Archive for May, 2009

South Winchester has great showing in Metro’s Best of Silicon Valley 2008

Monday, May 25th, 2009

The most recent survey of Metro’s Best of Silicon Valley shows a substantial number of South Winchester Boulevard restaurants. Published in September 2008, the weekly paper listed three winning restauarants in each category. Here are the South Winchester winners:

Blue Sky Chinese, 2028 Winchester Boulevard : Best Chinese

Michi Sushi, 2220 S Winchester Boulevard : Best Japanese, Best Sushi

Pho Saigon, 826 S Winchester Boulevard : Best Pho

Yung Le’s Fusion, 1317 Winchester Boulevard : Best Asian Fusion, Best Thai/Vietnamese Coffee

Sino, 377 Santana Row : Best Dim Sum, Best Asian Fusion

Left Bank, 377 Santana Row : Best French

Consuelo, 337 Santana Row : Best Tapas

Blowfish Sushi to Die For, 355 Santana Row : Best Sushi

Kazoo Sushi, 10 E Hamilton Ave : Best Japanese

Amber India, 377 Santana Row : Best Indian, Best All You Can Eat Lunch Buffet

Krung Thai, 640 S Winchester Boulevard : Best Thai

The Counter, 3055 Olin Ave : Best Burger

Most impressive was the win by Pho Saigon, which has been closed for close to 10 years. One wonders if the pho was so good that voters are coming back from the dead just to vote for this place. That must be good pho. Yung Le’s Fusion, winner of two awards, closed a few months ago, after the publication of these results.

Renovated KFC to include Long John Silvers

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

The KFC at 1805 South Winchester Boulevard has been closed while it undergoes considerable renovations which will include the addition of a Long John Silver’s fish restaurant.

The KFC under renovation

The KFC under renovation

Located at the corner of South Winchester and Latimer, the KFC has been under construction for several months. Documents from the City of Campbell show that the Planning Commission orginally approved the remodel of the existing fast food restaurant to accommodate a dual brand fast food restaurant (KFC /A & W) in December 2007. In August 2008 the developers changed their plans to build a combination KFC / Long John Silver’s.

The business owner was concerned that there was an oversaturation of the KFC / A&W brand in the area. There is currently a KFC / A&W location at the corner of Basom and Curtner. There was a dedicated A&W, closed several years ago, at 2145 South Winchester Boulevard.

KFC before construction, taken from Google StreetView.

KFC before construction, taken from Google StreetView.

Long John Silvers offers mostly deep fried fish and seafood. Freshside Grille is a new menu option which is fish prepared grilled instead of deep fried. Freshside Grille is only available at participating locations. It is not known if 1805 South Winchester Boulevard is a location that will participate.

Psycho Donuts Opens, Attracts National Attention

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Psycho Donuts has opened at 2006 South Winchester Boulevard at the corner of South Winchester Boulevard and Campbell Avenue, just outside downtown Campbell.

Psycho Donuts in Campbell

Psycho Donuts in Campbell

The donut shop’s theme is crazy donuts. They have donuts with names ranging from Green Tea Donut and FungShui to Split Personality and Bipolar to Major Head Trauma and Cereal Killer. The walls are adorned with artwork by local artists available for sale showing donuts being crazy. Customers are offered bubble wrap when they come in, and they can have their photos taken in a padded cell. Staff wear lab coats and nurse’s uniforms.

Co-owner Jordan Zweigoron in a lab coat with an employee in a nurse's uniform

Co-owner Jordan Zweigoron in a lab coat with an employee in a nurse's uniform

Co-owner Jordan Sweigoron tells South Winchester News that business has been great since the opening on February 28. Some mornings there is a line of customers around the building when the shop opens.

While the owners had intended the theme to be light hearted and fun, it has struck a wrong nerve for some people for whom mental illness hits close to home. Mental Health advocates have been protesting outside the donut shop, and giving out “Stigma-Free Donuts”.

John Forward, whose son suffers from mental illness, says ” I wanted to go in the first time I was over here, but I couldn’t get past the sign on the window that had the picture of the big needle, somebody getting injected, and the nurses and the straightjacket. I remember when my son was in 5 point restraints in the hospital and they were shooting him with up with a drug to calm him down. It was a horrible nightmare, and to see that demonstrated as their calling card, it made me sick. I couldn’t even go inside.”

Protestor John Forward with a sign

Protestor John Forward with a sign

Hope Holland with the Santa Clara Department of Mental Health, who suffers with bipolar disorder, works to raise awareness and fight stigma discrimination. Holland tells the South Winchester News, “The challenges that society presents are harder to manage than anything that the mental illness itself presents. I’ve caused a lot of pain to myself and to others around me by having untreated mental illness and by not acknowledging the problem. Part of the reason why I didn’t acknowledge the problem for so long and go get help was because of the stigma connected to it. ”

The protests by Mental Health advocates has given the small donut shop significant exposure. Local television news, news outlets from Florida to Minnesota, and hundreds of Internet blog posts have been writing about Psycho Donuts. Sweigoron admits that the exposure has helped bring in more traffic to the shop, but wishes the exposure was for positive reasons.

Sweigoron says he wanted to open a donut shop that was unique, and points out that it’s the donuts that are crazy and not the people. “It’s Psycho Donuts, not Psycho People”.

One customer who had suffered from severe depression with suicidal thoughts had a different take on it. “I do understand why some are bothered by the “Psycho” theme but I can’t help but wonder if introducing mainstream America to mental disorders in this way creates an opportunity to remove the negative stigma related to mental illness, not reinforce it. I think the donut names create a positive opportunity for dialogue. That said I do think the straight jacket and padded cell go over the line. They should expand the “group therapy” area and provide more seating instead.”

Green Cup Yogurt Now Open

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Green Cup Yogurt has had it’s “soft” opening at the First Century Plaza at 747 South Winchester Boulevard.

The “Green” in the shop’s name refers to its efforts to be environmentally friendly. The cups and spoons are all biodegradable, air cooled yogurt machines instead of water cooled, VOC-free paint used throughout the store, and they use real yogurt made from 100% all natural ingredients.

Green Cup Yogurt interior

Green Cup Yogurt interior

The store works like most new yogurt shops. Customers dish out as much of their desired yogurt flavour as they want into a cup, choose from a dozen “dry” toppings such as almonds and chocolate chips, and then choose from a dozen “wet” toppings such as fresh fruit.

Coming soon will be teas and smoothies.

Green Cup offers casual seating in a bright clean environment.

Yung Le’s Fusion Closes; Restaurant AI Opens

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Vietnamese restaurant Yung Le’s Fusion at 1317 South Winchester Boulevard has closed. In its place is Japanese restaurant Restaurant “AI”.

Japanese restaurant Restaurant AI

Japanese restaurant Restaurant AI

In Metro’s Best of 2008 list, Fusion won both Best Asian Fusion and Best Thai/Vietnamese Coffee.

Restaurant AI advertises itself as “Fine Japanese cuisine with selected organic ingredients.”

Located at the corner of Winchester and Payne beside the Safeway supermarket, Restaurant AI is closed on Mondays.

Paws in the Park at Santana Row

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Furry Friends Rescue and Kara’s Cupcakes are putting on Paws in the Park at Park Valencia in Santana Row on Saturday, May 30th from 1 pm to 4 pm.

pawsintheparkEvents include a Doggie Fashion Show, raffle prizes, dog contests, and an adoption showcase.

Profits from Kara’s Sweet Vanilla cupcakes go to Furry Friends Rescue.

Furry Friends Rescue is an all-volunteer non-profit Bay Area companion animal rescue organization, saving unadopted dogs and cats destined to be euthanized in Bay Area shelters. Since forming in November 1998, the group has rescued over 4400 dogs and cats.

The outdoor Santana Row mall is known for its pet friendly atmosphere. Visitors can dine at one of the many restaurants with outdoor seating with their dog. Look for the “Paws Welcome Here” decal for pet friendly shops and restaurants. The Furry Friends Rescue booth will have Pet-Friendly shopping guides available.

Visit Furry Friends Rescue’s Paws In The Park page for more information.

Jabelle Fashionetta has Grand Opening

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Jabelle Fashionetta at 700 South Winchester Boulevard in the Winchester Pavilion is having its Grand Opening.

Jabelle Fashionetta Grand Opening

Jabelle Fashionetta Grand Opening

As predicted weeks ago by South Winchester News, this is a women’s clothing store. They offer a wide range of items from casual jeans, formal dresses, lingerie, and accessories such as belts, jewelry, and nail products.

They are now having a Grand Opening Sale with a 15% discount and a free gift with purchase over $50 until June 1. They are also offering a 10% discount on the 15th of each month starting June 15.

Babes Beauty Lounge Opens

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Babes Beauty Lounge has just opened in the Winchester Pavilion at 700 South Winchester Boulevard.

The store sign being installed for Babes Beauty Lounge

The store sign being installed for Babes Beauty Lounge

Babes moves to this location about a month and a half ago. Previously, they were located on Silver Creek Road in San Jose. Their web site still shows the old address.

Babes offers services for all your hair and nail needs in a lounge-type environment. The web site shows photos of a sparkling disco ball.

Mizu Sushi Opening Soon

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Mizu Sushi will be opening soon at 1035 South Winchester Boulevard.

Mizu Sushi

Mizu Sushi

Previously, this was the location of Niko Sushi. Before that, it was a different Japanese restaurant, and before that, it was a different Japanese restaurant. The architecture of the building seems to have typecast it to only being a Japanese restaurant. Unfortunately, none of these Japanese restaurants seems to last long. What can Mizu Sushi do differently?