Saturday, April 20, 2024

Culture Night Market today

The Guadalupe River Park Conservancy is hosting a Culture Night Market today right outside Little Italy in Downtown San Jose. The free event includes live music, a soccer tournament, a screening of Shrek (7:30pm-10pm), food trucks, and of course the vendors you would expect from a night market. It's going to be 77 degrees outside--perfect weather for an event like this.

The event is both kid and pet friendly and will run from 4pm-10pm at Arena Green East, 340 W. St. John St., San Jose, CA 95110.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Viva CalleSJ: SoFA to the Streets (San Jose's SoFA, SCC Fairgrounds, and Martial Cottle Park)

Viva CalleSJ is back for it's 1st event of the 2024! Miles of city streets will be completely shut down to let people walk, run, dance, bike, unicycle, skateboard, or hoverboard down the streets of San Jose. 

SoFA to the Streets features three activity hubs which are festivals-within-a-festival that highlight the local area. This time the activity hubs will be SoFA, the SCC Fairgrounds, and Martial Cottle Park. You can expect live music, vendors, food, activities, bike parking, and good times at all of the hubs. In between the activity hubs you will still find all sorts of interesting stops, hydration stations, and stores.

A unique feature this time around is the route is a single line with no branches. It's crazy to think you can walk all the way from Martial Cottle Park on Branham Lane all the way to Downtown San Jose on city streets.

The event takes place on Sunday, April 21st from 10am to 3pm (streets are closed until 4pm). There is no beginning or end and the traffic flows in both directions. It's completely free and you can use the handy map below to locate the routes and festivities. For more info, head over here.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Eye-catching residential towers could rise near Valley Fair and Santana Row

If there ever was an area ripe for high-rise development outside of Downtown it would be right around our shopping mecca of Valley Fair and Santana Row. While it has limited transit, the area is flush with shopping, dining, and jobs.

A two-tower project has been proposed to replace a dilapidated building at 826 North Winchester Blvd. The project would consist of 135 residential units (70 one-bedroom and 65 two-bedroom units), 20 of which would be affordable. There would also be 13,000 SQFT of open space, 6,000 SQFT of terrace space, and 7,500 SQFT of amenity space.

The top floors would have amazing views in all directions, including views of neighboring Downtown San Jose. Another impressive feature is a sky bridge connecting the two towers and likely featuring outdoor and amenity space with views.

If this comes to fruition, it'll be the new standard for development going forward in "uptown" San Jose.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The silver lining behind Camino Brewing's closure

No one wants to see a popular business shut down in San Jose. Sadly Camino Brewing Co. announced that they were closing their operations last week. Fortunately, there is a silver lining... the space will not be vacant for long.

Word on the street is that the entire space will be reinvented and the building owner--Jim Salata--wants to have a new concept open THIS summer. It sounds like it will be much more than a taproom and may or may not include a brewery on site. They have a great outdoor area, so I can't wait to see what the new space will look like.

Jim Salata also has another project in the Downtown San Jose area. He's restoring the former Faber's Cyclery into a new bar called Benjamin's Saloon. However the Camino replacement will take top priority, especially since Faber's Cyclery is in a 140 year old building that has to be painstakingly restored.

Source: The Mercury News


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

San Jose's Tech CU Area will host a new MMA event series

Tech CU Arena is owned by the San Jose Sharks and home of the San Jose Barracuda. However, the newly expanded center is able to host a variety of events. A pair Bay Area combat sports veterans have chosen the location for a new series called FIGHT NIGHT AT THE TECH.

The first event takes place on Saturday, May 18th at 4pm. Tech CU Arena has a capacity of 4,200 and tickets start at $65. For more info head here.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, April 15, 2024

San Jose's Raging Waters is coming back better than ever

After a lot of drama, Raging Waters will reopen this summer after all. San Jose has approved California Dreamin' Entertainment as the operator of the Lake Cunningham water park. 

Raging waters opened in 1985 as the largest water park in Northern California and has a 350,000-gallon wave pool and 14 water slides. The previous operator (Palace Entertainment) suddenly breached its lease two years before expiring in 2025.

California Dreamin' will put in millions of dollars in capital improvements and plans to have the park open by Memorial Day weekend. It also happens to be the same company that is redeveloping the former Raging Waters park in Sacramento. Plans for Sacramento include more attractions, a lazy river with a swim-up bar, a year-round restaurant, 2-acre venue with wine garden and live music, and a Chuck E. Cheese-themed children's area with family-friendly water rides. Hopefully they will do something similar to help revitalize the San Jose landmark.

Some of the specific opportunities mentioned for Raging Waters in San Jose are an expansion of the park to include the marina, lake, Action Sports Park, or underdeveloped areas. 

As a side benefit, by getting the park open this summer San Jose will collect around $5 million in tax revenue.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, April 14, 2024

New renders for affordable housing in Alviso/North San Jose

Next to the Topgolf towards the very north of San Jose are plans for multiple projects. One of the more significant ones involves 780 apartments sitting on top of 16,200 SQFT of retail. The apartments would be split into eight buildings up to seven-stories tall.

The design isn't glamourous, but if it helps keep the prices reasonable I'm all for it. We definitely need more housing in this area which is near the bulk of Silicon Valley tech jobs.  

Source: SF YIMBY

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Hinodeya Ramen Bar coming to Downtown San Jose

Remember China Wok in Downtown San Jose on North Market Street? The space will soon be home to Hinodeya Ramen Bar. They have a location in Campbell today with exceptional reviews. Unless I'm missing something, this would be the first true Japanese ramen bar in Downtown San Jose. Unfortunately I couldn't find an ETA on their website.

In other restaurant news, the expanded Elyse will open at the end of next week, featuring delicious French Vietnamese cuisine and craft cocktails. More on that very soon.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Santana Row has a Speakeasy now!

Today I finally got to try Suspiro, the new Spanish & Peruvian restaurant at the end of Santana Row facing Meso. They just opened three weeks ago and have a few kinks to work out, but the ambiance was outstanding and the food was solid. My favorites were the Paella, Ceviche, and Lomo Saltado. However, this restaurant hides a secret...

In the very back past the unisex restrooms there is a black curtain that reveals a Ms. Pac-Man arcade cabinet. Behind the arcade is a locked door that takes you to S.Suspiro, a secret speakeasy! You can only get in with a reservation and have to be escorted by staff.

The Speakeasy has a completely separate food and drink menu from the restaurant, and even has it's own hidden patio on the other side of the building (last photo)! I don't have a lot of other info except for the house rules:

- No standing at the bar
- No flash
- No name dropping
- No smoking
- Please be patient, our drinks are labor intensive
- Please exit quietly

I can't wait to try it out. Previously, the closest thing Santana Row had to a secret bar was Cielo--a rooftop wine bar where you have to take two separate elevators up to reach in Hotel Valencia.

To make reservations for S.Suspiro and experience the first actual Speakeasy at Santana Row, click here.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Viva CalleSJ - April 21st

This week has been insane, so today I just have a quick teaser for an upcoming post. Viva CalleSJ is one of my absolute favorite San Jose events and it's back April 21st. It also happens to run through one of my favorite Downtown districts, SoFA. More on this next week!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Plans to convert medical office to housing near Santana Row

This is a relatively small project, but an interesting one due to it's location and density for the surrounding area. There is a proposal in play to demolish three single-story commercial buildings at 2881 Hemlock, 376 Baywood, and 384 Baywood and replace them with a six-story mixed-use building.

The structure would have 18,825 SQFT of commercial space on the ground floor (potentially commercial condos) and 75 "high-end" residential condos on the upper floors. The condos would be a mix of 1-3 bedroom units. There would also be 100 parking spaces in two underground parking levels.

In terms of location, it is a two-block walk to Santana Row and short walk to Valley Fair. This is a prime area for redevelopment.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Two new housing projects between Downtown and Midtown San Jose

Two new housing projects are being built right at 363 Delmas Avenue and 425 Auzerais Avenue, which are on just on the other side of Highway 87 across from the Children's Discovery Museum. This is in sort of a gray area where Downtown starts crossing into Midtown.

The project on Delmas (first two images below) will have 120 residential units while Auzerais (last image) will have 64 homes for homeless and 66 units reserved for low-income housing. Amenities will include a fitness loop, community garden, and computer learning center.

Both projects are a few blocks away from Diridon and the proposed Google Campus.

Source: SF YIMBY

Monday, April 8, 2024

SJC is getting new flights from Spirit Airlines

Commercial aviation still hasn't fully recovered from the pandemic, but it's heading in the right direction at SJC. Spirit is the latest airline to add new flights from San Jose. They started service less than a year ago with service to Dallas, Las Vegas, and San Diego.

Starting June 5th, Spirit will add flights to LA (twice daily), Portland (once daily), and Baltimore (four times per week). 

LA is also serviced by Alaska, Delta, and Southwest while Portland is serviced by Alaska and Southwest. However, Baltimore will be an exclusive route at SJC for Spirit Airlines. The last time San Jose had a Baltimore route was in 2019 with Southwest.

It's always great to see new destinations, but even increased competition on existing routes will help keep prices low and options plentiful for San Jose travelers.

For some bonus good news, Spirit will add increased service to Las Vegas and San Diego in the summer.

Source: SVBJ


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Free Solar Eclipse Glasses at San Jose libraries

The San Jose Public Library will be giving away free glasses today to use on Monday's solar eclipse. All you need to do is head down to a San Jose Public Library branch during regular library operating hours (typically noon to 5pm on Sundays). There is a limit of one pair per person.

The solar eclipse starts around 11:07am PT on Monday. For a list of recommended books about eclipses, check out the source link below.

Please remember that looking at the sun directly can cause severe eye damage and viewing it through any sort of lens like binoculars or a telescope can amplify that damage. 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

PwC coming to Santana West

PwC has leased 141,000 SQFT of office space at One Santana West, right across the street from Santana Row. The decision was led by the modernity, efficiency, and amenities the office offered. PwC plans to occupy the space in early 2026.

That now makes 3.5 floors leased in the building, with 4.5 floors and 198,000 SQFT to go. Acrisure is the only other tenant in the building.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, April 5, 2024

Sixth Annual San Jose Day

South First Friday isn't the only big art event happening this week in San Jose. The 6th Annual San Jose Day takes over Japantown this Saturday from 12pm-6pm.

In addition to art gallery shows there will be food trucks, a local vendor fair, live music, and dance performances. Last year the event brought in over 8,000 visitors.

The event is free and friendly for all ages as well as dogs (on a leash). Parking is extremely limited, so alternate transportation or ride share is ideal.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk - April 2024

South FIRST FRIDAYS is back for April with exhibits across multiple galleries in three different districts. Everything is open from at least 5-9pm. Participating venues include ANNO DOMINI, the Institute of Contemporary Art, KALEID Gallery, Works San Jose, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, the SoFA Market, MACLA, Art Ark Gallery, MACHU PICCHU, San Jose Jazz, and Chopsticks Alley Gallery.

Worth noting this month is an opening reception for INNERMOST at KALEID Gallery, free performances by Castellano Playhouse at MACLA, and a sneak peak of Florencia en el Amazonas at Opera San Jose.

It all goes down on Friday, April 5th. As usual admission is free and all ages are welcome. Click here for a preview of featured art! Below is a map with all of the galleries to check out across all three different districts.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Eox & Nyx - meet Downtown San Jose's newest flagship restaurant and bar

The proprietors of Original Gravity (now Still O.G. and Alter Ego), Paper Plane, and Miniboss are stepping up to their most ambitious project yet. Eos & Nyx is a flagship two-story restaurant and bar in the former Camera 12 Space. This happens to be the same block where Urban Putt set up shop, so it's turning out to become quite the district.

Named after the ancient Greek goddess of day and night, they will serve traditional Mediterranean cuisine from France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and North Africa. Their executive chef is Nicko Moulinos who was raised in Greece and previously cooked at Le Bernardin (a 3 Michelin Star restaurant), Kwame Onwuachi's Kith/Kin, and Taverna. I'm sure their drink program will also be outstanding given this team's craft cocktail pedigree.

As for ambiance, the renders look incredible. We're talking 20-foot ceilings, lots of trees and plants, outdoor terrace seating, and a rotating conveyor belt of spirits that will be visible both inside and outside the restaurant. If Urban Putt was my #1 most anticipated opening of 2024, this is #2.

Eos & Nyx will open sometime during the summer at 201 South Second Street, Suite 120.

Source: Eater SF

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Updated lighting on the Adobe Pedestrian Bridge in Downtown San Jose

It looks like Adobe has further improved the lighting on their pedestrian bridge which now features a long gradient instead of a solid color. I also didn't notices the metal dragonflies the last time I was there (3rd photo).

In the very last photo, the main entrance to the free Adobe Museum is next to the A sign. I highly recommend going there if you are into tech nostalgia. It's open during business hours Monday through Friday and also has a slick interactive art room hidden in a corner.

Source: aphelion2100 from Skyscraper City

Monday, April 1, 2024

Mayor Matt Mahan will seek a San Jose convention center expansion and new 800+ room hotel

When the Convention Center South Hall was built in 2005, the big blue circus tent (pictured below) was never designed to be a permanent fixture. This land has been earmarked for a convention center expansion and potentially another hotel for quite some time. Now there is an actual reference to that project--and no this isn't an April Fool's joke.

As part of the Silicon Valley Business Journal's "Future of Downtown San Jose" event last week, the mayor stated:

"If we want to go attract big events, we need to eventually expand the convention center and add a headquarters hotel where someone could take down 800 rooms at a time," Mahan said. "That’s something I’m looking to pursue with all of you in the years ahead."

If this happens during his term this would be an enormous win for San Jose. It would attract bigger conferences while being able to better support world class events such as the Super Bowl and World Cup, both coming to the South Bay in 2026.

As for the hotel reference, the San Jose Fairmont including the annex had 805 rooms total, and that was the largest hotel in Silicon Valley. San Francisco has several hotels much larger that that, including the Hilton San Francisco with 1,900 rooms and the Parc 55 with 1,000... both of which have gone bankrupt with the change in San Francisco's popularity recently. 

A flagship brand as scale directly connected to an expanded convention center and a block away from the artsy SoFA District would be a major boon to Downtown and draw conferences not only from other parts of Northern California but across the country.

Source: SVBJ