily defeated their rivals, the Anaheim Ducks), I visited the restaurant again (as I normally do before every game) and could see how hard the staff worked to satisfy their hungry customers. Also spoke with the staff I know, from whom I was informed the massive sales amounts and the nigh-neverending lines.

    (I don't think any restaurant owner expected Saturday night's overwhelming volume, for that matter.)

  4. The traffic, the foot traffic, the bustle made my wife and I feel like we were walking in a big city, like New York. It was amazing!!! Good job DTSJ. Let's do it again soon, and get that urban market open!

  5. All this is so exciting to read about! I left DTSJ a year ago to move to Singapore and totally miss it. We are hoping to move back to downtown when we're done here. There is so much potential in DTSJ.

    Great job with the blog, too. I read it regularly to stay in the loop of what's going on in my hometown.


  6. Enjoyed the evening immensely! Definitely looking forward to this being a regular gig!

  7. We got there no later than 11:45 AM, stood in line for 2-2.5 hours or so at Chowdermobile, and they ran out of lobster rolls about 6 people ahead of us, haha. We had fun though...