They call it Dine Downtown, version 2.020, a promotion tailored for this coronavirus year.
In downtown San Jose, around 100 outdoor and takeaway grocery stores reopened, but thousands of their customers – the city hall staff, the students and faculty of San Jose State University, as well as the high tech, banking and others Business people who normally work at the desks – will work from home during COVID-19. And the theaters, music and art venues that attract guests remain closed.
Because of this, the San Jose Downtown Association launched an ambitious version of the annual dining program that changes the previous focus on white tablecloth dining to highlight meals and quick bites that are part of the expanded downtown street-dining scene in the Can be enjoyed outdoors. Even coffee houses are taking part.
And for the first time, the campaign will run for six weeks from today until November 15th.
“Our restaurants are struggling with the pandemic,” said Autumn Young, interim managing director of SJDA, at the announcement of the promotion. “We wanted to draw attention to the companies that are finding their way through these difficult times.”
Jennifer Cannella Echeverri, owner of Habana Cuba in the SoFA market, welcomes this customer-facing effort and hopes it will lead to more local support for “all the small businesses that make San Jose unique”.
“We’re surviving thanks to some grants from the City of San Jose, but we need more in-house sales !!” she said in an email. “Deliveries kill us – they take 30 percent off the sale.”
This year’s Dine Downtown promotions range from quick bites like 77-cent boneless wings at the Nest Asian Bistro on South Third Street on Mondays and Wednesdays to a multi-course Hawaiian feast of seafood and sausages valued at $ 45 at Tiki Pete on North Market street.
Other “Fast Casual” participants are the new MakiBQ in Fountain Alley, the Hawaii Poke Bowl at SoFA Market, the Cubamex Sandwich Shop on South First Street and five local coffee houses / cafés throughout the city center: Academic Coffee, Paper Moon Cafe and Pastelaria Adega, Voltaire Coffee Roaster and Voyager Craft Coffee.
The Little Italy neighborhood will be represented by the Enoteca La Storia restaurant and wine bar, which has a courtyard terrace. For the Dine Downtown weeks, co-owner Mike Guerra said they’ll be adding a special combination – aglio e olio pasta with pesto and prawns, and a Negroni cocktail – to the regular menu.
At least three restaurants in San Pedro Square have joined the program. Farmers Union is bringing back its three courses for $ 30. The liquor-focused district is set to join a new deal. and 71 Saint Peter, a mainstay in the square since 1993, offers a tasting trio to welcome guests for the first time after months of closure.
“After briefly flirting with to-go commands, we found that it wasn’t enough to survive,” said Cordial Pajor, owner of 71 St. Peter. “Now that San Pedro Street is open for al fresco dining, there is a small but noticeable upward trend in people eating out. We want to keep that momentum and help San Jose restaurants bring life back to downtown spaces. “
His 71 Saint Peter and Mezcal restaurants on San Fernando Street behind the cathedral have been part of the Dine Downtown promotion since it was founded 12 years ago.
And this year there’s a newcomer who hasn’t even opened its doors yet.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 30: The future location of Petiscos Restaurant at 399 S. First Street in San Jose, California on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Nhat V. Meyer / Bay Area News Group)
Petiscos, a casual small-plate restaurant by the upscale Adega team in the Little Portugal neighborhood, opens at some point during the run of Dine Downtown on South First Street. Owner Carlos Carreira will first be offering a dine downtown deal at his family’s Pastelaria Adega on Santa Clara Street, where egg custard tarts known as Pasteis de Nata are bestsellers, and then offer a small plate promotion for the opening of Petiscos .
In the past few years, Dine Downtown lasted a week to 10 days. This year’s version spans 46 days and spans seven weekends.
“We have expanded Dine Downtown to include more restaurants over a period of time to ensure customers have enough time to discover new dining experiences and revisit a favorite,” said Julie Carlson of the association.
Young and Carlson expect more restaurants to join the promotion in the coming days. For the full list and menu details, visit www.sjdowntown.com/dine-d signed.