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Campbell First - Joe Hernandez's Blog

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Campbell City Council
Steve Bonner June 16, 2014 at 05:27 pm
Sylvia, I agree that a lot of places serving hard alcohol until 2 AM adds to the late night hardRead More party crowd. The good news is The Socialight is a high end restaurant featuring cuisine from around the world in a farm to table, organic delivery that is open only until midnight, not 2 AM, and on most days closing at 10 PM. Further, we are serving only beer and wine paired with our exceptional food. We open at 6 AM with breakfast and coffee's, through lunch and dinner. The picture that Mr. Hernandez is trying to paint of this very fine restaurant is distorted. If you would like to read more about what my restaurant is really doing, you can go to my blog posted yesterday at: http://campbell.patch.com/groups/the-socialight---the-truth/p/the-socialight--the-truth#.U550grQ_FGY.facebook Class and tasteful people is exactly what the Socialight is all about. Steve Bonner, Owner
Joe Hernandez June 16, 2014 at 07:11 pm
As I clearly stated at the beginning of my blog, this issue is less about the merits of Mr. Bonner'sRead More application and more about the bigger picture of the future of our downtown. The vision and General Plan for downtown does not promote or encourage a restaurant row, regardless of how nice the restaurants might be. I also accurately stated that Mr. Bonner is free to open his restaurant without the need for a conditional use permit if he does so without a bar. If he is truly interested in bringing a classy and tasteful restaurant to downtown, he does not need a bar to do so. It's very simple and the choice is his.
Jessica June 17, 2014 at 07:24 am
Steve, the concept is great, but there is no need to be open passed 11pm. The main concern hereRead More isn't your current concept (which sounds great!), but the fact is that any late night permit is for the location NOT business specific. This means that should your concept fail, or you choose for other reasons not to continue this particular business, ANY type of late night business can now open with the conditional use permit. This is the reason I feel the permit needs to be denied. I truly hope you open, as you can now, without the conditional use permit and I look forward to patronizing your restaurant.
Current Downtown Use Mix
Kerry G May 22, 2014 at 11:43 am
Incidents such as the stabbing over the weekend and more are not related to the high-quality alcoholRead More establishments: wine bars and more. A band would bring a less violent crowd to downtown Campbell- Thank you, Matt Keller, rid ourselves of The Spot! http://campbell.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/campbell-pd-too-much-boogieing-at-bayou--15-boozerelated-arrests?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001&evar4=picks-1-post&newsRef=true
Alan Zisser May 22, 2014 at 01:27 pm
I have similar thoughts on this as some of the others. The comparision doesn't totally fly forRead More number of reasons, although 40% is high, no matter how you slice it. Wonder how we would compare to downtown Mountain View, which has a very high concentration of restaurant/bars. I agree that the problem isn't restaurants that serve alcohol, but the handful of bars that focus on just (late night) drinking, and do attract less savory element. Wayne Finlay suggests that all this is good because it draws people, but I would argue there is a limit to how much and what type of "draw" we want, to keep Campbell safe and friendly. Love everyone coming to hangout, eat and "sip" a bit. Not thrilled with having a bar crawl crowd. Council should take extra care with future decisions on more drinking establishments, and this includes Pruneyard/Bascom area, which isn't far away. City wants to make that a continuous corridor connection, so even more reason to carefully consider future retail mix.
Joe Hernandez May 22, 2014 at 01:54 pm
I agree with the sentiments that some bars (that focus on late night drinking) are more of theRead More problem than nice restaurants. The challenge is two-fold: 1) once the City grants a conditional use permit to a business with a restaurant AND a bar, that business might essentially operate as a bar...which is what The Spot has done, and 2) the condition use permit runs with the land and not the owner...so while you might have an upstanding person open a restaurant, he or she can sell the business to someone else who might not be so upstanding and be more interested in operating a bar. In the case of the Socialight, Mr. Bonner could open a restaurant serving alcohol tomorrow if he wanted without the need for a conditional use permit. He wouldn't need the approval of the Planning Commission or the City Council. The fact that he wants to also have a bar, late night hours and live entertainment is why he needs the permit. The permit process is exactly the mechanism that Alan Z. mentions above...it's the opportunity for the City to be very thoughtful about allowing new alcohol establishments...even if the applicant says he wants to open a nice restaurant.
Mayra Flores de Marcotte May 21, 2012 at 06:59 pm
Wow. Thanks for writing this up, Joe. I was bummed not to have been able to attend, especially sinceRead More local history is something I personally enjoy. Glad to hear that it was well attended and that stories were shared. Would love to hear some of them ... :)
Arthur Low September 13, 2011 at 03:52 am
You also mentioned that I should advise Evan to pay more attention to the needs of CampbellRead More residents. Well, here is a partial list of his accomplishments when he was mayor last year. 1. When four families became temporarily homeless in a fire, Evan contacted the Marriott Courtyard to house them and got the Lions, Kiwanis, and Rotary Clubs to pay the reduced costs charged by the hotel. 2.Through his leadership and contacts on the San Jose City Council, he was able to get the two cities to negotiate an agreement that allow Campbell to annex 1,000 homes in the Cambrian area. 3.As mayor, he got the police officers union to agree to pension reform, reduced staff overhead, got the business community to endorse measures to increase business fees and hotel taxes that was passed by the voters… these actions allow Campbell to be fiscally strong. Not bad for someone whom you said spends too much time campaigning and fund raising! Arthur Low
Joe Hernandez September 13, 2011 at 10:40 am
Art, Clearly I have struck a nerve with you as Evan's father and I understand that. But I do notRead More want to use this forum as a back and forth with you...it's a place to discuss THE ISSUE. While I fail to see how my attendance record impacts the proposed changes to the alcohol policy, I feel I need to respond. If you had checked your facts a bit more, you would know that I needed to take a month-long medical leave of absence from both the council and my full-time job. I have misrepresented nothing and plan to continue to raise awareness on the issue. By the way, the notion of a recall was not raised by me but by members of the public after the last study session...I'm just letting people know what's going on in our city.
Kendall Pearson September 18, 2011 at 03:22 pm
I find it somewhat disconcerting that we, as a society, seem to abandon or modify or values in theRead More face of economic troubles. Adding more bars or attached drinking establishments to Downtown will not significantly contribute to the city coffers nor will it improve the quality of life for Campbell residents. Perhaps the council should become reacquainted with the issues that that caused this ordinance to be made and modified in the first place. I can remember clearly the mayhem that was weekend evening in the late 80's. Puma's, The Terrace, and other watering holes plying the out of control patrons with cheap pitchers and extended hours. Public safety was occupied with the outfall, reducing service to the rest of the city. Personally I see no reason to change the ordinance. Other businesses are moving into downtown. As for this form, am I to believe that the only dialog on this issue is between a former council member and a present council members dad? Give me a break. Take it off line gentlemen. Stick to the issue. Name calling and questioning of someone's public record do not belong in this forum.
Neil Collins September 2, 2011 at 05:49 pm
Joe, I don't think that the Council is looking to negatively affect the quality of life forRead More residents along E. Campbell or Winchester. I think they feel that the Downtown Alcohol Beverage Policy was written for Downtown and its unique setting. The Downtown Campbell Business Association also backs the Council up on this. In their official statement released on August 11th, "The DCBA feels — for this discussion and at this time — the borders should be considered: inside the loop streets and including the Water Tower Properties. We feel that development outside these boundaries do not have a direct effect on the Downtown." There may someday be a need for a policy regarding these other two areas, but it should not be the same policy that governs Downtown. Each business and residential district is unique. Our Downtown is the envy of surrounding communities. We have received very positive press. Most of the comments are on how nice of job the city has done in developing the Downtown of the last several years. A large part of this revival can be attributed to restaurants like Sonoma Chicken Coop & Katie Blooms . As these established gained a foothold, retail began to infill and feed off the crowds they brought in. Why couldn't a similar formula work on Winchester Ave.? Successful business attracts other successful business.
Joe Hernandez September 3, 2011 at 08:39 pm
Neil, Thanks for posting. Unfortunately, you're missing the point of the policy...namelyRead More addressing negative impacts due to over-concentration of late night bars and restaurants disguised as bars. Although its focus is primarily on the downtown, the council in 2008 recognized that future development along E.Campbell and S. Winchester have the potential for similar over-concentration if left unregulated. So rather than waiting for the problem to happen, the council was proactive by including E.Campbell and S.Winchester under the scope of the policy. By removing these areas from the policy, the current council is opening the door for over-concentration again. I agree that TRUE restaurants like the Sonoma Chicken Coop have contributed to the downtown revival but remember they are only open until 11:00 p.m. which is consistent with the policy (although they have the right to be open later). Other restaurants like A Bellagio, La Pizzeria and Aqui's are other great examples of downtown role-models...but they are only open until 11:00 p.m. and do not operate primarily as bars. It's a joke and insult to the residents of our community to call places like Katie Bloom's and The Spot "restaurants" when they clearly operate as bars...bars that are open until 2:00 a.m. While successful businesses attract other businesses, unruly bars attract other unruly bars and bad news for nearby residients.
Neil Collins September 8, 2011 at 08:50 pm
Joe, I had a very nice lunch yesterday with several other business owners at Katie Blooms. TheyRead More have a complete menu and the food is quite good. Yes they do a substantial amount of their business in the evening when folks are looking for a cocktail, but they truely are a full service restaurant.
Vanessa Dutch July 25, 2011 at 06:14 pm
I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered toRead More our house tomorrow by Fedex. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, http://BuzzSave.com
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