Merchant adds to downtown San Jose bet, leases prime restaurant site

SAN JOSE — A retailer with multiple locations in downtown San Jose is aiming to expand its presence in the city’s urban core by leasing prime space in a large-scale project.

The entrepreneurs behind Original Gravity Public House, Paper Plane and Miniboss — all popular downtown San Jose venues — have chosen a location for a new restaurant and bar with a lease at Paseo, a mixed-use redevelopment of a long-closed cinema.

“We’re bullish on downtown San Jose,” said Dan Phan, one of the venues’ top executives. “We have our core here. With all the development activity going on, we think we’ll do very well here.

Phan and his partners, Johnny Wang and George Lahlouh, have leased nearly 4,000 square feet at 201 S. Second St. in San Jose, said Joshua Burroughs, partner and chief operating officer at Urban Catalyst, a very local developer. asset.

Construction project at Paseo, a mixed-use development in downtown San Jose at 201 S. Second St. that totals 100,000 square feet, April 2022. (George Avalos/Bay Area News Group)

On the South Second Street site, Urban Catalyst is developing Paseo, a mixed-use complex totaling 100,000 square feet on the site of the former Camera 12 film multiplex.

“Urban Catalyst is thrilled to partner with such an incredible local operator, launching its fourth location and anchoring the ground floor corner of our Paseo project,” said Burroughs. “They’ve always brought some of the most creative food and drink offerings downtown.”

With this lease agreement, Paseo has now leased space to three merchants with restaurant operations: Urban Putt, a miniature golf operation, leased 13,300 square feet; Unofficial Logging, an ax throwing, restaurant and bar venue, leased 6,800 square feet; and the as yet unnamed restaurant and bar operation run by Phan, Lahlouh and Wang has leased 3,800 square feet.

“We can’t wait to open them on the Paseo ‘restaurant row’,” Burroughs said of Phan, Lahlouh and Wang’s new restaurant and bar concept.

Additionally, an unidentified restaurant has signed a letter of intent to lease an additional 2,500 square feet from Paseo, which would completely fill the restaurant and ground floor retail space.

The Paseo mixed-use project at 201 S. Second St. in downtown San Jose will add office and retail space to the closed site of Camera 12, concept. (HGA Architecture)

The next major task at some point this year will be to begin marketing office space totaling 75,000 square feet on the second and third floors of the Paseo, according to Burroughs.

“We wanted all the retail businesses and restaurants to be finished first,” Burroughs said.

Original Gravity, Paper Plane, and Miniboss – which is a retro-looking bar and arcade – are all primarily drinking places that serve food.

Phan says the newest venture in the Paseo redevelopment will primarily be a restaurant that offers top-notch cocktails.

“We want it to be a restaurant that also has a nice bar,” Phan said. “We will be offering brunch and dinner service. Although we will have cocktails, the food will be the center of attention.

With a location that overlooks South Second Street as well as Paseo de San Antonio, Phan believes the new venture is poised for great success.

Phan says the venue will take advantage of the high first floor that served as the main hall for the old cinema.

“It’s a unique building and a great opportunity,” Phan said. “20-foot high ceilings will be awesome,” Phan said.

With three well-established operations in downtown San Jose, Phan sees signs that downtown San Jose has begun to recover from the economic afflictions triggered by the coronavirus and government-ordered business closures.

“Things are definitely trending up,” Phan said. “Our weekend activity is back to almost pre-COVID levels. Weekday business still has some catching up to do. We believe downtown San Jose is becoming more active and we want to be a part of that.

About Walter Bartholomew

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