Thursday, September 8, 2011

@First Restaurants are Open for Business!

At the corner of 237 and First Street in North San Jose 80,000 sqft of retail development in @First is well underway. The area is anchored by a Target, Hotel Sierra, and the Brocade Headquarters, which have been open for a while. In mid August, the restaurants finally started opening up. Three restaurants are already open:

  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries (the only one in the immediate area, and they make fantastic burgers)
  • Chipotle
  • Panda Express
I have already been here three times, and the area is quite a bit nicer than I expected. Between Five Guys and Chipotle, there is an inviting covered patio with heat lamps. There are small palm trees throughout the retail space. Near the Union Bank is what looks like a more upscale restaurant with substantial outdoor seating, an outdoor fireplace, and artistic landscaping (it's not quite clear what this will become). 

For the people that thought this area would only be busy for lunchtime Monday through Friday, guess again. Each of the times I've been was at 8 or 9pm at night and the restaurants were packed. After the rest of the restaurants open, this will likely become another highly trafficked center like Rivermark.

Additional Retail Planned for the center is:

  • Sweet Tomatoes (looks like the next to open, almost ready)
  • Fresh & Easy (grocery anchor)
  • Panera
  • Premier Pizza
  • Chick-fil-A (first in San Jose)
  • The Coffee Bean (first in San Jose)
  • Union Bank (looks just about ready to open)
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Dry Cleaner
  • Hair Salon
  • Dentist


  1. And downtown is ignored again! Way to go city government!

  2. It's a private development...not really under the control of the city. The city cannot force developers to build in downtown only. Anyway, it's part of the vision for North San Jose (emphasis on San Jose). Would you rather see these things being developed in Santa Clara, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, etc? Be grateful it's within the city limits and providing tax revenues.

  3. and continuing sprawl...

  4. I don't think I would consider anything on North First to be continued sprawl, although this is really at the tail end of it. The street will become much more dense than it is today, there's transit, and plenty of both residential and office space nearby. @First is even designed with the retail close to the street as opposed to having parking right near the street and the retail pushed back (traditional strip mall). The is a much more walking/biking friendly setup.

    Plus to be honest, there is nothing that special about the restaurant selection. Downtown already has much better and more unique restaurants than what is already at, or coming to @First. Come to the San Pedro Square Sign lighting tomorrow and you'll get a peak at a retail destination that will add so much more value to Downtown than anything in @First.

    For what it is, I think they are doing a solid job with the @First development, but I don't think it will have a negative impact on Downtown.

  5. Is the Five Guys on Curtner any farther away?? Just saying!

  6. Re: I don't think I would consider anything on North First to be continued sprawl

    Try hopping on 237 during rush hour from the @First shopping center and I think you may not have the same opiion.

  7. how do we apply at these jobs before they open?? anyone. know?

  8. Is coffee bean still in the plans to open at @First?