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Enjoy a taste of Italy all from the safety and comfort of your car or couch.
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Downtowner Online: Jan 20 - 26
Dear Downtown San Jose Supporters, 

This week, get a taste of Little Italy, enjoy an elegant piano performance and go on a walking tour of History Park. We have a special interview with Miyuki of Enoteca La Storia about how small businesses are doing at this time. Chef's Market closes at the end of January so go get your orders in! 

In this newsletter, you'll find:
We're all in this together. 
#DTSJ Restaurants - A Taste of Little Italy
Although we can't travel the world right now, we can still experience different cuisines. Visit downtown's Little Italy for your fix of pasta and meatballs.

Start off your day trip to Italy at Bel-Bacio Italian Cafe to experience one of the best espressos, lattes or cappuccinos made by their professional and knowledgeable baristas.

 
Paesano Ristorante Italiano offers great food at a great price. Ask them about their daily specials and get your pasta fix. They have continuously stayed open during the pandemic and are currently open for takeout from 4 pm - 8:30 pm seven days a week. To order, call (408) 217-9327 or visit here.

Henry's Hi-Life reopened earlier this month for take-out and delivery. Henry's is a San Jose institution and we hope you continue to support them. They set up a great street-facing take-out window that you just have to check out! Order here.

Top it all off with some wine from Enoteca La Storia. They launched their own delivery service for those living within three miles of Little Italy and are available for farther deliveries through Doordash. Little Italy and Enoteca La Storia also have a Wine Club you can join. Receive monthly or quarterly wine shipments from a featured region of Italy and get access to a members wine-tasting event, regional Italian cooking class and cultural presentation.
Chef's Market closes at the end of January. Have you made an order yet? For every meal you order for yourself, a meal is donated to someone in need. You can order from any (or all) of the restaurants listed and pick up with touchless delivery at the South First drive-thru at 300 S First Street. Runs daily from 11 am - 6 pm. Order now.
Arts - Steinway Society presents Andrew Li
Elevate your week with a classical piano performance by Andrew Li, as part of Steinway Society’s Home Concert Hall Series. Andrew shows his mastery of the piano through his performances of Beethoven, Chopin, Stravinsky and Brahms. Before the show, listen to Andrew's short talk about his chosen pieces, his musical journey and how he is doing during the pandemic. This online performance will be available for viewing from Jan. 22 - 25. $20 per household. Tickets.
Outdoor Activities - History Park Walking Tour
Are you still going on your daily outdoor walks while sheltering in place? If you want a change of scenery, then head over to History Park for their walking tour coming up Feb. 2. Sign up early to make sure you get a spot. $12 per person. 

A museum guide will lead you through History Park, discussing the historical and architectural background of each building. For some of the more important buildings, the famous people associated with them will be highlighted! Come to History Park to exercise both your mind and body. 
COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place:
  • Tours will be limited to 10 people
  • Masks must be worn and social distancing will be enforced
  • No money will exchange hands during the tour; attendees must either bring their confirmation printout or show confirmation on their phone
Other Essentials - Rally for Restaurants Gift Cards
Miss eating at your favorite go-to lunch spots from when you were working in the office? Grab some takeout and purchase a gift card to support your favorite downtown restaurants.

Rally for Restaurants is a free, online platform that allows customers to buy gift cards from their favorite local restaurant. There are currently 116 restaurants from San Jose listed on the platform. You can order takeout or buy a gift card directly from the website.
San Jose Love Stories - All About Enoteca La Storia
San Jose Love Stories highlight acts of kindness by our community for our community. 

While operating at only 25% of their normal revenue levels, Enoteca La Storia has put 100% of their efforts into adapting to new procedures. They have pivoted to take-out and delivery, implemented email sales and social media promotions and cut back on staff. In addition, they have modified their menu, installed air purifiers and outdoor heaters for their patio (available when al fresco dining is permitted). For their employees and family members, they have arranged for free COVID testing. 

While navigating all these business obstacles, Enoteca La Storia still made the effort to give back to the community by donating goods and services to several local charities and organizations and providing direct support to some of their employees who need assistance. 

Meet Miyuki, Director of Operations at Enoteca La Storia. We got the chance to speak with her about how ELS is doing, her feelings about current business conditions and what she hopes to see in the community.

Have you reached out to other business owners about how they’re coping and how you can help each other navigate this difficult time? 
Yes, we often collaborate with our neighboring businesses and the Little Italy Association. We also are involved in the Greater Downtown Economic Recovery Task Force to share ideas and provide input.

What advice do you have for other small business owners? 
Be scrappy! No idea is too crazy! Tap into your staff for ideas and inspiration; you never know who has skills you might be able to leverage. That bartender may have a marketing degree; that busboy may have mad social media skills!

What do you think would be of biggest help to your business right now? 
Take the time to teach yourself new digital skills. Leverage your vendors to help. Ask for help. Opening up restaurants for spring dining now would help. Also, make applying for grants easier because sites constantly crashing do not help. 

Can you tell us a little more about the donation work you've been doing for local charities and organizations and the support you've been giving to your employees? 
We donate gift cards to vetted charities, mostly requests from our customer bases' connection to schools or other charities they support. We participate in all fundraisers sponsored by Little Italy. We do internal fundraisers (with ELS staff, vendors, friends) to help staff in need. We schedule onsite COVID testing every six weeks for our staff and families. We offer free meals for staff who have been unable to work or who have lost unemployment insurance benefits.

Do you have a message you’d like to share with the downtown community? 
Let's look out for one another! Get on text loops with your immediate neighboring businesses to communicate quickly regarding any issues.

Thank you, ELS, for all that you're doing for the community and your staff. If you know of any other downtown businesses doing acts of kindness for the community, we want to hear about it and share their story! Please reach out to Jessica at jvuong@sjdowtown.com
Ashley's Picks
Keep an eye out for the latest from The Storyboard Project. The Storyboard Project tells the story of San Jose through a series of audio visual experiences throughout downtown, with their most recent work projected on Culinary Corner Bistro’s storefront. Missing nightlife in #DTSJ? Help support bars downtown with to-go drinks - Haberdasher continues to provide curbside signature cocktails, Five Points and O’Flaherty’s have half priced bottle specials, and Camino Brewing Company offers beer and food pairings weekly.
Keep up with Downtown San Jose with our weekly Downtowner Online and monthly Downtown Dimension e-newsletters.
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