Tuesday, April 30, 2024

California High-Speed Rail interior renders

Below is the first preliminary render of  a dining cab and bike storage for California High-Speed Rail. I have to admit that it looks pretty inviting. I especially like the idea of a bar with a moving view. At an equal cost to a flight, I would pick the train almost every time. The high-speed trains I have taken in Europe were amazing.

The San Jose station be at Diridon and connect with Caltrain, BART, VTA Light rail, ACE, Capital Corridor, and our bus network. Unfortunately, the timeline currently involves having trains running in the Central Valley by the end of the decade. There is no ETA for service to San Jose or LA, so could be a while.

As an added bonus, below is a rendering of one of the stations (Fresno). Just a thought, we're already breaking a cost of $100 billion for this project... we probably don't need the 80-90 foot tall canopies, just a system that works.

Source: Railway News

Monday, April 29, 2024

Cirque du Soleil is back in San Jose

For the first time since the pandemic, Cirque du Soleil has brought one of their Grand Chapiteau shows to San Jose. Kooza is running across the street from the Santa Clara County fairgrounds until May 26th. I hope this means that Cirque du Soleil will go back to their typical cadence of bringing shows to the South Bay every 18 months.

This is actually the 2nd time Kooza has been in San Jose, the first was way back in 2008. There have been a few changes since then, but the entertaining storyline and incredible acrobatics are still there. It's a great show and worth checking out--perfect for a date night or family outing. 

Tickets range from about $50 for standard seating to $300+ for VIP tickets that include food and cocktails in a lounge, gifts, and a photo op with the performers. You can still easily get tickets for the remaining dates here.

Source: The Mercury News

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Campus Burgers will offer $2 Hamburgers and $3 Cheeseburgers in Downtown San Jose

A new burger sport is opening at 108 Paseo de San Antonio and they are offering $1.99 smash burgers. That isn't a promotion, it appears to be their standard pricing. In fact, they proudly only have four items on the menu:
  • Hamburger $1.99
  • Cheeseburger $2.99
  • Fries $3.99
  • Sodas $2.29
That's it. Given their location between the SJSU campus and SJSU student housing at the former Fairmont Annex/Signia San Jose, this could become a very popular spot. 

For those that miss Johnny Rockets, we'll have a dedicated burger spot in Downtown San Jose again very soon. Their grand opening is scheduled for May I believe.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

sjDance presents the Spring DANCE Festival this weekend at Eastridge Center

WHEN: Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28, 2024 from 12 Noon to 5:00pm. “Professional Programming” segments are 15-minutes each on the half-hour (1:30pm, 2:30pm, etc.), and free 15-minute dance classes are held every hour, on-the-hour (both days).

WHERE: Eastridge Center Mall, 2200 Eastridge Loop, San Jose, CA 95122, off Capitol Expressway and Tully Road. The festival stage is located on the main level of the mall.

WHY: Celebrating National Dance Week - and a cornerstone of Bay Area Dance Week.  The festival is also the kickoff to sjDANCEco’s 21st Season. Everything is free.

Over 60 choreographers and Bay Area dance organizations (from young children to professional companies and everything in between) present many styles of dance on the Eastridge festival stage during a free non-stop 5-hour program each day. The professional dance portions of the show are at 12:30pm, 1:30pm and on the half-hour all day long. Free dance classes will be offered at 1:00pm, 2:00pm, and on-the-hour throughout the day. The celebration is part of Bay Area Dance Week and National Dance Week (April 26- May 5, 2024) and showcases the diversity of the Bay Area dance community. 

Professional Dance Groups:

·      sjDANCEco   Contemporary

·      Rosangela Silvestre (from Brazil)  Afro-Brazilian

·      N'fungola Dance Company (New Orleans)  West African

·      Abhinaya Dance Company (San Jose)  Indian Classical Dance

·      Tachiria Flamenco (San Francisco)  Flamenco

·      Diablo Ballet (Walnut Creek)  Ballet

·      Monsoon Dance Company (Palo Alto)  Contemporary Indian

·      Magnetic Pole Fit (San Jose)  Contemporary Pole

·      Hermosura Dance Productions (Fremont)  Social Latin

·      Aboriginals (Manteca, CA)  Hip Hop/Breakdance

·      Kyleigh Brine (Arcata, CA)  Contemporary

·      Agua Doce Dance (Santa Cruz) African-Brazilian Contemporary

·      Los Lupeños de San José    Mexican Folk Dance

·      Jenni Hong Dance (Palo Alto)  Contemporary

·      Noorani Dance (Menlo Park)   Kathak

Other Dance Groups Include:

·      Calpulli Tonalehqueh of San Jose   Ancient Aztec Dance

·      Flying Colors Dance & Fitness (Hollister)  Jazz

·      Los Gatos Ballet (Los Gatos)  Ballet

·      New Ballet (San Jose)  Ballet

·      Monsoon Dance  (Palo Alto)  Contemporary Indian

·      Yerba Buena High School (San Jose)   Jazz

·      San Jose State University    Modern

·      Los Lupeños Juvenil   (San Jose)  Mexican Folk Dance

·      Cal Poly Humboldt (Arcata)  Contemporary

·      Lin HH School of Dance (San Jose)  Contemporary

·      SBCC Dance Company (Santa Barbara)  Modern

·       Lara Jean Choreography (Los Gatos)  Contemporary

·      Concept o4 (San Francisco)    Contemporary

·      Latizmo Hi Hop Productions (San Jose)  Modern

·      DBDC (Capitola)  Hip Hop/Breakdance

·       Veksler Academy  (Sunnyvale) Hip Hop/Breakdance

·      NDS Nijikko Dance School (San Jose) Hip Hop/Breakdance

·      IndepenDance (San Jose) Contemporary

·      Dance Academy USA (Cupertino) Jazz

·      The Ruby Slippers (Santa Clara) Kpop

·      Dance Expressions (Sunnyvale) Pom

·      East West Music and Dance (San Jose) Lyrical

·      Ace Dance (Sunnyvale) Jazz

·      Ako Ballet Dance School (Cupertino)  Ballet and Lyrical

Free Classes offered in various styles:

  • West African
  • Flamenco
  • Classical
  • KPop
  • Salsa
  • Symbology of the Orixas
  • Hip Hop


Calpulli Tonalehqueh of San Jose will be presenting the Art of Ancient Aztec Dance to open the festival on Saturday from 12:00 noon to 12:30pm. The opening ceremony is a ritual with drums which calls the four elements (wind, water, fire, earth) and the four cardinal directions...North (Tezcatlipoca), East (Quetzalcoatl), South (Huitzilopochtli), and West (Xipe Totec) along with the Great Cosmos, Mother Earth, and the Center - Our Hearts. Traditionally, dancers carry the elements in the form of the atecocolli (a conch shell) which is played to call in the winds, popoxcommi (which carries fire), and copal (a sacred incense) is burnt which carries scented prayers on white smoke to the ancestors. The ritual is a ceremonial way to ask permission to be present and to call the gods of the directions to help guide and protect the space.  

This ritual is in deep respect of Mother Earth and the Cosmos, recognizing that we walk the Red Road (living life with purpose) and are of the elements. It is profoundly deep and important work in reconnecting us to our home - this planet.

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 501(c)(3)

Friday, April 26, 2024

28-story high-rise proposed next to San Jose's City Hall - Part 2

As a follow-up to yesterday's post about a new high-rise next to City Hall, we now have renders thanks to Justin Daniels.

I have to admit that the renders of the 28-story tower (actually two towers) look much better than I expected. Since this was a preliminary proposal, I heard that the developer may not be serious about building the project but was likely more interested in getting the entitlements and selling them off to another developer. If that was the case, I'm not sure they would have put this much thought and effort into the design.

I love the tapered look, especially towards the top. It also now appears that the retail would be both on the ground floor and the very top of the two towers. The penthouse floors might be amenity space for residents, but those sure look like a lot of tables. It would be amazing to have a public restaurant on top of a San Jose high-rise. We have the Capital Club, but it's not very accessible and Scott's Seafood moved from their mid-rise location years ago.

Let's cross our fingers that this moves forward!

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

28-story high-rise proposed next to San Jose's City Hall

A new high-rise is being proposed at the site of a Lee's Sandwiches and New Tung Kee Noodle House across the street from City Hall. The 28-story tower would have 529 residential units, 21,000 SQFT of retail or restaurant space, and 12,100 SQFT of office space.

There is a rumor that a drawing was made for the project, if anyone has it please send it in and I'll update this post. The project could also spur more development across the entire block, which also include a Grocery Outlet.

This is an up-and-coming part of Downtown San Jose. You now have the two MIRO residential towers across the street, a new project planned for where 4th Street Pizza used to be, and one of the best Downtown restaurants (Rollati). SJSU is just a few blocks away, as is a future BART station. Hopefully this new tower comes to fruition and further enhances the neighborhood.

Elyse Teaser

I had a chance to try the new Elyse yesterday and I think everyone reading this is going to be pretty happy with Downtown San Jose's newest restaurant. I'll have a lot more info by next week, but wow... what a story behind this opening. The food was exceptional, just as I had expected. I always liked Elyse at their previous location, but it seems like they stepped it up a notch for their greatly expanded restaurant at 96 S. First St. in San Jose (former Nemea corner space).

You can already make a reservation over here. I would recommend going there as soon as possible to get a taste for the future of Downtown San Jose and supporting local entrepreneurs. Stay tuned for more on Elyse very soon!

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Fitoor is now open, bringing high-end Indian cuisine and late-night music to Santana Row

The San Jose food-scene continues to evolve and reach new heights. Fitoor (which is the word for passion in Hindi) is brining Indian food back to Santana Row in the same space that housed Amber India for years. However, Fitoor is a much higher-end concept than Amber and is run by serial entrepreneurs that also own the Michelin-recommended Rooh in Palo Alto.

Fitoor's ambiance and food look exquisite and I can't wait to try it for myself in early May. For now, I'll just have to savor these photos from The Merc.

Another twist on traditional Indian cuisine is their take on nightlife. On Friday and Saturday nights the lounge portion of the restaurant features DJs, fire dancers, and a more clubby vibe. It's certainly a unique addition to the Row and seems like a step up from what was there before (and I really liked Amber).

In other restaurant news, the expanded Elyse featuring French Vietnamese cuisine--and a local San Jose chef--has their official ribbon cutting tonight. More on that later this week.

Source: The Mercury News

Monday, April 22, 2024

Sky Zone is bringing indoor zip lines and climbing walls to West San Jose

A major indoor active entertainment space is coming to Westgate Center at 1600 Saratoga Avenue. Sky Zone will feature zip lines, trampolines, climbing walls, and drop zones inside a 34,800 SQFT anchor retail spot.

Kids will get to run, jump, and play in a safe environment. Some of the activities also include aerial dodgeball, basketball dunking, gladiator-style jousts, and free climbing. There is also a toddler zone for younger children.

There is still no ETA for when Sky Zone will open, but when it does it'll be a great addition for the many young families that live in Silicon Valley.

Source: The Mercury News

Sunday, April 21, 2024

The Fay, Downtown San Jose's newest residential high-rise is almost complete

SoFA's shiny new 23-story high-rise is still on schedule to welcome its first residents in 2025. The building started construction in 2022 and already has had a major impact on the Downtown San Jose skyline. Below are a few recent photos for your enjoyment from my favorite online forum.

Amenities include a 24/7 concierge, co-working spaces, community lounges, and 5,000 SQFT of new retail on the ground floor. Best of all, it will have the amenity I have been clamoring for... a rooftop pool and amenity deck complete with cabanas, the gym, a sky garden, and BBQ grills. San Jose weather and Downtown San Jose's central location with views of the valley make it an ideal place for a heated rooftop pool and this will be the first high-rise building in San Jose to have this feature. In fact, it will be one of only three in the whole Bay Area I'm aware of when it's ready in 2025, the other two being built right now in Santa Clara.

Source: aphelion2100 from Skyscraper City

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