Thursday, May 26, 2011

Zanotto's Downgrading to Deli

So the bad news is that the 15,000 sqft Zanotto's grocery store downtown is shutting down. I'm sure few people are surprised as The Market is just down the street. The good news is that they are planning to open a 2,000 sqft deli at 80 S. First Street, which is the old La Nostra Pizza space. I'm sad to see the grocer go but am glad that they will still keep a presence downtown. For more info, click here.

Zanotto's Family Markets


  1. This makes me sad, but that was such a huge space and for a long time you could tell this store was struggling. I lived next door at the Globe for a few years and used to go grocery shopping here often.

    Any idea what will be coming in this space next?

  2. The place was a dump. I know it has a lot of history and community affection, but it has been cruddy and looking pretty bad for months. The awnings are filthy and the interior is shabby. I wish them luck in their new spot, as it seems like a much more manageable space.

    This means that the entire block of what is probably only second to the same stretch of First Street in terms of retail businesses is now completely vacant, except for a check cashing place (great, San Jose...), two cheesy bars that consistently create all kinds of neighborhood trouble and the Loft, which in my opinion isn't so much better.

    This is my immediate neighborhood and it sucks. Why can't this city get it right?

  3. I wouldn't say it was a dump, but they did stop supplying many types of groceries over the last 6 months when they knew they had to get rid of inventory. It may not have looked like Safeway but it was clean and the people were friendly. But most importantly, they had much better product than Safeway.

    I've tried shopping at Safeway and, although it's slightly cheaper, the selection is horrible and the quality is what you would expect from a cold factory. You get the choice of a Safeway brand, a Safeway sub-brand disguised to look like a mom'n'pop brand, or a major brand. That's it. Nothing local, nothing interesting. Zanotto's used to experiment with all kinds of interesting drinks and foods, many of them from bay area companies. You won't find anything at Safeway unless it can be bought from a major distributor. This makes Zanotto's departure pretty depressing for people that live downtown. I really hope the new San Pedro Street markets will help fill the void.

    Knowing how things go downtown, I suspect the space will be empty for many years. Rents have been inflated since the late 90s and it seems like it will stay that way. Maybe that's why there are vacancies everywhere. And the more vacancies we have, the more dangerous the neighborhood becomes at night. And right now there is little resistance for drug dealers and bored troublemakers. It's as bad as I've seen in the last 20 years, even though the police seem to think things are doing well. Which makes sense if you don't spend much time down here.

    But Zanotto's deli was definitely their best service and I'll be happy if this plan actually happens. We need it.

  4. I hear ya. The crime rate or threat of crime has seemed to explode in that immediate area the past few months. As a resident, it's super depressing to witness.

    And the cops, yeah... I would love to know how many who are assigned to downtown actually live in downtown or even patronize downtown businesses on a regular basis. They just seem to show up in a huge show of force on the weekends, which just exacerbates the issues.

    I am so fed up.

  5. I have been thinking of moving downtown for a while you guys think I still should as the crime rate has exploded?


  6. It's not all doom and gloom. Keep in mine that a 17,000 sqft high-end bowling alley and restaurant is coming right next door (Tavern + Bowl). If you subtract Zanotto's, and add the bowling alley and the deli, that is actually 4,000 sqft of additional retail over what we have now. There is also a new restaurant going in where E&O used to be.

    By the end of the summer there will be more occupied retail space in the area than we have now.

  7. When I say "exploded," I am looking at it in the context of about 18 months living here myself. It's not dangerous, but the quality of life issues are numerous... loitering thug teens, drug deals, public urination, fights, drunks all over the place after 10pm on the weekends, cops glaring at you as you walk by them, etc.

    I get that it's an urban environment, and I have lived in several major cities. It just feels very tense, and at times out of control. If I had to do it over, I think I'd choose Japantown or Willow Glen (or Palo Alto or SF!).

  8. What's the deal with the bowling alley? There isn't any work going on in there... no signs... nothing.

  9. It's still coming but got delayed a bit.

  10. I'm sad and excited at the same time.

  11. Can't think of a single major downtown project that got done on time in the last 4 years. The bowling alley, san pedro square market, whats next? And we're not talking weeks of delays. Its going to be a year!!

    All this premature build up of excitement is getting old.

  12. Until the City gives some direction and quits sitting idle on the sidelines, nothing will get done. I'm just sort of floored at how apathetic they are... almost completely unengaged.

    There's no way the bowling alley will be done anytime soon if the work has not even been done. And quite frankly, that's supposed to happen on my block -- and the last thing we need is another bar. It's a nasty enough scene each weekend night and it will be one more place to get hammered and then puke or piss against the nearest building. Get that behavior under control first, San Jose.

    Everyone loves Sam Liccardo. He should come witness my San Jose tonight. Pretty darn pathetic.