Showing posts with label san jose bars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose bars. Show all posts

Friday, September 15, 2023

Original Gravity in Downtown San Jose will transform into two new unique lounges

Original Gravity was the first large-scale craft beer pub and taproom in San Jose. You could argue Good Karma was across the street was technically the first, but they typically only had a handful of unique craft beers while Original Gravity had dozens rotating constantly. 

After Original Gravity, the proprietors went on to open Paper Plane next door focusing on craft cocktails and elevated gastropub food. Miniboss was their 3rd project, literally taking it to the next level with arcades, pinball machines, and a gaming twist to their craft cocktails on Santa Clara Street. In 2024, they'll open Eos & Nyx--a stunning two-story restaurant and bar that will be a key anchor for the Paseo building (formerly Camera 12) along with Urban Putt and an Unofficial Logging.

So after all this success, they shut down Original Gravity earlier this year. Why?

The proprietors believe that craft beer has become more common and local breweries like Strike, Camino, and Clandestine now all have their own taprooms. So they are pivoting and using the space for a new dual-concept space.

The front will be a listening lounge called Still OG. It'll feature a DJ area, shelved filled with vinyl, and an acoustic ceiling. Here they will primarily serve pre-made draft cocktails.

In the back will be Alter Ego, a more modern lounge that will feature handmade craft cocktails with a lot of focus on presentation. Drinks will have unique glassware and unusual garnishes and ingredients. Seating will be mostly by reservation with limited space reserved for walkups. To me it sounds like a modern day speakeasy.

Both Still OG and Alter Ego are scheduled to open in November. Everything this team has done so far has been excellent, so I can't wait to try out their latest concepts.

P.S. If you want great craft beer in Downtown San Jose, you still have Market Beer Co. inside of the San Pedro Square market with a killer selection of both taps and bottles.

Source: The Merc

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Signia San Jose (former Fairmont) added to ResortPass ☀️🏊🏻🍸🍹

ResortPass is a site for "Daycations" meaning if you live locally instead of staying at a hotel you can pay to come and use the hotel's amenities. This includes things like the pool, poolside bar, gym, and spa. You're essentially a guest, but without the room.

The Signia by Hilton (formerly the Fairmont) is the latest hotel to be added to the program. This is a huge addition as it has the best swimming pool of all the Downtown San Jose hotels and maybe all of the South Bay hotels period. If you have never stayed here, you probably didn't even know this pool even exists. It's hidden on the podium on the 4th floor of the hotel, and looks down at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in the middle of Downtown San Jose. From the park if you look at the hotel and see the palm trees, that's where the pool is.

A day pass costs $50 for adults and $15 for children and includes the pool, steam room, sauna, lounge chairs, towel service, and the fitness center. You can also book a cabana for $130 that is good for 2 adults and 2 children and comes with a complimentary snack pack (two non-alcoholic beverages, popcorn, kettle chips, a protein bar, and candy).

It's a rare opportunity to stay and San Jose's fanciest hotel without paying for a room. You can book your daycation at The Signia over here or check out other San Jose options here. 

Hayes Mansion, the DoubleTree by Hilton, Hyatt House San Jose Airport, Hyatt Place San Jose Airport, and the San Jose Marriott Downtown are also available on the site.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

New Downtown SJ bar "Eos & Nyx" looks stunning!

The proprietors behind Original Gravity, Paper Plane, and Miniboss have yet another Downtown San Jose project in the works and it may be their most ambitious one yet. They leased 3,800 SQFT in Paseo which is a mixed-use office, restaurant, and entertainment space in the former shell of Camera 12 Cinemas Downtown.

The two-story, indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant will serve brunch, lunch, dinner, and of course the craft cocktails this team is famous for. It will be a welcome addition to the area when it opens later this year!

Source: Dirk_Birkin from the San Jose Development Forum

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

New Speakeasy coming to San Jose!

Another speakeasy bar could be coming to center of Downtown San Jose! Based on the render it looks like the underground bar could have a second area hidden in an old bank vault. 

The location is exceptional as it's close to other nightlife and is a short walk from everything. You have MINIBOSS, Paper Plane, 55 South, Temple Bar, and Five Points within two blocks--not to mention the whole Qmunity district and new spots like Goodtime Bar and the excellent Fox Tale Fermentation Project.

Below is the description from the sign. You'll have to zoom in quite a bit to see the layout. What a great way to make use of an underground space!

Project Description: Conditional Use Permit to allow a bar with late night use until 2:00am in the basement of an existing commercial building on an approximately 0.28-gross acre site.

Source: jgordo32 from the San Jose Development Forum

Friday, April 30, 2021

Good Spot grand opening tomorrow, May 1st!

Another flagship restaurant is opening in SoFA across from Petiscos, the SoFA Market, and Haberdasher. The Good Spot is a modern gastro-lounge featuring a variety of tasty small plates and craft cocktails. 

I had a chance to preview it during their soft opening, and was really impressed with the quality of their food across the board. I tried the deviled eggs with crispy brussels sprouts, adobo wing lollipops, long life garlic noodles, sweet potato fries with spicy banana ketchup, and an avocado tostada with fried cheese. I'd recommend all of them, seriously. What was most surprising was how inexpensive the food was compared to similar quality restaurants in the Bay Area. I can't wait to go back and try more of the menu.

The team behinds the new restaurant comes from a solid pedigree. Good Spot owner, Thoi Trinh, was an executive at Chris Yeo Group which launched Sino, Straits, and Roots & Rye at Santana Row. Chef Timothy Luym worked at Poleng Lounge, SF Chickenbox, and Brew Coop.

While the interior is quite spacious (and open at 50% capacity), there is also a large outdoor patio in front of the restaurant right on First Street. I really hope they keep the outdoor space post-COVID as it really changes the dynamic of the street. Apparently there is also a 2nd floor that they could open in the future.

The grand opening featuring an assortment of VIPs is tomorrow, May 1st at 1pm. The ribbon-cutting will be followed by a Vietnamese lion dance at 2pm, then cocktail hour at 3pm, and finally dinner specials and a late night happy hour. The full press release is below and you can learn more over here.

SAN JOSE -- Owner Thoi Trinh and managing partners Sammy Sok and Ivy Li of Good Spot, 386 S. First St., promise good food, good drinks and good company at their new SoFA establishment, opening Saturday, May 1 at 1 p.m. in downtown’s SoFA District.

The gastro-lounge offers a unique small-plate menu and large selection of curated wines, beers, spirits and handcrafted and batched cocktails.  Cocktails include Dirty Old Man (rendition of a Japanese-style Old Fashion); Hangtime Cooler (refreshing, crisp, perfect for summertime); and Costa Rican Canopy (your sensual jungle experience).

Food-wise, popular favorites will include Adobo Wing Lollipops, Long Life Garlic Noodles and Chimichurri Hanger Steak.

Good Spot owner Thoi Trinh worked his way up from entry level to senior executive level for local and global hospitality brands. Most recently, he was Corporate Director for Chris Yeo Group, a pioneering Asian Fusion restaurant company, with endearing concepts such as Sino, Straits and Roots & Rye.

Chef Timothy Luym, recognized as a San Francisco Chronicle Rising Star chef, made his name at pioneering Asian street food restaurant Poleng Lounge and more recently led culinary operations for SF Chickenbox and Brew Coop. 

At Good Spot, the owners focus on the customer experience:

The set-up is divided into sections the owners describe as “a fine-casual dining section, a set of communal tables ready for an impromptu business meeting, a highly Instagrammable corner reminiscent of a busy sidewalk café,  and a lounge where big-city feels will sneak up on you when you least expect it.”

Their story on continues:  “Good Spot imagines a community junction where locals and visitors can gather in the neighborhood’s living room; a place where differences stay at the door, strong bonds become stronger, and new memories flourish.”

The owners intentionally created the Good Spot with an “ambition to both honor and respond to the unique character of the place that birthed it.  That is downtown’s South First Area -- or SoFA District -- a place with a history of glitz and entertainment that fell on hard times in the 1970s and ’80s and now the arts and cultural hub of Silicon Valley’s downtown.

Their On the SoFA outdoor lounge is open on weekends for now with an all-day happy hour.

Follow Good Spot on Instagram and Facebook @goodspotsj. Phone (408) 816-8841.

Good Spot’s Grand Opening ribbon-cutting event will be held at 1pm Saturday. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Councilman Raul Peralez, San Jose Downtown Association Executive Director Scott Knies will make brief remarks, followed by a traditional Vietnamese Dragon Dance. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Mixed-use "Fountain Alley" project moves forward and includes a surprise

Urban Catalyst, which is quickly becoming my favorite Downtown developer, is moving forward with a special project in the historic Fountain Alley district. They are turning what used to be Lido Nightclub into a six story building with retail on the ground floor, five stories of office space, and a rooftop bar. Since Scott's seafood relocated, there are no options I'm aware of where you can grab food or a drink more than a floor off the ground besides the Capital Club.

The office lobby will start in the historic Knox-Goodrich building next door, which is 130 years old and will be fully incorporated into this development. This is an excellent way to preserve our history while still developing Downtown San Jose. It reminds me of how our historic post office was utilized for a cafe and exhibit space in the San Jose Museum of Art.

Another exciting surprise feature that Urban Catalyst is included in the project is a unique fountain. It would seem appropriate for a place called Fountain Alley to have an actual fountain. The goal is a place-making landmark and they have done a ton of research on cool fountains they could bring to the area. The current plan features a fountain modeled after the spectacular Apple store fountain in Milan (last image below).

While it is not the largest development project in Downtown San Jose, it's packed with character. Everything from historic preservation to unique amenities that don't exist in the area are being packing into this five story building that is just a couple hundred feet from the future BART station. This will reshape the historic district forever.

The ground breaking is currently slated for Q2 2021 and completion is expected by mid-2023.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

10th Street Distillery in San Jose

San Jose now has a whiskey distillery, which apparently is our first since Prohibition. It sits near our craft breweries at 2131 S. 10th St., just one building over from Strike Brewing. Two tech engineers decided to follow their dream and created 10th Street Distillery to make Scottish-style spirits right here in San Jose.

They carry a couple different types of whiskies, a Peated Single Malt (smokey) that has won multiple awards and a STR Single Malt that is smooth and slightly sweet. Total Wine & More as well as several liquor stores have started carrying the product. You can also find them in San Jose's top craft cocktail bars such as Haberdasher, Paper Plane, Miniboss, 55 South, District, and Five Points.

10th Street Distillery doesn't have a public tasting room setup yet, but they do offer tours and tasting events if you sign up on their website over here.

Monday, October 14, 2019

New six-story project with expansive rooftop bar Downtown

Urban Catalyst is transforming the Lido nightclub building at 30 S. 1st, an adjoining parking lot, and a nearby building into a major mixed-use project. The six-story building will have 73,000 SQFT of office space, 14,000 SQFT of retail and restaurant space on the ground floor, and a whopping 5,000 SQFT rooftop bar. It will even have a glass elevator to take visitor from Fountain Alley directly to the lounge on the roof. This will be the largest rooftop bar in San Jose when completed and it will hopefully help take the vibe of this street up a notch.

Urban Catalyst also plans to build a water fountain on the corner of South First Street and Fountain Alley.

If everything goes according to plan, they will break ground on this building in 2021 after the current tenant's lease expires and complete the project in 2022.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Tom McEnery is reviving Manny's Cellar

Former San Jose mayor Tom McEnery is bringing back a beloved and famous (infamous perhaps?) bar in the basement of the Fallon House called "Manny's Cellar." The bar was often visited by city elites and has quite a bit of history behind it. The Fallon House itself is a historic building across the street from the San Pedro Square Market and the Peralta Adobe--San Jose's oldest building.

The new bar would try to preserve the history and character of the former bar, and would have a period-appropriate aesthetic. I'm picturing a speakeasy similar to Haberdasher in SoFA.

The project would also benefit History San Jose as there would be a new docent program for the historic buildings and they would receive 10% of the net profits from Manny's Cellar 2.0.

Tom McEnery also wants to see if the Fallon House and Peralta Adobe could be opened to the public without charging for admission. Both are some of the most historically significant buildings in California and he wants as many people as possible to see them.

What a great way to re-purpose an area that has been used for storage for the past 25 years and help activate a historic building!

Source: San Jose Spotlight

Monday, March 26, 2018

Retro arcade and upscale bar on tap for Downtown this summer

"miniBoss" is the most anticipated new Downtown bar in years. The owners of Original Gravity (San Jose's first bar exclusively dedicated to craft beer) and Paper Plane (one of San Jose's first craft cocktail bars) are now opening a third venue at the corner of Santa Clara Street and 2nd Street. This is a very high-profile and easily accessible space that was last occupied by Toons years ago.

Clocking in at 5,528 SQFT, miniBoss will host dozens of old-school arcades and pinball machines. Given its pedigree, craft beers and cocktails are guaranteed. The venue will also have a full kitchen which will likely serve up surprisingly good pub fare if Paper Plane and Original Gravity are any indication. It will provide a unique entertainment option that simply does not exist in Silicon Valley right now and be yet another "cool" thing to do in San Jose.

Downtown San Jose is finally getting the traction and attention it deserves and miniBoss will undoubtedly be an anchor tenant for the growing numbers that live, work, and play Downtown. I'm greatly looking forward to its grand opening this summer.

Source: The MercSVBJ

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Pink October - Cocktails for a cause

If you enjoy cocktails and want to contribute to a great cause, several local restaurants are donating a portion of proceeds from signature cocktails to HERS Breast Cancer Foundation. This is a local nonprofit that directly supports women healing from breast cancer regardless of financial status.

Participating Venues

Can't make it out? You can make a donation to support the cause: 

Facebook event page:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sourisseau News: Wetting your Whistle

It looks like I missed quite a few Sourisseau News videos from earlier this year so I will be playing catch-up for the next few weeks. The two minute video below highlights many of San Jose's famous watering holes from the past century. 50 years from now, I wonder if San Joseans will be watching similar videos about the top bars of the 2010s.

To see an archive of past videos, head over here.

Sourisseau News Wetting your Whistle November 2016 from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Academic Coffee Pop-Up @ Five Points

One of my favorite bars in Downtown San Jose is now hosting a coffee pop-up shop run by Academic Coffee. They have nitro cold brews on tap, pour overs, espresso drinks, coconut lattes, and pastries from Firebrand Bakery.

The pop-up will be open Monday through Friday from 7am to 2pm, up until May. If you become a fan, don't worry they won't be going very far in a couple months. Academic Coffee is getting a permanent home in SoFA (499 S. 2nd Street).


Academic Coffee Pop-Up
@Five Points, 169 W. Santa Clara Street
Monday-Friday from 7AM-2PM

You can learn more about Academic Coffee over here:
FB: @academiccoffee
IG: @academiccoffeesj

Friday, August 5, 2016

Five Points Cocktail Bar coming to San Pedro Square

Does Downtown San Jose really need another craft cocktail bar? Heck yes it does. Five Points is coming to the San Pedro Square area, nestled between Britannia Arms and AFK Gamer Lounge. There isn't much information on their website besides the following text:

"Honoring the traditions and culture of the old saloons and bars that graced one of the most notorious neighborhoods in America"

Intriguing! For some photos of the interior space head over to the Five Points Facebook page.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Topgolf Considering San Jose for first Bay Area Location

Topgolf is like a collision between a driving range and a Dave & Busters. They have 20 locations across the US, which are huge regional entertainment draws and can command multi-hour wait times to get in. Each location typically has a high-tech three story driving range, multiple restaurants and bars, and business centers for corporate events. The balls have embedded micro-chips that let you know how close you came to hitting various targets on the field. Players are scored based on accuracy and distance. The experience is closer to a trendy bowling alley than a traditional driving range.

The location that Topgolf is eyeing is Pin High Golf Center in Alviso. The project could be part of a new retail center that would include up to 100,000 SQFT of retail and a 200-room hotel. This area is just down the street from the @First Shopping Center and around a mile away from Levi's Stadium and Santa Clara's planned shopping and entertainment center. Not only would it help capitalize on events happening in Santa Clara, but it would help service North San Jose where retail is still scarce.

The only other planned California Topgolf location so far is in Sacramento, and that will open in November 2016.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, October 2, 2015

Scott's Seafood Downtown Resident Mixer

On October 15th, Scott's Seafood is hosting a Downtown San Jose resident mixer out on their slick rooftop patio. The event is actually open to anyone that enjoys hanging out Downtown, not just residents. Scott's will be providing complimentary food off their late-night menu and a free cocktail if you RSVP. The event will run from 9pm to midnight and I'm sure will be a blast.

To RSVP (it's free), click here.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Deluxe Eatery & Drinkery

A new restaurant and bar called Deluxe is going to open very soon at 71 East San Fernando Street, the address last used by Azucar. They have been posting some delicious-looking dishes on their Facebook Page as a teaser. Chad Ferry is Deluxe's chef and has worked in a long line of notable restaurants such as The Plumed Horse, Paolo's, Spagos, and Lark Creek Blue. I have never had short rib tater tots before, but the concept sounds amazing to me. It also looks like they are going to have some slick artwork in there by local San Jose artist Francisco Franco (see the last image below).

That is pretty much all the info I have right now, but will update this post as soon as I know the exact opening date.

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.