Pack up your Mardi Gras pearls and order another round of Beignet as the Poor House Bistro will be on the move soon. The downtown San Jose restaurant, which serves New Orleans-style dishes a short walk from the SAP Center, heads to the Little Italy neighborhood later this summer.
Poor house owner Jay Meduri said Wednesday he had just signed a lease to open the restaurant, which is in honor of his new home between Henry’s Hi-Life and the Italian cultural center and museum under construction at Famiglia Meduri’s Poor House Bistro will be renamed St. John Street. “It’s a different journey than I ever expected,” said Meduri, who opened the Poor House in 2005. “I think my grandparents would have liked the idea, and I think Little Italy’s support helps.”
Meduri’s grandparents immigrated to the United States from Italy with his father, so there is a clear connection. Meduri says he’ll add some Italian flair to the menu – while keeping the old Cajun favorites – and add elements of the Venice Carnival celebration to his usual Mardi Gras theme.
Meduri plans to move with Joshua DeVincenzi Melander from Little Italy for a few months after Google bought the property under the restaurant as part of its plan to develop the Downtown West neighborhood around Diridon train station. Meduri originally hoped the Poor House Bistro could remain part of Google’s “village”, but the long expansion would keep the restaurant in a construction zone for nearly a decade. “Google has only been helpful to me. I have no complaints, ”said Meduri. The Mountain View-based tech giant will help move the Victorian home a few blocks from Autumn Street to Little Italy, a collection of historic buildings that includes an Italian school, restaurants, and plaza.
And while the house has a lot of history, this isn’t even the first step. Meduri’s grandparents bought the building when it was a sorority house on 11th Street near San Jose state and moved it to Autumn Street in the 1950s.
BOOK ‘EM: Speaking of the move, the Campbell Library will soon be taking to the streets as well, relocating to the Campbell Community Center for the next two years, while the current location at 77 Harrison Avenue is undergoing a modernization.
In preparation, the last book sale of the Friends of the Campbell Library will take place on April 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the current location. Books start at 50 cents, it’s cash only and you need to bring your own bag (and don’t forget a mask).
FRIDAY NIGHT ADVANTAGE: Blues musician Lara Price might be in Austin, Texas these days, but that hasn’t stopped her from hosting Girls Got the Blues’ eighth annual fundraising concert for Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence in San Jose on April 9th lineup of more than a dozen acts from the Bay Area as well as Southern California, Austin and Portland, Oregon for the 7pm virtual concert.
“Every year, Girls Got the Blues members support our efforts to fight domestic violence and raise awareness of Next Door Solutions programs,” said Esther
Peralez-Dieckmann, Managing Director of Next Door Solutions. “The commitment of these women to support women in crisis with their talent and to perform year after year reflects the tremendous success and support that the Bay Area community has for survivors.”
The event will be streamed at www.facebook.com/lara.price.90. However, you can support Next Door Solutions by purchasing a $ 25 concert ticket – it includes Price’s latest CD and a DVD titled Girls Got the Blues – or a $ 10 raffle ticket. Check it out at www.nextdoorsolutions.org/GGTB2021.
TRIBUTE TO A FRIEND: KQED’s Rachael Myrow wrote a touching tribute to Penny Nelson, a Palo Alto-based and long-time member of the KQED family who died of brain cancer on March 18, aged 57, from Jane Goodall (who encouraged her to work with chimpanzees, and she did) and a world traveler who eventually made her home in the Bay Area.
She began as a guest presenter for the Forum and later for the California Report, and built a career that lasted 25 years. She also had a wide range as a reporter covering everything from wild horses in Modoc County to people living in RVs in Palo Alto. And somewhere there, she found more than a decade to be a literary agent and raised two boys, James and Misha.
“She brought a lot of love into the world and a lot of love has returned to her,” Myrow wrote. “The richness of their relationships and the breadth of their personal and professional curiosity show what it means to make the most of our measured time here.”