Monday, July 31, 2017

Adobe is expanding their Downtown San Jose Headquarters!

This fantastic news has been around for a couple weeks, but I just got back from vacation and feel obligated to repeat it. Adobe has been on fire during the past couple years and is looking to dramatically grow their headcount. The company is planning to build a fourth office tower at 333 West San Fernando Street to compliment their current three-tower headquarters in Downtown San Jose.

The new tower must be massive as it will have capacity for 3,000 employees. That is more than Adobe's current three towers combined (2,500 employees). The 333 West San Fernando parcel is already entitled for up to 725,000 SQFT of space and there is even a render of what such a building might look like (although Adobe will likely go with something more creative).

Downtown is really having a banner year when it comes to attracting more tech jobs. First the Google announcement and now Adobe is more than doubling their Downtown office capacity!

Source: SJ Economy, SVBJ

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Drag Queen Brunch at SoFA Market

Join the Silicon Valley Pride Drag Queen Brunch at the SoFA Market. Enjoy brunch food, mimosas, live music, and drag queen performances for two Sunday brunch dates leading-up to the SV Pride Parade and Festival in late August.

Bottomless Mimosas will be available from 11am-2pm. Cost is $20 per bottomless mimosa, but patrons get a $5 discount for purchasing a dish from any of SoFA Market's participating brunch eateries.

387 South 1st Street in Downtown San Jose’s SoFA District
Sunday, July 30th 11am-2pm
Sunday, August 20th, 11am-2pm

Brunch reservations begin at 10am. To reserve a table, please RSVP on Facebook. Open seating is also available.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Big Easy Rolls into Great America

This past weekend, Great America brought back their Taste of Orleans festival. Who Dat? In its second season, Taste of Orleans features Cajun cuisines, live entertainment such as mask decorating for kids, Mardi Gras murals, chalk artists, live music and more!

If you missed it, don’t fret as Great America plays host to the Nola event again this upcoming weekend: July 29-July 30.

Great America did a great job at bringing a taste of the Big Easy to Silicon Valley! Classic Cajun dishes such as gumbo, etouffée and beignets were on site and definitely were delicious. To our delight, the hushpuppy shrimp skewers was a hit and the crisp frog legs with Creole aoli was savory and on point!

Great America’s nightcap was a firework display that featured a kaleidoscope of colors in the sky!

Hushpuppy Shrimp Skewers:                             Crawfish Etouffée:

   Crisp Frog Legs w/Creole Aoili:               Blackened Catfish Slider w/Tangy Slaw:
Beignet (Left) & Praline Bread Pudding (Right):                              Brews!                                                     
        Live chalk artist and games for the family!

Great America's Taste of Orleans starts at Noon - 9pm on 7/29 - 7/30. The fireworks display starts at 9:45pm each day. Cajun cuisine is available with a $25 tasting card.

For more details on Taste of Orleans, visit:

2017 Season Passes are currently on sale for just $69 and features a season of fun in both Great America and Boomerang Bay Water Park. A $105 Gold Pass includes Halloween Haunt, WinterFest, free Great America parking, Gilroy Gardens and more.

By Andrew Rivlin and Noe Sacoco Jr

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Cafe Stritch has a multitude of events for Jazz aficionados coming up next week as part of their fifth annual RAHSAANATHON. The events honor the life and music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, one of the most influential jazz musicians in history. Fun fact, Cafe Stritch was actually named after Rahsaan Roland Kirk's saxophone. Fun fact #2, the name of Cafe Stritch's predecessor--Eulipia Restaurant--was inspired by Kirk's "Theme for the Eulipions." 

Cafe Stritch is one of the best Jazz venues in Silicon Valley and this is their flagship event. If you love jazz, get your tickets before they are gone. For all of the details, please have a look at the press release below.

The Fifth Annual Cafe Stritch RAHSAANATHON:
A Celebration of the Life and Music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk
 Steve Turre Leads All-Star Band Featuring James Carter

RAHSAANATHON 2017 at Cafe Stritch

Thursday August 3 through Sunday August 6, 2017

San Jose, CA – July 5 2017 – San Jose’s Cafe Stritch is proud to present its Fifth Annual RAHSAANATHON: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk from Thursday August 3 through Sunday August 6, 2017.

The RAHSAANATHON’S main event is unique in the world. Rahsaan fanatics from everywhere will converge on Cafe Stritch for their annual pilgrimage. For three nights trombonist Steve Turre & The Eulipion All Stars featuring reedman extraordinaire James Carter (tenor sax / clarinet / flute) will bring bright moments to Cafe Stritch. This ensemble will be reprising their three-night stands from 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.  The group will be performing Turre’s arrangements of Kirk’s music Thursday August 3, Friday August 4, and Saturday August 5.  Poet Betty Neals, who co-wrote “Theme for the Eulipions” (the house anthem of Cafe Stritch) with Kirk, will perform the song live. The band includes Charles McNeal (alto sax / soprano sax), Matt Clark (piano), Marcus Shelby (bass), Darrell Green (drums), and Terrie Odabi (vocals). The concerts are from 8:30PM to 11:45PM.
Tickets: $50 available at or at the door (if not sold-out)

Please note: Tickets to Thursday August 3, Friday August 4, or Saturday August 5 performances also entitle guests to attend the Sunday August 6 performance.

The festivities on Sunday August 6 begin with a screening of Adam Kahan’s feature documentary film The Case of the Three Sided Dream at Cafe Stritch at 6:00PMThe Case of the Three Sided Dream is the award-winning documentary about multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1935-1977), who went from blind infant to child prodigy, to adult visionary, to political activist, and finally to paralyzed showman. He was a seemingly superhuman musical force who played literally until the day he died.  Kirk was a musical force beyond category.  He never let anything stop him from pursuing what he called his “Religion of Dreams.”  Following the film (no tickets required), Cafe Stritch will present the Sonelius Smith Quartet featuring Claire Daly.  The group includes Sonelius Smith (piano) and Claire Daly (baritone sax / flute). Smith played with Rahsaan on multiple recordings including Rahsaan Rahsaan (1970), Natural Black Inventions (1971), and Blacknuss (1972). Claire Daly has been the bandleader on numerous recordings including Rah Rah, A Tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk.  She has been deeply inspired by Rahsaan’s music.  This is a musical homage to Rahsaan Roland Kirk in voice and music featuring tunes by RRK, his friends, and other kindred spirits. The concert will be celebrating Rahsaan, one of the most original jazz artists ever to live. The concert is from 8:00PM to 11:00PM.
Tickets: $10 available at or at the door. Please note: Tickets to Thursday August 3, Friday August 4, or Saturday August 5 performances also entitle guests to attend the Sunday August 6 performance.

Cafe Stritch will continue to present the photographs of house photographer Ron Orlando from August 2 through August 31.  Mr. Orlando is a photographer who is passionate about photography and jazz.  He has been taking photos of jazz musicians since the 1980s. This exhibit is entitled Jazz Exploration. It is composed of photographs of jazz musicians taken at Cafe Stritch since 2014.

Press from past RAHSAANATHONS:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sourisseau News: Ice Cream

In this fascinating two-minute video, learn about the history of ice cream in San Jose. I wish I could travel back in time to experience some of the locations in the video like O'Brien's Candy Store!

To see an archive of past videos, head over here.

Sourisseau News Ice Cream January 2017 from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

FAME Sprint/Summer 2017 - July 29th

FAME is an eclectic annual show that highlights emerging fashion, art, and music. Over 100 local artists will be displaying and selling their work. FAME also includes live music, dance performances, a beauty bar by Umbrella Salon, food (tacos, bahn mi, macaroons, etc.), and alcohol provided by Nomikai.

FAME takes place this Saturday from 7pm-midnight at 1700 Alum Rock Avenue. Tickets start at $10.

In addition there will be a separate Goapele Show featuring Jeremy Passion at the same venue. That starts at 6:30pm and costs $45 per ticket.

For more information, head over to the FAME event page.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Retro Arcade / Awesome Bar coming to San Jose!

The owners of two bars that have helped turn First Street into a Downtown destination are now planning to open a brand new venture that sounds completely amazing.

Dan Phan and Johnny Wang first opened Original Gravity five years ago. It was the first dedicated craft beer bar Downtown (yes there was also Good Karma, but that was not purpose-built to be a bar). Original Gravity became a tremendous success and they followed that up with Paper Plane next door--the first craft cocktail bar in the immediate area. This team has shown that they can create outstanding drinking establishments, and that brings us to their third venture.

They are planning to open an arcade bar in Downtown San Jose. This will be a mix of retro arcade machines and what I'm assuming will be a great bar--I would expect nothing less from these guys. The 5,528 SQFT space is quite a bit larger than either Original Gravity or Paper Plane, so it will accommodate around 20 beers on tap, an extensive cocktail menu, and 20-40 arcade and pinball machines. There will also be a full-blown restaurant in part of the building that will be branded separately from the bar.

It gets better. The location is 52 E. Santa Clara Street, which some of you might remember as Toons. This is a key corner that has sat empty for ages, and it will become a unique destination that does not exist anywhere else in Silicon Valley (for a rough idea of what this might be like, check out Coin-Op Game Room). A successful business here will help continue Downtown's rapid rejuvenation.

The current ETA is to have the new venue ready by March 2018. I really hope Dan and Johnny nail the hat-trick since this might be their best concept yet!

Source: SVBJ (requires subscription)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Best of Summer Beer Dinner

Silicon Valley Beer Week kicks off today, and something special has been cooked up by Scott's Seafood and Santa Clara Valley Brewing. On Monday, July 24th, a special "Best of Summer" Beer Dinner is being hosted on the Scott's Seafood patio overlooking Downtown San Jose.

The food and beer pairing consists of five courses featuring Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company's award winning beers. Here is the full menu:

Best Of Summer Beer Dinner Pairing Menu

Opening Reception: Charcuterie and cheese platter
Beer Pairing: Dry Creek Blonde

2nd Course: Scallop Crudo: Thinly sliced raw sea scallop served with citrus wasabi soy sauce
Beer Pairing: Alviso Hefeweizen

3rd Course: Steak Tartare served with arugula and crispy shallots in a citrus dressing
Beer Pairing: Electric Tower IPA

4th Course: Halibut served with a saffron risotto and a mushroom ragout topped with basil pesto
Beer Pairing: New Almaden Red

5th Course: Chef's sweet surprise
Beer Pairing: Loma Prieta Rye Stout

Tickets cost $60 and the event runs from 6pm to 9pm this Monday. To learn more and purchase tickets, head over here.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

New "all-you-can-fly" airline comes to San Jose

A new type of airline called Surf Air is about to launch several routes to San Jose. Instead of booking individual tickets, you subscribe to a membership that starts at $1,950/mo that gives you access to unlimited flights. This is aimed directly at executives and people who travel constantly within California.

Initial routes from San Jose will include Seattle, San Diego, and Las Vegas. It may also launch a route to Sun Valley, Idaho. Presumably they will fly out of the private aviation side of SJC, but that was not confirmed in the source article. Technically they could use any regional airport as the planes are Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprops.

Perks also include streamlined booking and the ability to arrive just 15 minutes before scheduled flight take-off.

This might be a very niche service, but I am sure it will be appreciated by the tech elite that are wealthy, yet not wealthy enough to own a private jet. It will be interesting to see how successful Surf Air becomes in the Bay Area.

Source: SVBJ


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Taste Of Orleans Festival at Great America on July 22-23 & 29-30

The annual "Taste Of Orleans" festival is transporting California's Great America to Louisiana for the next two weekends. Access to the event is included with admission.

The event features traditional Cajun cuisine including crawfish etouffée, chicken and andouille sausage gumbo over rice, hushpuppy shrimp skewers with Cajun dipping sauce, crispy frog legs with creole aioli, blackened catfish sliders, and either classic beignets, or praline bread pudding for dessert. A tasting card with six selections is only $25. You can also pick up muffuletta pizza and bananas Foster funnel cakes a-la-carte. 

Orleans Place will also host family-friendly entertainment such as live music, stilt walkers, and chalk art. A fireworks show will cap the event each night at 9:45pm. 

If this is anything like the Great America Red, White & Brews event, it will raise the bar for the type of food you would expect in a theme park. The menu sounds outstanding!

For more information, the full press release is below and you can buy park admission tickets over here.

Taste Of Orleans Festival Returns To Great America July 22-23 & 29-30
Cajun & Orleans Food, Live Music And Décor In Orleans Section Of Great America

SANTA CLARA, CA – California’s Great America will once again bring its Orleans Place to life with the Taste Of Orleans festival July 22-23 and 29-30. Taste Of Orleans features live Cajun music, midway entertainment, regional food and drink and will be open to all Great America guests. To close each evening, a Taste Of Orleans fireworks show set to Cajun music will decorate the sky.

Cajun cuisine available with a $25 tasting card includes crawfish etouffée, chicken and andouille sausage gumbo over rice, hushpuppy shrimp skewers with Cajun dipping sauce, crispy frog legs with creole aioli, blackened catfish sliders with tangy slaw and a choice of classic beignets or praline bread pudding. Additional Orleans foods available a la carte include muffuletta pizza and bananas Foster funnel cakes.

“The response to Taste Of Orleans from our guests last year was incredible and we’re excited to bring back the event in 2017,” said California’s Great America vice president and general manager Raul Rehnborg. “In addition to traditional amusement park fun, Great America is committed to building on our tradition of live entertainment options.”

A chalk artist will paint Mardi Gras murals throughout the festival and there will be mask decorating for kids 12 and under.

2017 Season Passes are currently on sale for just $69 and features a season of fun in both Great America and Boomerang Bay Water Park. A $105 Gold Pass includes Halloween Haunt, WinterFest, free Great America parking, Gilroy Gardens and more.

Great America is currently hiring for the 2017 season and applicants can apply online at

California’s Great America is a 100-acre theme and water park located in Santa Clara, CA that contains thrill rides, family attractions and live shows. The park opens for weekends in March, operates daily Memorial Day through mid-August, continues weekends through fall with Halloween Haunt, and the season concludes in December with WinterFest.

California’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a publicly traded partnership and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, two outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. For more information, see

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sourisseau News: Wetting your Whistle

It looks like I missed quite a few Sourisseau News videos from earlier this year so I will be playing catch-up for the next few weeks. The two minute video below highlights many of San Jose's famous watering holes from the past century. 50 years from now, I wonder if San Joseans will be watching similar videos about the top bars of the 2010s.

To see an archive of past videos, head over here.

Sourisseau News Wetting your Whistle November 2016 from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Embracing Urbanism - Part I - NVIDIA's Endeavor

This is the first in a new series here at The San Jose Blog; Silicon Valley - Embracing Urbanism.

Silicon Valley has gone through numerous phases of tech expansion with most recent growth focused on next generation workspaces and flagship campus development. While the corporate campus is not a new phenomenon, Silicon Valley has become synonymous with tilt up concrete low rise warehouses and land consumptive single family development for decades. This modular approach allowed companies to be nimble while growing or retracting with the ebbs and flows of the economy.  

Technology today is much more ingrained and rooted in our daily lives. With this, many tech firms have had unprecedented growth and large workforce requirements. With land values at a premium and traffic congestion at an all time high, there is pressure to rethink our built fabric. While planners, politicians, and thought leaders propose higher density, it also requires our region's main stakeholder, the technology sector, to act. The technology sector holds capital and resources to demand new innovation in workspace and campus design.  At the same time, the character and form of their campus reinforces brand, collaboration, and role in the community.

Among the most recent campus developments, Samsung Semiconductor completed their North American “cube” headquarters in North San Jose in 2015. Apple is nearing completion of the Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino aka “the spaceship” with it’s signature landscape open space in the center. Facebook completed their Building 20, a 430,000 square feet single open room in Menlo Park and landscaped green roof. Google has their “tent” campus plans moving forward in Mountain View as well as plans for upwards of six million square feet in the Diridon development in Downtown San Jose. (The San Jose Blog plans to cover this development in more depth in a future article).

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.32.59 AM
Images left to right, Samsung Semiconductor, Apple Campus 2, Facebook Building 20, Google Mountain View, taken from their respective website.

NVIDIA, an industry leader in graphics, deep learning, and most recently self driving technology, embarked on a multi-year campus redevelopment to meet projected staffing demands. Internally known as endeavor, the project has undergone multiple design phases, scope changes, and municipal review. In 2015, NVIDA’s new campus began to take shape, with completion slated for late this year.

Image: NVIDIA Endeavor Phase 1, Walsh & San Thomas Expressway in Santa Clara (2015)

Earlier this year, NVIDIA and SPUR graciously hosted a tour of the first phase of their new campus at the intersection of Walsh and San Tomas Expressway in Santa Clara. As other players in the tech space have developed iconic shapes, NVIDIA’s CEO Jen-Hsen Huang and design team looked to their own product for inspiration. Triangles; the basis for modern computer graphics became the perfect shape for connecting users and encouraging collaboration. As part of the design process, NVIDIA developed IRAY, a proprietary rendering engine to view the space in 3D with accurate lighting and materials in real time.

Here are some fast facts about NVIDIA’s Project Endeavor:
  • 500,000 square feet
  • Capacity for 2,300-2,500 employees
  • 1,400 parking spaces
  • 120 triangular skylights
  • Minimal use of elevators
  • $370m on time & budget
  • Developer - Sares Regis
  • Architect - Gensler
  • Interior Architect – Gensler
  • Landscape Architect – TGP
  • General Contractor - DEVCON

Image result for nvidia endeavour campus
Image: Phase 1, with NVIDIA’s campus to the left and right. 400ft Aerial Photography (2017)
The impressive structure is oriented as a series of two floors over below grade parking. While there are visible entries from San Tomas, the main entry is underground at the center, focused upwards. This unique arrangement enables employees to park or be dropped off under the main building and enter a triangular atrium through a “grand” staircase, linking multiple mezzanines and two main floors.

The tech scene’s mandatory dining space has a stadium seating amphitheater for presentations or impromptu meetings. The upper floor is host to a “bar” for spontaneous creative collaboration. As the focus of the new campus is to drive innovation through “creative collisions”, all circulation generally returns to the central triangular atrium. The main open floor workspaces are configured with raised floors for flexible realignment over time. These open floor plates are second only to the contiguous floor area of Facebook’s Building 20.

Exterior entry

Entrance to the Heart

As machine learning and technology advances, the campus will be monitored through automated systems capable of tracking individuals on campus. The tour took place prior to finish installation with the concrete and steel giving a cold appearance. It was revealed on the tour, wood and textiles will be introduced to soften and add warmth to the design.

Stadium seating oriented towards dining and common space.
Open Floor Plan, over open floor substrate

The Heart, “Designed to Inspire”, some of the 120 skylights in roof structure.

Triangular Atrium and Grand Stair, within the Heart.
Glass Exterior, parking entrance seen below
Bridge connecting upper mezzanines. (Reminiscent of a Deathstar bridge)
While the campus is generally open, there are no public spaces. However, the campus will have a series of walking trails and landscaped berms along the edge of the campus. Since the building’s capacity will exceed the number of parking provided, NVIDIA intends to rely on commuter shuttles, cycling, and future self driving services to offset the traditional demand for a 1:1 car to human ratio. Employees are able to take shuttles from nearby Caltrain stations to make a quick connection to the Peninsula and San Jose.

Image result for nvidia campus
Rendering from San Thomas; Gensler (2013)
Through advanced computer modeling and continuous refinement, the building seeks to reduce the impact on the environment through 75% reduction of potable water, reduced electrical grid demand through use of smart lighting, skylights, solar, and continued optimization.  Further optimization is achieved through a network of sensors for future automation and machine learning.  The building is slated for LEED Gold which is a monumental for a project of this size and scope.

I was very impressed with the project and look forward to seeing NVIDIA’s final product. It is worth stating NVIDIA’s CEO and board took this project through many iterations over many years with the end result better for it. I commend their efforts for efficiency and reduction of demand on the automobiles.

As future phases of this campus are built, it will help redefine the suburban office park. Time will tell if all future phases are realized, but as machine learning and self driving cars demand, more growth and future phases will likely take place.

Thanks to John O’Brien of NVIDIA and Noah Christman of SPUR for providing an in-depth preview of the Endeavor project.  Check out for updates from NVIDIA.

NVIDIA campus Satna Clara The Registry real estate
Initial rendering of Phase 1 and 2.  Presently Phase 1 is under construction: NVIDIA (2013)

-Andrew Rivlin