Monday, August 31, 2015

Boston Properties Adding 536,949 SQFT of Office Space

Boston Properties is planning to add two new large buildings to their Innovation Place business park in North San Jose. Each would be a quarter million square feet. The best part is that they already seem to have a tenant to occupy the space, rumored to be Broadcom. This would double the size of the current campus from 543,900 SQFT to over a million SQFT. The two buildings would replace an existing parking lot, while parking would be moved to two new structures.

Unfortunately, Boston Properties will have to go through the city planning process all over again for entitlements to build the project since their previous entitlements to expand the campus expired. While this project is not as sexy as some of the mixed use projects we have seen lately, it would provide critical Class A office space to North San Jose that is needed to maintain momentum in this economy.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Intelicare Direct Bringing 350 Jobs to San Jose

A high-end call center is opening this week in North San Jose (2350 Zanker Road, Suite 10). Intelicare Direct--the company opening the center--is establishing 350 new jobs in our city, as opposed to outsourcing them outside the country. The new center also means more tax dollars for the city's coffers. 

To learn about the company and the new office, please have a look at the press release below. FYI, they are aggressively hiring. These positions are a great way to get your foot in the door if you are interested in moving into tech, Customer Service, or Customer Success. 
San Diego — Intelicare Direct (ICD), a leading customer service solutions company with offices in Las Vegas and San Diego, is opening its third state-of-the-art building in San Jose, Calif. The expansion to the Bay Area continues a commitment by ICD to provide high quality customer service for its clients that remains based in the United States.

On Wednesday, September 2 at 12:15 p.m., a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. Intelicare Direct will also host an open house job fair following the ceremony.

“We are excited to be creating over 350 jobs in the Bay Area as we pursue our goal of providing the world’s best customer service experience for our clients,” said Gabriel Bristol, President and CEO of Intelicare Direct. “It’s important to us that as we grow, this work continues to be performed in the U.S. and San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley and a bustling hub of technology, is just the place to do it.”

An ambitious project, the goal of this new San Jose office is to not only create a customer service contact center unlike any other, but also to make sure that the space reflects the value of those performing the work. The new office mirrors the company’s unique values and culture, which are in part responsible for the success the company has enjoyed. ICD pays a livable hourly wage, weekly bonuses and provides health and disability insurance for all its employees. The company is famously dog friendly and allows employees to bring their children into the office as well.

“Customer service workers have long been denied the kind of respect they deserve. Without these hard working agents, most companies simply couldn’t function, and yet too often they’re relegated to the basements with sub-par equipment and even poorer working conditions,” said Bristol. “All too often these jobs are shipped off to parts of the world where the work can be done for pennies on the dollar. This fails to recognize the importance of their contribution and this new location has been built to serve as a paradigm shift in that thinking.”

The goal was to create the world’s most technologically advanced and aesthetically pleasing call center to provide first class customer service in an open and nurturing environment. Bristol has equipped the new location with state-of-the-art Apple technology, ergonomic workstations and, unheard of in the customer service industry, flexible workstations. Employees will be able to work remotely anywhere in the building they find comfortable because their wireless laptops will be able to be used anywhere in the center.

Below are a few highlights of what makes the San Jose office unique:

  • All employees will have Apple MacBooks, which will allow them to work from anywhere in the office.
  • In addition to traditional workspaces, there will be several creative workspaces, which will allow employees the flexibility to answer customer calls from almost anywhere in the building.
  • ICD believes workplaces should encourage being healthy so there will be a gym with exercise equipment.
  • ICD is a child friendly workplace, as parents should not have to worry if there is ever a breakdown in childcare. The new offices will ultimately have day care with tutors.

Intelicare Direct is a fast-growing, full-service customer support company, which acts as an external customer service department. The company provides customer care that’s friendly, reliable and professional. By providing industry-leading customer satisfaction, businesses can focus on building profits instead of costly infrastructure.

In just under two-and-a-half years during his tenure as CEO, Bristol has grown the company from just 60 employees working out of a warehouse to an estimated 800 employees by the end of the year.

“Intelicare Direct has built and maintains a strong and supportive company culture where employees’ happiness comes first and success is measured by more than the number of calls handled. Commerce and compassion can reside in the same space,” said Bristol. “We attribute our success to our people and look forward to continuing to reform the call center corporate culture.”

Employee satisfaction is the foundation that has enabled Bristol and Intelicare Direct to successfully develop turnkey solutions, effective customer care, and sales programs for small and medium-sized businesses.

About Intelicare Direct: Intelicare Direct is a leading customer service solutions company based in America, offering businesses effective ways to improve customer satisfaction, sales and quality assurance. Intelicare Direct increases companies’ bottom lines by catering to their number one asset--the customers. Intelicare Direct’s services include Inbound Customer Service, Technical Support, Outbound Sales, Lead Generation, and Reporting. For more information please visit

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Stats: San Jose Metro is the Most Expensive in the US

For single-family homes, San Jose is the most expensive metro in the nation. The media selling price for a single-family home has increased by 8.9% this year to a mind-numbing $980,000.

San Francisco was second on the list with a median sale price of $841,600, which is up 9% over last year. Keep in mind these are metro areas, not just the city itself. Oakland and Fremont are bringing down the median for San Francisco, just as Palo Alto and Mountain View and increasing the median for San Jose.

Source: SocketSite

Friday, August 28, 2015

Silicon Valley Pride Parade & Festival this Sunday!

Silicon Valley Pride is celebrating their 40th anniversary this Sunday with a huge parade and festival. The parade starts at 10:30am on St. John and ends at Park Avenue. Immediately after is a Festival on Almaden Boulevard (entrance at Park Avenue and San Fernando) that runs from noon to 7pm. There is also a family garden with activities for kids from noon to 4pm. Tickets are $10 online or $15 at the event.

Purchase tickets here or learn more about the event and see the full lineup here.

P.S. Great logo.

Bacon Festival of America - Sep 5 & 6 @ Plaza de Cesar Chavez

Bacon, craft beer, wrestling, food trucks, bacon, fire pits for s'mores, live music, classic games, and bacon--what could be better this Labor Day Weekend? Oh, and did I mention there will be bacon? The 3rd annual Bacon Festival of America is coming to the heart of Downtown San Jose in one short week and you won't want to miss it!

This year there are a few new elements to the event. There will be a signature beer they are calling PBRB, which is Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer + bacon bits. Also new is a family camp where you can roast bacon chocolate s'mores over an open flame (awesome!). They even launched bacon into space earlier this week.

Estimated attendance is 15,000 people over the two day event. The Bacon Festival will run from noon to 7pm on September 5th and 6th at Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

You can order your tickets now over here! You can also buy tickets at the door, but they will be slightly more expensive.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Italian Family Festa is This Weekend!

The 35th annual Italian Family Festa is coming to Little Italy San Jose this Saturday and Sunday. There will be free entertainment, a grape stomp, bocce ball, wine tasting, arts & crafts, and of course tons a great Italian food. Last year I remember the fried zuchinni, meatball sandwiches, and eggplant pesto sandwiches being fantastic.

The event runs from 11am to 8pm on Saturday (August 29th) and 11am to 6pm on Sunday (August 30th). 35,000 people are expected to attend and seating is limited, so bring a lawn chair if you plan on staying for a while. You can see the full schedule below. Head over to the Italian Family Festa website for more info and details.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sugarfina--the First-Ever Candy Boutique for Grown-Ups--Opens New Shop in Santana Row

Sugarfina is an innovative candy store for adults featuring the highest-quality candies from around the world. They have everything from peach bellini gummy bears to Tahitian vanilla malt balls to 24K gold-coated Champagne marshmallows. Two thirds of what they carry are not available anywhere else in the US.

Their Santana Row store will be the first in Silicon Valley and the only Northern California store outside of San Francisco. To learn more about the company, check out the press release below or visit their website over here.

LOS ANGELES, CA –  San Jose will get a little bit sweeter when Sugarfina, the world’s finest candy boutique, opens their doors at Santana Row on August 21st, the third boutique in the Bay Area. The store will feature the brand’s signature aqua Bento Boxes, a luxurious candy gift box, and encourage guests to customize their own box by selecting from over 150 candies from around the world, two-thirds of which are not available anywhere else in the U.S. Sugarfina candy consultants will offer complimentary samples and assist guests in choosing the perfect candies based on their taste profile.

Sugarfina made its debut August 2012 selling its premium curated confections online – cocktail candies, including Champagne Bears®, Cuba LibreTM (spiced rum and coke gummies) and Peach BelliniTM gummies are top-sellers – and quickly flourished into a must-have high-end candy brand. Sugarfina opened its first retail store in Beverly Hills in 2013 and now has six boutiques in California.

“We created Sugarfina because the candy store of our dreams didn’t exist and we’re delighted to open a new boutique in San Jose,” say co-founders and sweethearts Rosie O’Neill, former director of marketing for Barbie, and former video game entrepreneur, Josh Resnick. “We dreamed of gourmet sweets made with premium ingredients -- candy that’s as beautiful to look at as it is to taste – and our new stores bring delicious, never-before-seen candies to San Jose.”

Sugarfina’s crisp aqua-and-white retail boutiques are designed to transport guests to “grown-up candy heaven,” with hundreds of beautiful candies displayed in modern Lucite cubes. Named one of the ten most beautiful candy shops by Architectural Digest, Sugarfina’s newest outpost in San Jose will feature a bright white design with glossy white fixtures, antique brass accents, an aqua
neon “candy” sign, and a statement art wall consisting of handmade white paper flowers, the perfect backdrop for a sweet selfie.

The Sugarfina store will also feature:

  • “Design Your Own Bento Box” Wall: Guests can select an empty 8-piece or 3-piece Bento Box and build their own gift box from the wall of 125+ Lucite candy cubes. More than 2 billion custom bento box creations are possible.
  • Top Shelf Candies: One area of the store is dedicated to "top shelf" candies -- exotic offerings from around the world such as Raindrops & Roses from Italy, Kyoto Blossoms from Japan, and interlocking chocolate wedding rings from Greece. Each candy will have its story featured alongside it in a beautiful display.
  • In-Store Sampling: Sugarfina associates offer two complimentary daily samples, with a selection that rotates weekly. In addition, guests may sample most candies in the boutique upon request.
  • Candy Labeling: There will be an icon-based program that identifies which candies are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, fat-free, kosher, dairy, and all-natural.
  • Candy Concierge: The Sugarfina Candy Concierge will provide a wide range of services, such as custom and corporate gifts, private events, dessert bars, candy tastings and even marriage proposals. Guests may book an in-person appointment by calling 1-855-SUGARFINA or emailing

The Sugarfina boutique at Santana Row is located at 377 Santana Row, San Jose 95128, across from Ted Baker. Boutique hours are: 10am-9pm Monday through Thursday, 10am-10pm Friday and Saturday,11am-8pm Sunday. The store can be reached at 1-855-SUGARFINA.

About Sugarfina:
Sweethearts Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick have dreamed of opening a luxury candy boutique ever since their third date, a screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. They fell in love over the unique and delicious candies they tasted while traveling and were inspired to bring a new concept in gourmet candy to the United States. Having personally taste-tested thousands of candies from dozens of countries, Rosie & Josh consider themselves true “candy connoisseurs.” Before Sugarfina, Rosie and Josh had every kid’s dream job - Rosie was director of marketing for Barbie, and Josh was the co-founder and President of Pandemic Studios, a major video game developer. To learn more about Sugarfina, visit the company's website at

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New World-Class Tower Proposed for Downtown San Jose!!!

If you are wondering why I began today's post with a photo, it is because I was almost lost for words when I read Nathan Donato-Weinstein's article in the Business Journal. This high-rise proposal is easily the most impressive I have ever seen in my lifetime for Downtown San Jose! 

The City of San Jose has been shopping around for a developer to come in an build out a killer project in one of Downtown's best locations right behind the Tech Museum. Of the four proposals they received, they have chosen to move forward with one by Insight Realty, which includes a design by Steinberg Architects (same architect that did The Tech). It looks like they made the right choice.

This would be the most "mixed-use" high-rise tower in San Jose, and maybe even in the Bay Area. This project would include a 60,000 SQFT expansion of the Tech Museum on the ground floor, 210,000 SQFT of "creative office space" on the next five floors, twelve stories of condos, then three stories for an upscale boutique hotel, and finally a floor of luxury penthouse condos. The tower would rise 270 feet tall and have a cascading effect that would bring green balconies and terraces to a huge portion of the building. It looks like they would even turn the roof of The Tech into a park! 

I don't even know where to begin with how excited I am, and and the impact this would have Downtown! As opposed to just being residential, it will bring some much needed hotel and Class A office space Downtown. This would be the first new office space built Downtown since 2010. Each component of the project has a symbiotic relationship with the rest. The park could be used by office workers during work days and residents and hotel patrons during nights and weekends. The hotel amenities would be accessible to residents as well. Parking could be shared between office workers and residents since they have separate peak demand cycles. The list goes on and on.

As for location, it could not be more central Downtown. Plaza de Cesar Chavez, the Convention Center, the Center for Performing Arts, the City National Civic, the Montgomery Theater, The Guadalupe River Park, and of course the Tech are all immediately accessible. Across the street you will find the Adobe's Headquarters and the Riverpark Towers with two of the fastest growing tech companies in San Jose, Xactly and Intacct. If you draw a circle a 10 minute walk from the proposed project, it will include San Pedro Square, SoFA, Camera 12, most companies on Santa Clara Street, and about 150 restaurants. If you go out 15 minutes, you can add the SAP Center, Diridon Station, and SJSU to the list.

Last, but definitely not least... the building has landmark-grade architecture. I would be 100% satisfied if the design did not change one bit between now and when the shovels hit the ground. Even better is the fact that it would replace two of the most dilapidated and ugly buildings Downtown. (Update: these two structures are just outside the scope of the project, although I can't imagine the building on the corner staying there for long.)

If all goes well, the City of San Jose and Insight Realty could finalize the deal within six months (hopefully much sooner). No construction start date is listed in the article, but late 2016 might be feasible if the deal gets wrapped soon. Exciting times ahead!

Source: SVBJ

Monday, August 24, 2015

100 Things To Do In San Jose Before You Die

When I first found about about this book, I was expecting few surprises. I assumed that I would easily be checking off 90+ of the 100 items listed in its pages. I was wrong. How far did I get you ask? 54. That's right, as a hardcore San Jose aficionado that purposefully seeks out all the cool things to do in San Jose, I'm at 54/100 from this book.

"100 Things To Do In San Jose Before You Die" was written by Susannah Greenwood, the online content manager and social media princess for the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau. She has lived in San Jose for the past 14 years and has done a great job assembling this book. The best part is she's a clever writer with a great sense of humor. I even read through the items that I had already checked off my list to get her perspective.

I recommend the book to anyone who is a fan of San Jose and guarantee there will be items in here that you did not know about. You can buy the book now on paperback or get the digital Kindle edition over here.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The San Jose Blog's Subtle Refresh

We have recently hit two major milestones on this blog: 2,500 posts and 2,000,000 visits! To celebrate, we made a few minor changes to make the blog easier to read and use:

  • The background color has been changed to white in order to make the content on the page pop out more, especially photos.
  • The top header has been completely eliminated as most of the links there were not relevant.
  • We added a new search (red arrow below) that is far more effective and lets you quickly filter results by The San Jose Blog, content we link to, or the San Jose Blogroll.
We hope you like the changes. If not, let us know in the comments and we'll see what else we can tweak. Thanks everyone for making this blog a big success!

San Jose Kickstarter: Cellista (Solo Album Dedicated to San Jose)

If you are looking to contribute to San Jose culture, there is a Kickstarter project to back a local musician with 16 days to go. This September, Freya Seeburger--an accomplished cellist--is going to record her first solo album called Cellista. The album is dedicated to the Bay Area, but primarily San Jose. In fact, you may remember her as the cellist in the cage at subZERO 2014 (photo below). The first part of her album would even be recorded at Anno Domini in San Jose's SoFA District.

Listen to Freya tell her story in the short video below. Rewards start with contributions of $10 or more. Please visit her Kickstarter page over here!

San Jose, CA – Cellista the solo project of cellist Freya Seeburger launched a 30 day Kickstarter campaign on August 9th to finance her debut solo album. The experimental cellist with classical training and a penchant for performing classical works in unorthodox spaces has a long history of notable collaborations and genre blending.

The album will be recorded in two-parts. Tiny Telephone Studios, the home of producer John Vanderslice, will play host to the first session. The second will be recorded in downtown San Jose’s iconic Anno Domini art gallery. Maryam Qudus (Doe Eye) will help engineer the album along with cellist Shawn Alpay (matt pond PA, John Vanderslice).

Cellista will feature her musical friends and artists across disciplines on the album and music video including Santa Clara Poet Laureate David Perez, beat boxer Emcee Infinite, composer Joshua Icban, SF singer Rykarda Parasol, journalist Gary Singh, and the modern dancer Lauren Baines.

Cellista’s music making is experimental and immersive. Using elements of improvisation, theater, visual art and a loop station, her music is influenced by the French avant-garde and the creative collaborations that informed it.

Freya Seeburger is a noted session cellist. She has performed and toured with Grammy-nominated artist Tanya Donelly (Belly, Throwing Muses), The Coup, Don McLean (American Pie), and Doe Eye. She is the founding artistic director of the music and event production company Juxtapositions (, as well as a graduate student in music at San Francisco State University. She has won several awards for her musicological research writing on the French composer Olivier Messiaen, and has presented her research internationally as featured panelist at the University of Calgary's 2015 Graduate Music Conference.

Her music has garnered comparisons to Zoe Keating, Arthur Russell, Steve Reich, and Charlotte Moorman.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday Stats: San Jose has #4 Highest 1BD Rents in the US

I'm not sure if this is good news or bad news. At $2,230 per month, San Jose had the 4th highest rent in the nation for one bedroom apartments in August. The positive way to spin this is that we did not have the #1 highest rent in the nation. San Francisco took that prize with a median rent of $3,500 a month. They were followed by New York with $3,100/mo and Boston at $2,250/mo. I have a feeling that some of the fancy new apartments Downtown will be driving this metric up over the next couple years.

Oh, and if we look at % change in rent this year for one-bedroom apartments, San Jose comes in at #5 in the nation with a 14.9% increase. Oakland was at the top of that list with 20% and San Francisco was 8th at 12.9%.

Source: Zumper, hat tip to Barclay Livker

% Changes This Year
  1. Oakland, CA – $1,980 (+20%)
  2. Austin, TX – $1,170 (+17%)
  3. Kansas City, MO – $770 (+16.7%)
  4. Sacramento, CA – $900 (+15.4%)
  5. San Jose, CA – $2,230 (+14.9%)
  6. Atlanta, GA – $1,250 (+13.6%)
  7. Dallas, TX – $1,190 (+13.3%)
  8. San Francisco, CA – $3,500 (+12.9%)
  9. Chicago, IL – $1,920 (+11.6%)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Grammy Winning Los Lonely Boys Play Music in the Park - Aug. 28

SAN JOSE - Grammy Award winners Los Lonely Boys – the beloved brother trio of Jojo, Henry and Ringo Garza – bring their “Texican” brand of rock ’n’ roll from San Angelo, Texas, to Music in the Park on Aug. 28.

Los Lonely Boys combines elements of rock ’n’ roll, Texas blues, soul, country and Tejano. The band’s debut single, "Heaven" became a Top 20 hit, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s adult contemporary chart, and eventually won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a duo or group with vocal

Los Lonely Boys followed their initial success with two more Grammy nominations in 2006 for their album “Sacred.”  On tour in 2014 supporting their latest album, “Revelation,” Los Lonely Boys has alsoincluded a number of stops along the California coast in 2015, most of which offer tickets starting at $40.

At Music in the Park, advance $10 tickets are on sale Tickets are $15 the day of the show.  Children 12-under are free when accompanied by an adult.

Local favorite J.C. Smith Band (, which has been voted “best blues band” in South Bay numerous times, opens the show, which starts at 5:15 p.m. at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Market and San Fernando streets.

The concerts are produced by San Jose Downtown Association.  Series sponsors include:  Metro, City of San Jose, NBC, Telemundo, KQED, El Observador, Content Magazine, KFOG 97.7 SJ/104.5 SF, La Raza 93.3, Lagunitas Beer Company, J. Lohr Wines, Republic Services and Silicon Valley Bike Coalition.

This is the 26th year of the series.


Also at the event:

Kids fun including art activities

Food and drink:
    New this year – Lounge in the Park:  Mixed drinks and lounge seating in a transformed space, courtesy Method42 Productions.
    Craft Beer offerings from local breweries, including Lagunitas Brewing Co. and Strike Brewing.
J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines

   San Jose Bike Coalition, in cooperation with the City of San Jose, will provide free valet bike parking from 4:30 p.m.-9:45 p.m.
   To find the nearest parking options to Plaza de Cesar Chavez, go to

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt Opened First Airport Location at SJC

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt has opened its first ever airport location at San Jose International Airport (SJC). They are known for a wide variety of rotating flavors and toppings. It is a self-service yogurt shop where you can load up on as many different kinds of yogurt and toppings as you'd like and then pay based on the weight at the end. Their Bay Area locations seem to be well reviewed on Yelp, and I'm pretty happy about finally having a Yogurt shop at SJC.

Menchie's is located in Terminal B near Gate 19 and will be open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. If you are not travelling any time soon, there is also another location in San Jose at Oakridge mall.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fifth Annual Stroll The Alameda - This Sunday

The Shasta / Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association in conjunction with the Alameda Business Association is hosting the fifth annual "Stroll the Alameda event" on August 23rd from 2pm-5pm. Tickets purchased in advanced are $25 per person and includes 12 tastings (take an Uber home). On the day of the event, the cost goes up to $35 per person.

Participating venues include Art Boutiki, Black & Brown, La Dolce Velo, Tee Nee Thai, The Arsenal, Whole Foods, Wine Affairs, The Usuals/SJ Made, and many more. The event starts in front of Crema Coffee (950 The Alameda), where you will get a wine or beer glass and a map of all locations.

For more information, click here. Big thanks to Alex Shoor for sending this in!

G2G: San Jose's Late Night Delivery App

G2G is a new food delivery app that specializes exclusively in late night food deliveries. They service San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas, and Campbell. Currently they only partner with a dozen restaurants, but several are Downtown San Jose stand-outs like Nick the Greek, Dosa & Curry Cafe, and La Victoria. 4th St. Pizza is also on the list as is The Garret.

The only deliver between 10pm and 4am each day. There is no minimum order size, just a $7 flat delivery charge. There is also no delivery charge on the first order.

For more information and to get the app, head over to the G2G website.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Content Pick-Up Party Tomorrow! (Issue 7.3 Style)

Content Magazine's latest issue launches tomorrow and the main theme is South Bay style. The pick up party is going to be from 7-9pm at The Continental Bar. Content subscribers will get VIP access to the back patio lounge and a free beer or wine as well as a free appetizer courtesy of Grub Shack. If you still aren't a subscriber, head over here.

Music: Talkie, Amy Dabalos | Sponsors: The Continental Bar, Filco Events, Talkie, Amy Dabalos

STYLE 7.3 Featuring: Okayama, Japan | Skyline | Maker: Genevieve Santos | San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles: Nancy Bavor | Style Portrait Series | WEKFEST | The Continental Bar: Sam Ramirez | FAME & FutureArtsNow!: Bobbi Vie | Underground: Samuel & Bella Garcia | Asiel Design: Jonathan & Linnae Gomez | Matriarchate: Mark Chua | Sonido Clash | Talkie | Amy Dabalos | Album Picks: Tommy Aguilar | Author: Eva Murray | Content Calendar | Content LABS

Monday, August 17, 2015

Coterie Cellars Winery Coming to the Downtown San Jose Area

Coterie is a small winery that produces distinctive wines from a variety of California vineyards. They make every wine from berry to bottle by hand and it looks like they specialize on Pinot Noirs with some Syrahs, Roussannes and Viogniers complimenting their portfolio. You can find their wines at The Ritz-Carlton, The Fairmont, Vintage Wine Merchants, and some of the best restaurants in Silicon Valley.

Currently they are located in Willow Glen and are renovating a vacant building at 885 West Julian Street to become their new permanent home. The location is about a block away from the new Whole Foods on The Alameda and a few blocks from the SAP Center. Coterie will be open for tastings every week from Thursday through Sunday.

Coterie will also host one-hour tasting classes that cover the wine-making process, aromas, and flavors. Each class includes samples of several wines paired with cheeses. To register for an upcoming class, click here.

While Coterie is not the first tasting room in the area (try Sherman Cellars at 40 Post), it is the first full-blown winery that I have ever heard about in the area. You will be able to see exactly how Coterie makes their wines and do tastings directly from the barrel. This is yet another neat attraction to look forward to in Downtown San Jose Greater Area. Coterie opens up shop in the fall and again will be located at 885 West Julian.

For more information on Coterie Cellars, head over to their website. A big thanks to Jake Smith for sending this in!

UPDATE: Coterie Cellars is technically not in Downtown San Jose, but Shasta/Hanchett Park (The Alameda). Thanks to Alex Shoor for sending in the correction.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Santana Row August-October 2015 News and Events

San Jose, CA  - As summer winds down, Santana Row marks the end of the season with the opening of a sweets store, a benefit wine stroll for the Bill Wilson Center and the return of Hello Kitty Cafe truck! Also returning with the start of football season: shuttles to Levi’s Stadium, making game days an easy win for riders.

Summer Yoga Series
Every Saturday, through September 12
Registration at 8:30, yoga at 9 a.m., Park Valencia
Join yoga enthusiasts for free yoga every Saturday, presented by lululemon athletica.
Practice your sun salutations under the sunshine at Park Valencia, near Maggiano’s restaurant through September 12. The complimentary classes are held outdoors, with registration opening at 8:30 a.m. each week. For more information, contact lululemon, 408.557.8721.

Hello Kitty Café Truck returns to Santana Row!
8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22 and 23
Follow the Kitty-clad crowd to the pink Hello Kitty Cafe truck, which rolls into Santana Row for a return weekend engagement.
The mobile café, bringing Hello Kitty treats to its fans, will be parked near Santana Row Park and Left Bank Brasserie..
The food truck is part of a tour to promote the first U.S. Hello Kitty Café, slated to open in Southern California. For information, go to: 

Opening late August
It’s a candy store for grown-ups who have a sweet tooth, both in selection and ambiance but attracts candy lovers of all ages. Sugarfina is a retail concept that offers select sweets from around the world in an elegant, boutique setting. The gourmet confections are beautifully presented and packaged. Customer favorites include Champagne gummy bears from Germany and Rainbow Kyoto Blossoms from Japan.
Founded by Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick in Southern California, Sugarfina’s
883-square-foot shop is scheduled to open next to Donald J. Pliner.

Cars & Croissants
August 22 and every fourth Saturday of the month
9 a.m. to noon
Santana Row partners with 100 OCT to present Cars & Croissants on The Row, a monthly gathering for exotic car owners and car enthusiasts. On the fourth Saturday of the month through December, exotic car owners are invited to park on Santana Row Boulevard from Alyssum Lane to Tatum Boulevard, display their cars and mingle with other enthusiasts. The morning meet-up for coffee, croissants and cars drew 400 people and 60 cars during the first event and continues to grow in popularity. This event is free and open to the public.

End of the Summer Wine Stroll, a Benefit for Bill Wilson Center
Saturday, August 29, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Enjoy a summer evening with a wine stroll and silent auction to benefit Bill Wilson Center, a nonprofit organization that provides direct services to more than 3,500 children, youth, young adults and families in Santa Clara County through our various programs that focus on housing, education, counseling, and advocacy.
Your $35 ticket includes;

  • Wine and food tastings
  • Exclusive discounts inside Santana Row shops and restaurants
  • A Signature Santana Row wine glass

*Must be 21 years or older to attend.
Tickets are available at the Santana Row concierge office or online at Click on the events link.

A look ahead to September and October…

Mommy & Me and Daddies, Too, “Superhero Day!”
Tuesday, Sept. 8, 10 a.m. to noon, Park Valencia
The popular kids’ club features free entertainment, interactive games, hands-on activities and educational activities designed for parents and their pre-school aged children. Dress as your favorite superhero and meet other superheroes at The Row. Live musical performances by Andy Z, Silicon Valley Ballet School and Action Day Primary Plus. Also enjoy arts and crafts, face painting, music, balloon art, story time and more. Meet us in Park Valencia in front of Maggiano’s to pick up your activity sheet.
Details: 10 a.m. to noon at Park Valencia. Mommy & Me is a free kids’ club held on the second Tuesday of every month from May through December. For more information, call 408.551.4611 or visit

Round Trip Shuttle to Levi’s Stadium on Game Days from Santana Row
Monday, Sept. 14, Niners vs. Vikings (departs at 5:20 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 4, Niners vs. Packers (departs at 11.25 a.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 18, Niners vs. Ravens (departs at 11:25 a.m.)
Thursday, Oct. 22, Niners vs. Seahawks (departs at 3:25 p.m.)
Avoid the headache of game day traffic! Take the shuttle from Santana Row to Levi’s Stadium for a hassle-free day that starts with easy parking and shopping and dining perks.
The shuttle registration begins about 30 minutes before departure time. Registration and shuttles are located near the CineArts Theatre.
Your $30 ticket includes:

  • Round trip transportation to Levi’s Stadium
  • Free parking at Santana Row
  • Santana Row shopping and dining incentives

When you arrive at Santana Row, park your vehicle in the designated, secured parking lot on Winchester Boulevard in the former Century 21 Theatre area. Walk across Winchester Boulevard to Olsen Drive where the registration table and bus will be waiting to load in front of the theater. The bus departs at the scheduled time (two hours prior to game time), and will not wait for passengers.
Levi’s Stadium drop-off and pick-up site:
The bus will park at the official shuttle drop-off location at the stadium. One hour after the conclusion of the game, the bus will depart from the same location. All passengers not on bus at the specified departure time, will not receive transportation back to Santana Row.
For more information, contact Santana Row Concierge at 408.551.4611.

Cars & Croissants
Sept. 26 and every fourth Saturday of the month
9 a.m. to noon
Santana Row partners with 100 OCT to present Cars & Croissants on The Row, a monthly gathering for exotic car owners and car enthusiasts. On the fourth Saturday of the month through December, exotic car owners are invited to park on Santana Row Boulevard from Alyssum Lane to Tatum Boulevard, display their cars and mingle with other enthusiasts. The morning meet-up for coffee, croissants and cars drew 400 people and 60 cars during the first event and continues to grow in popularity. This event is free and open to the public.

Yoga on The Row for the Third Year in a Row!
Sunday, Sept. 27, 8:30 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. start
Bring your mat and your best yoga form for Yoga on The Row! Athletic lululemon athletica presents the popular event, a fundraiser for the Art of Yoga Project, an organization that works to rehabilitate teenage girls in the juvenile justice system by teaching them art, yoga, and journaling. lululemon athletica will donate $1 to the organization for each participant who attends this complimentary yoga event. The goal this year is to get 1,000 yogis and their mats to line the main street of Santana Row and the park.
Registration will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. and class begins at 9 a.m.
Please arrive with a mat, towel, and a smile! All levels welcome.

Glass Pumpkin Festival at Santana Row
Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11, Santana Row Park
Experience the magic of glass! Stroll through thousands of hand-blown glass pumpkins crafted by BAGI (Bay Area Glass Institute) artists and renowned glass artisans from around the country. The pumpkins are unique gifts for friends and family and are a perfect addition to fall decoration. Some even make beautiful year-round display pieces: the pumpkins will be available in an assortment of colors, sizes and a range of prices. This is a once-a-year event, so come early and find the perfect glass pumpkin!
Details: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, October 10; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 11. The event takes place at Santana Row Park, across from Left Bank Brasserie.

Mommy & Me and Daddies, Too: “Halloween Family Fun Fest!”
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to noon, Park Valencia
Trick-or-treat around The Row and enjoy pumpkin decorating, live musical performances and other activities during this popular fall event for children.
Details: 10 a.m. to noon at Park Valencia. Mommy & Me and Daddies, Too is a free kids club held on the second Tuesday of every month (except October) from May through December. For more information, call 408.551.4611 or visit

Cars & Croissants
Oct. 24 and every fourth Saturday of the month
9 a.m. to noon
Santana Row partners with 100 OCT to present Cars & Croissants on The Row, a monthly gathering for exotic car owners and car enthusiasts. On the fourth Saturday of the month through December, exotic car owners are invited to park on Santana Row Boulevard from Alyssum Lane to Tatum Boulevard, display their cars and mingle with other enthusiasts. The morning meet-up for coffee, croissants and cars drew 400 people and 60 cars during the first event and continues to grow in popularity. This event is free and open to the public.

Twitter Promotion @SantanaRow invites Tweets and Instagram tags
For a Chance to Win Gift Cards to Restaurants at The Row
Santana Row’s Twitter campaign and photo contest continues through the @SantanaRow Twitter handle. The contest invites anyone at Santana Row to Tweet or Instagram photos of a new outfit, haircut, meal, event or artsy shots and then tag it with the hash tag #LifeonTheRow. Every month, Santana Row will post an album on Facebook with all of the photos with the #LifeonTheRow hash tag. The person who took the best or most original photo will win a gift card to a Santana Row restaurant.

About Santana Row
Santana Row, a 647,000 square foot mixed-use development in San Jose, CA, is Silicon Valley’s premier destination for shopping, dining, living and working. Santana Row features over 70 shops, 20 restaurants, a boutique hotel and movie theatre. In addition to the dynamic retail & restaurant collection, Santana Row offers 615 luxury rental homes, 219 privately owned condos and 65,000 square feet of Class A office space. Santana Row is a property of (NYSE:FRT), headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit

About Federal Realty
Federal Realty is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of high-quality retail based properties located primarily in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Founded in 1962, our mission is to deliver long term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities where retail demand exceeds supply.  Our expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like Santana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland and Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts. These unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working provide a destination experience valued by their respective communities.  Federal Realty's 90 properties include over 2,600 tenants, in approximately 21 million square feet, and 1500 residential units. 
Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 47 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. For additional information about Federal Realty and its properties, visit

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Rock-N-Cook: Pop-up Dining Experience with Live Music Tomorrow

The South Bay is getting a brand new kind of event called Rock-N-Cook, which features a 10 course gourmet tapas meal served between two sets of music by local bands. The intimate event is for no more than 100 people and is hosted at a private residence in Campbell. The entire event will also be filmed to stoke up interest in a Rock-n-Cook TV show (perhaps for Food Network or VH1). 

Pricing is quite reasonable for a 10 course meal and live music, just $50. For more information and tickets, click here.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Haberdasher Review (Singlebarrel 2.0)

When I first heard Singlebarrel was changing their concept, I was very concerned. Immediately I thought that the best bar in Silicon Valley (and perhaps the Bay Area) was in jeopardy. Seriously, what are the chances that they could actually improve on such an outstanding product?

I'm happy to say that my worries were not warranted one bit. I finally checked out Haberdasher last week and was completely blown away!

Haberdasher means to make or manufacture with skill and careful attention to detail, and is most commonly used in reference to tailoring--explaining the theme. Walking in, the ambiance was already a big improvement. You'll find classy dimmed Edison lights hanging from the ceiling and hidden inside bollard hats. There is more bar space, most casual seating, and comfortable seating for reservations (more on that in a moment). The soundproofing is also amazing. People can talk at a normal volume now and the hushing has been replaced with some nice music.

One of my favorite upgrades is that the huge line outside and the 6-person party limit are completely gone! Haberdasher is designed to provide quality craft cocktails more efficiently than before while maintaining the same quality and level of service as Singlebarrel, if not exceeding it.

You have two options when drinking at Haberdasher: 1.) Make a reservation. You'll get the best seats and the bartender will come to your table for fully custom-tailored craft cocktail experience, usually with multiple "courses." 2.) Casually walk down to the bar area and order off of a menu of the best craft cocktails Singlebarrel had.

How is #2 even possible without a huge line you may ask? Their most popular craft cocktails are on draft. They make them from scratch in large volumes before opening the bar each day. You can still order a customized cocktails at the bar, but their "craft on draft" handles a large number of the orders. I can vouch that the Old Fashioned on draft is just as good if not better than Singlebarrel's. There is also a Moscow Mule where you get to keep the copper mug, Gin & Herb Tonic, Whiskey Ginger, and Montenegro Amaro on tap. There are 8 "house fittings" drinks that are more complex and are made to order from scratch. My wife opted to get a Singlebarrel classic that was not on the menu... the Rum Flip. Not only was it as good as it has always been, but they brought it out in an old-fashion mini milk jug. Nice touch!

Other additions to the menu include outstanding non-alcoholic craft sodas, low alcohol drinks, craft beers, and snacks (brisket jerky, chicharrones, garlic almonds, etc.).

So in summary, go check out Haberdasher! The best bar in Silicon Valley is now even better. They managed to further innovate the local craft-cocktail scene!

Haberdasher is located at 42 W. San Salvador St. For more info and for reservations, head here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How Downtown San Jose's Streetscapes Can Benefit From Ideas Used in Montreal and Quebec City

Mark from Think Bigger San Jose has just returned from a ten day trip to Montreal and Quebec. He has brought home some souvenirs in the form of ideas to make San Jose a stronger city. His recap of the trip includes tons of great photos as well as five main streetscape take-a-ways. Check out Mark's excellent post over here!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sourisseau News: Arnold Del Carlo (The Valley's Photographer)

In the latest edition of Sourisseau news, learn about a photographer that has been documenting the transformations in the valley across multiple decades. Even at 94 years old, Arnold Del Carlo is still taking photos to this day. The Sourisseau academy is even planning to release a documentary film on his fascinating life and work--more to come on that in the future.

DelCarlo - The Valley's Photographer from TAW on Vimeo.

EDITORS NOTE: The Del Carlo Photograph Collection resides at the Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History and spans a remarkable 30+ years. Few professional photographers exhibit Del Carlo’s versatility, making the collection all the more unique. And at 94, Del is still shooting pictures. Many thanks from all of us at Sourisseau Academy!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Westin San Jose is Now Open!

After two years of renovation, the historic Sainte Claire Hotel is now the Westin San Jose. It has 171 rooms, 10,000 SQFT of meeting space, and an Il Fornaio Italian Restaurant. Many details such as the original moldings on the ceiling of the early 1900s building have been preserved. The location is stellar, across the street from the San Jose Convention Center and a block away from SoFA and Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

The Westin San Jose will really appeal to are business travelers. That has always been Westin's sweet-spot, and what better place to locate a business oriented hotel than in Downtown San Jose across from the convention center and walking distance to hundreds of companies.

This will be the second Westin in Silicon Valley (the other is in Palo Also) and the second Starwood Hotel in Downtown San Jose--the first was the Four Points which coincidentally is also in a historic building.

Source: MarketWatch

Monday, August 10, 2015

Apple Purchases "N1" Development Site in North San Jose!!!

It looks like Apple is doubling down on San Jose even before they move into the 290,000 SQFT of office they leased at 101Tech. Doubling down would be putting it lightly since this time around they are not renting... they are buying.

Apple is purchasing the entire development site for the N1 Office Campus off of First Street and Component Drive in North San Jose! The $138 million deal will buy them 43 acres ripe for an epic project. 1.8 million SQFT of office was already planned for the site, with a grand total of 2.8 million SQFT entitled. That theoretically means that Apple could build the same amount of office space in San Jose as their new spaceship in Cupertino.

Nathan Donato-Weinstein from the SVBJ even got an official statement from Apple:

"As we continue to grow, we're planning to build R&D facilities and some additional office space in San Jose," spokeswoman Rachel Wolf said in an emailed statement. "The property isn't far from the future home of our new campus and we're looking forward to expanding our presence in the Bay Area."

If this purchase isn't a huge vote of confidence for the San Jose market, I don't know what is! I just hope that Apple will opt for an iconic office design now that they own the land.

Sources: SVBJ, SocketSite

Sunday, August 9, 2015

San Jose Indie Hip Hop Artist Lucid Optics

Lucid Optics has just released his latest album called SADLIBS. The San Jose artist began playing guitar at eight years old and quickly fell in love with music. His style is a blend between indie and hip hop and he's known for his sarcastic whit and honesty. By 21, he booked his first tour covering the western states.

SADLIBS is the first album where live instruments play a key role in Lucid's production. The album was written and produced entirely by Lucid Optics, with one guest verse from Cauzndefx on the intro of "Seamless."

Below is "Miss No Plans," track 1 from the SADLIBS. For more information on Lucid Optics and links to all of his albums, head here.