Wednesday, February 21, 2018

February 2018 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • A final decision on BART's subway path beneath Downtown should come in the next few months, with construction starting as soon as 2019. The SJDA is strongly advocating for a single bore tunnel which would allow the subway to be built without digging up all of Santa Clara Street.
  • Groundwerx is celebrating 10 years Downtown and has issued a new report at
  • Construction has began on San Pedro Squared which will bring four micro-retail spaces to the ground floor of the Market-San Pedro Garage [Josh: awesome!].
  • Heroes Martial Arts has moved across the street to 450 S. First St.
  • Nox Cookie Bar is now open at 151 S. Second.
  • Vietnoms is bringing modern versions of classic Vietnamese dishes to SoFA Market.
  • The 47-room Plaza Hotel opened in January to homeless awaiting more permanent housing.
  • TMG Partners and Valley Oak Partners unveiled plans for a 1 million SQFT office at 440 W. Julian.
  • Cinequest returns Downtown from Feb. 27 to March 11th.
  • The San Jose Jazz Winter Fest takes place from Feb. 15-28.
To read the newsletter, click here!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Clandestine Brewing now open on South First

A new artisinal brewery and taproom just opened on 908 South First Street. To be clear this is South, South First--as in beyond 280 just outside of the Downtown Core. I recently drove around this area and honestly had no idea how many businesses were just blocks away from SoFA. The freeway is an unfortunate psychological barrier, there is a ton to discover in this neighborhood including quality restaurants.

Anyway, back to Clandestine Brewing. They feature a number of interesting beers with even more interesting names such as Pils Off, Wicked Brick, Tipsy Hipster, and Milky Way Stout (my favorite one of their beers). They feature about a dozen brews at any given time, most of which you can even take home in a growler. The taproom has plenty of space, including outdoor seating. It's a huge upgrade from their original 1,200 SQFT hidden in an industrial complex.

With Clandestine, Strike, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Hermitage, and Uproar within all within a 3 mile drive, we now have a respectable craft brewery district in San Jose.

Source: SJEconomy Blog

Monday, February 19, 2018

Two more residential high-rises planned for Downtown

It looks like we are just getting started when it comes to new high-density projects in Silicon Valley. Two developers are now proposing twin 18-story residential buildings called Davidson Plaza Towers on a two acre plot at 255 W. Julian Street, currently the site of the six-story Charles Davidson Building and a parking lot.

The project would have 653 market rate units, 10,000 SQFT of ground floor retail/commercial space, and underground parking for 654 cars. It has not been decided if these would be apartments or condos yet, but the mix would be 125 studios, 282 one-bedrooms units, 211 two-bedroom units, and 35 three-bedroom units. Amenities include a gym, pet play area, and multipurpose room. To continue a very welcome trend for proposed San Jose high-rises, they want to put one of the two swimming pools on the roof.

This would all be across the street from Silvery Towers, two blocks away from the San Pedro Square Market, and one block away from the Highway 87 freeway entrance.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, February 18, 2018

"Such Great Heights" short film by Leland Productions

This 22 minute short is written by Travis Leland, directed by Brandon Leland, and produced by both brothers. Here is the description of the film in their words:

It follows the connection between Luke and Leah, two lost souls searching for something meaningful in their quiet, mundane, suburban lives. Little do they realize they can find the potential for a great life in one another. Such Great Heights is a snippet into lives that aren't terribly uncommon or amazingly unique, and we think our audiences will see parts of themselves reflected back in the two main characters.

"Such Great Heights" was shot and inspired by life in the San Jose Bay Area using all local talent and crew. You can watch the film over here.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

#WomenCrush Music hosts first San Jose ALL-WOMEN songwriter showcase

#WomenCrush Music is a non-profit dedicated to supporting rising female songwriters with showcases, workshops, and networking events. They are throwing their first event in San Jose on March 1st, 7:30pm at Art Boutiki (44 Race st.). The cost is only $10 and is a great way to support aspiring talent that could become the future leaders of the music industry.

For more info, check out the press release below and head over here. You can also RSVP for the event (not required).

San Jose, CA (February 12th, 2018) -
2018 is an exciting year for #WomenCrush Music. In addition to achieving non-profit status, the organization now has chapters in more than 10 USA and Canada cities, including San Jose! #WomenCrush Music’s mission is to support rising women songwriters by hosting showcases, workshops, and networking events, all while creating a safe and supportive community in each chapter. With a staff spanning coast to coast and the organization nearly tripling in size since its creation in early last year, 2018 is shaping up to be one for the books.

#WomenCrush started with a local showcase in Portland, and the showcase remains a cornerstone of the organization even as it expands in size and gains momentum. The #WomenCrush team is especially excited to announce the debut showcases of its new chapters of 2018. Addressing the need for a safe space to perform new material and to connect with potential collaborators and mentors is more than just how #WomenCrush Music began. Encouraging women to find their voice and be inspired by other women is its core endeavor and its guiding vision.

Now that #WomenCrush has added San Jose to its roster of cities, Krystal Beasley has joined the team as a Chapter Leader. Beasley helps organize and host events in the San Jose area, bringing the #WomenCrush message to artists in her city. The first of these events is a showcase held on March 1st, at the SLG Art Boutiki & Gallery. Krystal is the Chapter Lead for San Jose & San Francisco. Born and raised in the Bay Area, she is extremely thrilled to showcase the massive amount of homegrown talent.

“I love being a part of #WomenCrush Music because it provides a beautiful sense of community and creates opportunity for female musicians in a very male-dominated industry,” explains Beasley.

#WomenCrush is also seeking media partners, in-kind donations, and financial sponsors to support the investment the organization makes in women musicians by hosting showcases, educational workshops and networking events. Additional funding will also support the operation and marketing of #WomenCrush Music as it continues in its efforts to connect, educate, and inspire.

Please see below for a schedule of upcoming events for February 2018:
SHOWCASE - Miami, FL @ Sweat Records - Saturday, February 17th, 7PM-9:30PM
FUTURE BOSS LADIES - Portland, OR @ Jade Lounge - Sunday, February 18th, 3PM-5PM
SHOWCASE - Portland, OR @ The White Eagle -Wednesday, February 21st, 8PM-11PM
WORKSHOP - Los Angeles, CA @ 8383 Wilshire Blvd - Saturday, February 24th, 6:30PM-9:30PM
MEET UP - Austin, TX @ CU-29 Cocktail Bar - Wednesday, February 28th, 7PM-MIDNIGHT

About #WomenCrush Music
#WomenCrush Music serves to create opportunities for rising women songwriters, whether they are just at the beginning of their careers and want to start performing at local venues, or they have just released their second album and are ready to go on tour. #WomenCrush Music wants to connect artists with future collaborators, educate them about the business, and inspire them to make an impact on this male-dominated industry.

#WomenCrush Music was founded in January 2017, when Ashley Kervabon saw a need to build a stronger community amongst women in the music industry in Portland, OR. When the first showcase was a success, Ashley reached out to women in her online communities to see if any other cities had ongoing showcase series for women artists. It was then that she realized there was a void that needed to be filled. Ashley reached out to her friends in her hometown of NYC to start her expansion there. After New York,  Nashville  quickly followed, then came Vancouver, BC. Soon enough, she was receiving emails everyday from artists all over the USA and Canada asking how they can perform at a #WomenCrush showcase. By fall of 2017 #WomenCrush had grown dramatically, including several new team members and many more new cities to launch in 2018, such as, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, New Orleans, San Francisco, San Jose, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Missoula.For more information, please visit (hyperlink to website)

Friday, February 16, 2018

Content 10.1 (Tech) Pick-up Party

Content Magazine is hosting a party to celebrate their latest issues on February 20th (entitled "Tech") at Enoteca La Storia (320 West St. John St.), a hot new restaurant in Little Italy featuring traditional cuisine and an Italian wine shop.

The event goes from 7pm-9:30pm and includes live music from featured artists such as Casey Wickstron and Artificial Lavender. Art by John Edmark Kelly Detweiler, Mr. Chen Lieuh Huang, and Laura Johnston will be on display. Subscribers get one free drink to kick off the night as well as an appetizer and entree to share (wow, really?). For more information, head over to the event's Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mendocino Farms opens tomorrow at Santana Row

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a media preview for the newest Mendocino Farms restaurant, which is conveniently located at the capstone end of Santana Row next to the CineArts Theater. This is only the second Northern Californian location of the extremely popular LA chain--the other being in the Pruneyard in Campbell.

Mendocino Farms is tucked in a 2,822 SQFT space formerly occupied by Thea. That may not sound very large but the soaring 30-foot ceiling and outdoor patio make the space feel expansive. The vertical height is so impressive that they somehow manged to fit a full-sized living tree inside of the restaurant.

Also notable are the craft beers and local wines on the menu. Not often would you find that in a sandwich shop. However, based on what I sampled here this is one of the few places I have been to serving up sandwiches worthy enough to be accompanied by a glass of Napa wine.

Their "Real Old-School Pastrami" is the flagship sandwich of the season. It comes with house hickory smoked pastrami, celery root slaw, butter pickles, and a delicious triple mustard spread. This was the single best Pastrami sandwich I have ever had in my life. Other popular items are the "Kurobuta Pork Belly Banh Mi," a premium take on the Vietnamese classic, and the "Not So Fried Mary's Chicken," which is a virtual fried chicken sandwich with roasted free range chicken breast topped with "krispies," herb aioli, mustard pickle slaw, and pickled red onions.

There is a healthy spin to many of the items on the menu. They even have an "Impossible Taco Salad" with a plant-based Impossible Burger meat for chorizo. Also on the menu are artisinal salads, soba noodles, cous-cous, and premium sodas.

The prices are on par with what you would expect for Santana Row (not cheap). I can say you will get what you pay for in quality and you won't leave hungry.

The official grand opening for Mendocino Farms is tomorrow and they are well worth checking out.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Developer proposing a 10.5 million SQFT project in Santa Clara with a 50-story skyscraper!

The tallest project in Silicon Valley history was just proposed--to the Santa Clara City Council. While not in San Jose proper, this would have a tremendous impact on San Jose as it would push forward what is considered acceptable vertical development in the metro.

This behemoth project by Chinese developer Kylli would clock in at 3.5 million SQFT of office, 400,000 SQFT of Amenities, 6 million SQFT of residential (~6,000 units), 600,000 SQFT of retail, and around 8 acres of open space. As you can see from the drawing below, it would include nearly two dozen towers, with the tallest being a 50-story office building which at 600 feet would be twice as tall as anything in Downtown San Jose.

Despite totaling 10.5 million SQFT of development, it would utilize less than 50 acres at the former Yahoo campus. To put that in perspective, Related's 9.1 million SQFT mixed-use project across from Levi's Stadium will use 240 acres. What Kylli is proposing really should be the level of density we look towards in future projects if we plan to build enough housing to keep prices at bay and enable communities where you can work, live, and play without needing to drive.

While I would have much rather seen a project like this proposed for San Jose proper, I have to root for this to go forward and hopefully motivate our city to follow suit with similar projects. Google will be a gamechanger for Downtown, but we need to start looking at other parts of the city (not limited by the airport) where we have the opportunity to build extremely dense world-class villages. Think Bigger San Jose has a similar perspective on this project. This will surely be a proposal we'll keep close tabs on!

Source: SVBJ

Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine's Day in San Jose

Are you still scrambling to figure out what to this Valentine's Day? Visit San Jose has a great list of special events and multi-course meals in the area to help make your February 14th a special one. See the list down below!


Visit San Jose has you covered for Valentine’s Day with ideas on where to eat, what to do, where to stay and where to find sweet treats.


Mountain Winery – Tour and Dinner (Feb. 14 beginning at 6:30 PM)
Begin the evening with an assortment of international cheeses followed by a five-course meal paired with estate wines. Then tour the grounds and regale in tales of famous celebrities who frequented Paul Masson's winery in the early days and take home a bottle of wine to complete the evening. (Tickets: $185/person)


Cinnabar Hills Golf Course (Feb. 14 beginning at 5:00 PM)
Enjoy a specially crafted three-course prix fixe menu by Chef Angel and his team. After dinner, be sure to spend some time in the Bradenburg Historical Golf Museum, which displays historic golf artifacts such as the replica trophies from the four major golf championships. (Price: $49/person)

LB Steak (Feb. 14)
LB Steak will serve a $110.00 four-course prix fixe menu with an optional wine pairing (by the glass) for an additional $50.00 per person. Choose from a 6-oz. prime filet with foie gras pommes duchesse and truffle madeira sauce and lobster wrapped scallop with black truffle risotto and caviar butter. For reservations call 408.244.1180.

Left Bank (Feb. 14 beginning at 11:30 AM)
Left Bank Brasserie will serve their regular à la carte lunch menu, a reduced à la carte dinner menu and a $65.00 three-course prix fixe dinner menu with main course choices of: butter poached lobster tail with crème fraîche risotto and winter root vegetables, and 6-oz. filet mignon with golden pommes noisettes rainbow chard and béarnaise. For reservations call: 408.984.3500.

Oveja Negra (Feb. 14)
Oveja Negra will feature a five-course shared plate experience including a complimentary glass of sparkling wine and a red rose for your loved one. Reservations can be made through OpenTable or by calling 408.423.5400. ($100/person)


During the month of February, Hotel Valencia is featuring decadent chocolate fondue for two, accompanied by sparkling wine, available at the terrace. (Price: $14/person)


Fairmont San Jose has partnered with Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa to bring the experience of their wine country hotel to San Jose. Guests who book the package will enjoy a romantically decorated guest room and receive sparkling wine at check-in, a Sonoma wine and cheese amenity, and signature Apricot & Cream bath amenities from Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa. Package rates start at $240 per night.

Enjoy luxurious accommodations for two with continental breakfast, sparkling wine, chocolate covered strawberries and a $100 Santana Row gift card. Offer is subject to availability. Package rates start at $339 per night.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Playful People Productions Presents: The Music Man

Fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band he vows to organize. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall.

By turns funny, warm, romantic and touching, The Music Man is is a story to be shared with every generation. Meredith Willson’s six-time, Tony Award winning musical comedy has been entertaining audiences for over fifty years with such beloved songs such as “Goodnight My Someone,” “Seventy-Six Trombones,” and “Till There Was You,” 
New York-based theatre artists Gary De Mattei (Director/Choreographer) and Caryn Hartglass (Musical Director) are returning to direct this amazing production. This show is a full length performance, so most appropriate for kids age 8 and up. The performance will feature live music along with our usual amazing actors on stage.
Our shows often sell out prior to the show weekend. Be sure to buy your tickets early, you won’t want to miss out on this fantastic production. 
All Shows at the Historic Hoover Theater, 1635 Park Ave  San Jose, CA 95126
Show Times: (show will run approx 3 hrs with an intermission)

Wednesday, February 14th - 7pm 
Thursday, February 15th - 7pm
Friday, February 16th - 7pm
Saturday, February 17th - 1pm and 7pm
Sunday, February 18th - 1pm 

Tickets available at
$15 attendees 12 and up, and $13 children 11 and under 

Tickets at the door (30 minutes prior to curtain)
$18 attendees 12 and up, and $15 children 11 and under
For questions:

Founded in 2010, Playful People Production’s mission is to provide a quality, caring environment where children, teens and their families can have positive theater experiences. We strive to involve all family members in the many aspects of on stage and backstage theater in a safe and fun environment and offer participation in theatrical productions, classes, summer stock and camps for ages 3-103

Friday, February 9, 2018

Feathers of Fury 2018

Feathers O' Fury: The 8th Annual Pillow Fight in Downtown SJ will be held this Sunday, Feb 22nd at noon. This year, the location is Paseo de San Antonio in front of the Old Camera 12 at 12pm. This is a free event that is a lot of fun (and way more tiring than you would expect). For rules and photos from previous events, hit one of the links below!

Twitter: @pillowfightsj
Instagram#: #pillowfightsj

Main Event Page

Facebook Page:

Thursday, February 8, 2018

BeatifySJ Grants

Last month, the city launched a new program called BeatifySJ that will provide micro-grants to 71 different community organizations. The goal is to make San Jose a better place by enabling grassroots and community organizations. Grants will be $5,000 or less, which is enough to fund hundreds of projects from tree plantings to cleaning up graffiti. To see the full list of projects, head over here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

SJC might be getting direct service to India

This tidbit is deep in the rumor-mill, but there was a special surprise embedded in an Air India announcement for new flights at SFO. The airline already has a direct flight to New Delhi that flies six times per week and this summer they are launching a new Mumbai route with three flights per week out of San Francisco. However, check out this portion of the announcement:

"...This has prompted to us to connect Mumbai directly with San Francisco and we plan to launch a flight service to the Silicon Valley from the coming summers,"the official said."

The only airport they could be referring to is San Jose International. A direct flight to India from San Jose would make perfect sense given the large South Asian population in Silicon Valley and the business relationships between local companies and those in Mumbai, Bangalore, and other Indian tech centers. The bigger question is what does the "coming summers" mean? 2019? 2020? It's not clear from the article, but hopefully more details will be released soon.

Source: India Times, hat-tip to Daniel Martinez for sending this in!

Monday, February 5, 2018

sjDANCEco presents program of World Premieres with “On The Edge” Feb 16 & 17 in San Jose

WHO: sjDANCEco presents
WHAT: "On The Edge"
WHEN: Friday, February 16 and Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 2:30pm & 7:00pm 
WHERE: SJSU Dance Theater; SPX 216. 

The theater is located in the Spartan Complex building on the San Jose State University Campus at One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95112 near 4th Street and San Carlos.
Inexpensive parking is available at the City garage on San Carlos between 2nd and 3rd Streets.

WHY: The South Bay and the East Bay come together in sjDANCEco’s winter offering, “On The Edge”, a shared bill of contemporary choreography. "On the Edge" was initiated to give greater opportunity to sjDANCEco's seasoned and aspiring company choreographers. It brings together an evening of World Premieres by Company dancer/choreographers Hannah McNany, Kelisha Gardeen, Katherine House, Jazmyn Turner and Danielle Galvez. Diablo Ballet's Resident Choreographer, Robert Dekkers, presents the touching duet "No One Does It Like You" performed to music by Department of Eagles.  The ballet, originally created for Arizona's NovaBallet premiered in July of 2010 at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Arizona. 

TICKETS: $30 General, $25 Senior (65 & up). $20 Student (w/student ID) - plus fees for all tickets levels.
BOX OFFICE: 408.520.9854


ABOUT US: sjDANCEco is a year-round contemporary dance company based in San Jose, California that produces world premieres by its core and guest choreographers, and presents the very best of Contemporary and Classic Modern Dance and Masterpieces of the American Modern Dance Repertory. In addition to a full season of dance concerts, sjDANCEco also is a major participant each Spring in free outdoor dance presentations during National Dance Week, international dance festivals, and has a full schedule of contemporary dance classes for the advanced and professional dancer. sjDANCEco ignites the spirit of dance.
sjDANCEco is a registered 501c3.  Fed ID 61-1446985
Photo Clockwise from Top Left: Dancer/choreographers Hannah McNany, Frankie Reviera, Kelisha Gardeen and Katherine House. Photo by Thomas Hassing.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Super Bowl Watch Party at Bourbon Steak & Pub

What better place to watch the big game than at the location of Super Bowl 50? Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak & Pub will be transformed into a special culinary extravaganza on February 4th from 11am to 9pm.

The $49/person all-inclusive menu highlights items from the restaurant's new BBQ smoker, including Allen Brothers beef brisket, baby back ribs, and BBQ chicken spicy sausage links. There are also vegetarian-friendly options like marinated portabella mushrooms, braised greens, mac 'n cheese, potato salad, backed beans, and brussel cole slaw--not to mention plenty of desserts like Michael Mina's signature cookies.

Tickets are available over here.