Pizzetta 408, Other Downtown Storefronts to Close for Good

Pandemics and related closures were not friendly to small businesses, especially restaurants, but last week there were numerous closures or announcements from restaurants that were scheduled to be completely closed before the New Year began.

The latest restaurant to introduce kitchen towels is Pizzetta 408, a wood-fired kiln pizza shop in Naples at the SoFA Market in downtown San Jose since early 2017. The store is scheduled to close on December 31st.

The Pizzetta 408 follows numerous other closures on the market, including Vero Coffee, which closed in October after the lease expired. Vitamin, a food hall smoothie and juice bar, offered the last granola bowl in June.

“It wasn’t a surprise to us, as all closures actually took place at the end of the lease,” said David Ma, general manager of the SoFA market. “It was more similar,’Are you going to update?’ And certainly given the situation where people didn’t. We understood that.”

A food hall that attracted thousands of visitors a week, the SoFA Market struggled to keep its foot traffic moving during the pandemic. On some days, the number of people passing through the building is as low as 30, but health regulations vary from allowing only deliveries and take-outs to allowing outdoor dining and returning again.

According to Mr. Ma, about seven restaurants are currently open and open in the food hall.

“We now have some lonely nights out there,” he said. “When we were able to eat outdoors and the bar was available, we saw some bounces, but we had to pivot again, which was a dead zone.”

Another nearby food hall and event center, Forager, was closed during the pandemic after rents were too high for nine consecutive months when large-scale events were outlawed in the county. Instead, there’s a game lounge where Forager can host the rest of next year’s events.

But food halls aren’t the only ones struggling during a pandemic. Other downtown restaurants and businesses also announced closures last week.

Chacho’s, who has been in San Jose since 1994 (who spent several years in Campbell), will permanently close the once popular location on Santa Clara Street. Restaurant and bar representative Jorge Sanchez packed up some of his business late last week and told San Jose Inside that he didn’t expect him to return to the city again.

“I don’t think downtown San Jose can offer me anymore,” he said. “I’ve gone through multiple administrations, and I’ve seen multiple growths [periods], Multiple depressions, economic crisis, bank collapse, housing market, dotcom bust, and now Covid. I think the golden age of downtown San Jose is gone. “

Not only did Chacho suffer from a pandemic closure, but the storefront was damaged earlier this summer during a national protest against police atrocities following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. It was. Then came the invasion. According to Sanchez, the growing homeless population in the area has led to invasions that have hindered the acceptance of patrons, even if they are allowed to eat outdoors.

“It’s just a hurt world,” he said. “There are a lot of homeless people around here and they are having a hard time. There are a lot of addicts. There are people trying to find food for their families, for themselves and for shelters. . “

Chacho got some federal PPP funding, but couldn’t get local city or county funding, hired 47 people, earned the highest income of $ 180,000, and only seven employees. We are now servicing a declining customer base.

Today, restaurants have a deferred rent of about $ 147,000 and a $ 10,000 PG & E invoice. He knew it was over when the state leveling commission knocked on the money.

“The dam is bursting and I’m filling a small hole with my finger, and it’s just-it’s just useless,” Sanchez said. “Too many.”

Janice Bitters is the Editor-in-Chief of Metro Silicon Valley.Email tips [email protected].. Follow her on Twitter. @janicebitters..

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