Tuesday, February 16, 2021

New Gastro Lounge (eventually) coming to SoFA

Post-COVID I think there will be a lot of interesting new places to check out Downtown. One that's definitely on my radar is Good Spot in SoFA. It's a 7,500 SQFT gastro-lounge right in the heart of our arts district founded by a native San Josean.

It's going to have a much more chill atmosphere than a club, as you can probably tell by the sloth on the logo. However, it will eventually have indoor live music and has a slick rooftop patio. There are also plans to turn the second floor into a VIP space, local art gallery, and beer garden overlooking 2nd Street.

The a menu will consist of locally-sourced small plates from Southeast Asia, including Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese cuisine. They'll be in good company as Petiscos is serving up Portugal's version of tapas across the street.

Other places to look forward to are The Guildhouse, a new gamer lounge in SoFA; and San Pedro Social, a Bowling Alley featuring vintage arcades, pool, and karaoke on Santa Clara Street.

Source: San Jose Inside

Friday, February 12, 2021

Singer-songwriter Maddy Michaels release her debut single, Sanity on February 19th, 2021

Maddy Michaels, a singer-songwriter based in San Jose, is releasing her new single entitled "Sanity" next week on Feb 19th. I really like her cover of Head Above Water which you can find over here. Now's the time to support local artists so that hopefully we can enjoy a live music scene in San Jose again later this year (🤞 for summer). Check out Sanity on your favorite streaming platform Feb 19th!

“In sharing my mental health experience with others, I want to let them know they are not alone and encourage them to connect not only to my music but to those around them as we embark on this journey called life” -Maddy Michaels


San Jose, CA: The single Sanity from Maddy Michaels makes its digital debut on February 19th, 2021. It conveys her vulnerability and her experience with overwhelming anxiety. The intimate and honest lyrics woven into this pop-power ballad invite listeners to relate and connect to her music. Her message brings awareness to the highly stigmatized topic of mental health and sheds light on the emotional and mental obstacles faced by so many today. Sanity provides listeners with an uplifting message and inspires people to keep moving forward, though the path may be difficult. Michaels hopes her song will bring listeners optimism in 2021 as the world continues to face unprecedented challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Sanity, produced and engineered by West Australian artist HILLOC, features a live band and string arrangement by Kevin Fong that brings the song to new heights. The track features HILLOC on keys, Brad Roberts on Guitar, Sebastian Valencia on Bass, Eric Hart on Drums, Alyssa Barker and Emily Gelineau on Violin, Ben Eyink and Megan Pham on Cello, and Noah Leong and Cecelia Cook on Viola. Cover art by Rachael Ho. 


Sanity is available on all streaming platforms on February 19th, 2021. 

Artist Bio: San Jose-based singer-songwriter and performer Maddy Michaels performs across a variety of genres. Her music and uplifting lyrics bring awareness to personal experiences and current social issues. Michaels music encourages audiences to find a path forward during these unprecedented times.  

“Music helps me through difficult times, I use music as a way to express myself and to help bring encouragement to the world.” -Maddy Michaels

Thursday, February 11, 2021

February 2021 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The latest addition of Downtown Dimension is now live. Below is a summary of the content this month.

Happy New Year - Welcome to 2021!

The FEBRUARY Downtown Dimension is now available for download.
On the Front Page:  
  • A Downtown Dimension tradition for more than three decades, newly elected San Jose City Councilmembers Matt Mahan and David Cohen answer our questions about their first-term goals.
Also this month:
  • The story behind the new mural of Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the corner of Santa Clara and Market streets.
  • The South Hall continues to serve as temporary housing for the homeless.
  • City of San Jose grant enables San Jose Downtown Foundation to add 10 new Downtown Doors to downtown's public art landscape.
  • Light the Holiday Nights attracts thousands. 
SJDA's next public meeting will be Friday, Feb. 12 at 8:15 a.m. via Zoom.  Featured:  an "exit interview" with Deputy City Manager Kim Walesh, in conversation with  SJDA Executive Director Scott Knies. As director of the Office of Economic Development, Walesh has made a significant contribution to the growth of downtown San Jose over the past 18 years.
RSVP through SJDArsvp@sjdowntown.com to receive a link and PIN code to the meeting.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Valentine's Day in San Jose

SJMADE has a handy guide to Valentine's Day gift shopping featuring local artisans and bakers. You can even purchase items and pick them up the next day at the SJMADE Storefront in San Pedro Square.

They have everything from flowers to cards to macaroons. There are plenty of creative gift options for that special someone.

To see the full list of San Jose-made Valentine's Day items, head over here!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Outdoor Dining in San Jose is back!

After a two month hiatus, outdoor dining has returned! If you have a favorite restaurant that you would like to keep in business, now is probably a good time to support them. The restaurant industry has not fared as well as the tech industry throughout the pandemic.

Almost all of the Santana Row restaurants appear to be open again. You can click here for the full list. I had a chance to try King's Fish House in the Valley Fair expansion over the weekend--one of the rare new restaurants to open during COVID. It's the only one in Silicon Valley and was pretty spectacular for a chain restaurant. 

Petiscos by ADEGA in Downtown San Jose is an amazing option if you want to try out something new and unique. I don't believe there is another Portuguese tapas restaurant like in anywhere in the Bay Area. 

With the vaccine rolling out and infection rates slowly dropping, hopefully we'll get a bit of normalcy back by Spring 2021!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

San Jose Fairmont Hotel Remodel Complete

The Fairmont, San Jose's first modern luxury hotel, just completed a $10 million+ renovation. The lobby has been completely redone with a contemporary yet classy look. 

Once COVID is finally over, they will be able to open the new bar and lounge space that greets visitors as they walk into the hotel. Hopefully they will still feature live music and dance lessons. 

I also love the new check-in area. The whole design feels new while somehow giving off a historic vibe--like the hotel has always looked this way. It's worth checking out if you're in the area. Oh, and the room rates are now going for as low as $139/night (base rooms are very large at 450 SQFT).

Source: Silicon Valley Joe from the San Jose Development Forum

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

January 2021 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The latest addition of Downtown Dimension is now live. Below is a summary of the content this month.

Happy New Year - Welcome to 2021!

The JANUARY 2021 Downtown Dimension is now available for download.

On the Front Page:  
  • SJDA Board of Directors President Katia McClain offers some personal insights about the past year and year ahead.
  • A new alley that blends old and new into a fantastic urban space was recognized as the best downtown design of the year and rewarded with the annual Golden Nail Award from the Downtown Design Committee.
Also this month:
  • Restaurants are going to have a chance to make a little bit more revenue thanks to county and city leaders putting caps on meal delivery fees.
  • Six new businesses have opened recently, including a new sushi spot at San Pedro Square Market, Scott's Chowder House and a new small-plates restaurant in SoFA district by the owners of Adaga, the only Michelin-starred restaurant ever in San Jose.
  • Meet Eric Glader, SJDA's first Community Engagement Director.
  • VTA like the railings it put up on the Second Street Transit Mall and thinks they will help light-rail trains breeze through downtown a little faster.
Have a great, safe and healthful New Year.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

High-rise residential village proposed for Five Wounds neighborhood

The first big new development proposal of 2021 is actually outside of Downtown San Jose. A seven-building project called Vila de Camila would rise just a couple blocks away from the proposed BART station behind Five Wounds Portuguese National Church.

With a mix of 942 residences and office space across 3 acres, this would be one of the most dense projects in San Jose. Most buildings would be 16-stories tall with one seven-story building. There is even a potential expansion with four more towers that would result in between 1,200 and 1,300 residential units.

This may be a longshot as several amendments to the general plan would be required--including raising building heights, density, and widening the urban village boundary. However, this is exactly the type of projected needed close to mass transit like BART that will help San Jose grow in a sustainable way.

Source: SVBJ