Downtown San Jose pub owner plans new restaurant and bar
Downtown San Jose pub owner David Mulvehill plans to open a restaurant and bar across two buildings at the corner of West Santa Clara Street and Almaden Avenue. Photo by Jason Torres Iraheta.

    A successful San Jose pub owner’s plans for a new restaurant and bar in downtown are moving forward after getting approval from city officials.

    The as-of-yet unnamed business is slated to open in two ground floor spaces in two buildings connected by a hallway at 189 and 177 W. Santa Clara St. near the corner of Almaden Avenue, including a space in the Lyndon Building which is also partially rented by The Brit.

    The San Jose Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit Wednesday to allow the business to remain open until 2 a.m. daily.

    David Mulvehill, the owner of the business, said the vision is to open a full restaurant and bar offering brunch, lunch and dinner.

    “We’re definitely going with a California-style cuisine, farm-to-table,” Mulvehill told San José Spotlight. “There aren’t enough places for people to eat downtown. That’s the market we’re going after.”

    Mulvehill said initial plans for a craft cocktail bar at 177 W. Santa Clara St. changed when he secured tenant space in the adjacent building, allowing room for a restaurant with a large open kitchen.

    He said he hopes to attract a broad array of patrons, from downtown workers looking for more lunch options to people who want a brunch spot downtown, and for anyone visiting who wants dinner and drinks before a show or Sharks game.

    The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. nightly, after which the business will operate as a “drinking establishment” until 2 a.m., city reports said.

    “Our downtown is still struggling and took a punch in the gut from COVID and the pandemic, and we’re trying to recover it,” Planning Commission Chair Pierluigi Oliverio said during the Sept. 13 meeting. “Every business that adds to the fun factor or entertainment is what we’re trying to do.”

    Mulvehill already owns several other downtown bars and eateries, including O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub, Five Points cocktail bar, Dr. Funk Rum House and Kitchen and Hella Good: Burgers and Shakes, inside San Pedro Square Market.

    His businesses all operate in buildings owned in part by former Mayor Tom McEnery, a prominent developer of the San Pedro Square Market, and is an ownership partner in the two buildings for Mulvehill’s latest venture, as well. Mulvehill said the goal for opening is September 2024.

    Mulvehill also received support for his plans from the San Jose Downtown Association.

    “His businesses are well-run and consistently draw people into downtown San Jose and make them experience the kind of nightlife that helps people form positive memories of our city and feel connected to our urban environment,” Alex Stettinski, CEO of the downtown association, wrote in a letter to the city.

    Contact Joseph Geha at [email protected] or @josephgeha16 on Twitter.

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