Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Topgolf opens first Silicon Valley location in San Jose

North San Jose and Alviso are quiet parts of San Jose. There is honestly not much to do in terms of entertainment. Fortunately a new major amenity arrived a few months ago, Topgolf. It's part driving range, part Dave & Busters, and part gastropub.

The San Jose location is the first in the Bay Area as well as only the second location in all of Northern California. It is also one of only 4 flagship venues. To give you an idea of how popular these are, the Topgolf in Austin sells more alcohol than any other venue in Austin. The San Jose location is three stories with large bars and restaurants on each one.

The driving range aspect is more of a video game than anything else. Each golf ball has a microchip that lets it be tracked and the computer scores you based on your level of accuracy. There are also tons of games with different rules that you can play with your companions.

The food was surprisingly solid for a big chain. The burgers and fried mac & cheese were delicious. Service was a bit slow, but they were completely slammed when I went (on a Monday).

If you want to play, I would recommend getting a reservation since standby times can stretch to 4 hours or beyond. Parking is free, convenient, and they have a large number of free EV chargers as a bonus. It's also a great location for corporate events and parties. I experienced one firsthand and it was a blast.

For more info and to make reservations, head over here.



Tuesday, September 7, 2021

San Jose is the ultimate electric car hotspot

In order to move the needle on climate change, one of the key transitions we have to make is to move towards sustainable transportation. Fortunately electrics cars are also usually fast and fun to drive, providing further motivation to make the switch. 

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that San Jose is the top metro driving the EV industry. It seems like every other car on the roads is a Tesla, but several new compelling EVs are also hitting the road these days.

Despite being the 10th largest city in the country, San Jose has the 3rd highest number of EVs of any city in the US irrespective of population. It also has 2.4 charging stations for every 1,000 homes, versus the national average of 0.3 stations.

A common complaint for renters interested in EVs is that there are no charging stations at their apartments. In San Jose 12.3% of all rentals actually have stations, which is by far the most of any city. Not to mention most grocery stores and shopping centers have multiple stations, with some places like Santana Row having hundreds of chargers (have a look at the 4th floor of the parking structure on Winchester Blvd).

San Francisco came in as the 2nd best metro for EVs followed by Seattle and LA. For the full article to see all of the criteria used for the study, click here.