While all of that is new and exciting, we want to shed light on 18 local establishments that have served the San Jose community for 65+ years — quite impressive with our changing scene, no?
(Psst... We’d love to make this a living list, so if you know of a business to add, send us a tip.)
Normandin | Est. 1875
This dealership’s roots date back to the days of the horse-and-buggy. Founder Amable Normandin was a blacksmith + sleigh-maker, and opened the shop to construct buggies — an original, built in 1882, is still on site. The business has now seen five generations of Normandins.
The GrandView Restaurant | Est. 1884
The GrandView originally opened as a hotel + tavern for the Mt. Hamilton Stage Coach, which took trips from SJ to James Lick Observatory. Over the years, technical advances + natural disasters closed it down, but it rose as a restaurant, honoring the same name, in 1957.
O.C. McDonald | Est. 1906
Founded by Oren Charles McDonald more than a century ago, this company installed the first air conditioning system in San Jose. The plumbing, process piping, and HVAC service provider is currently owned and run by Oren’s great-grandson, Jim McDonald.
Chiaramonte’s Deli & Sausage | Est. 1908
Located near Backesto Park is this 115-year-old gem. Salvatore + Alfonsia Chiaramonte immigrated from Sicily and opened up the deli, and it remains as one of the oldest family-owned and operated Italian delis in the US. Stop in for homemade sausages, pasta plates, or made-to-order sandwiches.
Deluxe Dye Works | Est. 1912
This rug cleaning + repair service began with Mr. A. Heymann, who started the business after 28 years of textile experience under master craftsmen in French mills. It has now seen five generations of family and continues to offer everything from bed pillow renovation to fiber protection.
Hammer & Lewis Clothiers | Est. 1920
A Polish immigrant named Sig Hammer established this men’s clothing store that specializes in custom suits, Panama hats, Pendleton items, and more. It originally was located on Market Street for 69 years, but moved to its current location at 19 S. First St. following the Loma Prieta earthquake.
Greenlee’s Bakery | Est. 1924
Emmett Greenlee founded the bakery almost 100 years ago, but European pastry chef Norbert Geldner and former Cambrian Bakery owner Rosalina Geldner bought it in 1981. Their combined culinary skills made Greenlee’s brioche-like cinnamon bread its best-seller.
Kogura Co. Gifts | Est. 1928
In the heart of Japantown, you’ll find a gift shop that once sold Japanese appliances to the community in the 1930s. Kogura Co. is one of the oldest stores to stay in its original location in any Japantown in the US. Now, you can find products like rice cookers, Japanese dolls, colorful tea sets, and more.
Peter’s Bakery | Est. 1936
This San Jose staple is the oldest family-owned bakery in the Silicon Valley. Founder Tony Peters, born in San Jose in 1907, learned about the bakery business through family members. By 1938, he had two bakeries up and running — one at Delmas + San Carlos streets, and the other on Alum Rock Avenue.
Mark’s Hot Dogs | Est. 1936
Only San Joseans know where you can get a hot dog from an orange. The original owner, Mark Yuram, moved his stand into a decommissioned Giant Orange — once a popular California chain — and the rest was history. Get a taste of nostalgia and order from its classic menu of hot dogs, floats, shakes, and nachos.
The Screen Shop | Est. 1945
Owner Joe Salamida started his wood screen business out of his neighbor’s basement, and since then, it has grown to a full-service operation offering patio doors, aluminum awnings, and more. You can catch a glimpse of its retro sign from Highway 17.
Santo Market | Est. 1946
San Jose born and raised Earl and Helen Santo are the head of this Asian grocery market’s legacy, having kept it in business since Earl’s uncle founded it following the end of WWII. Today, foodies flock to the corner store for its strawberry mochi and fresh poke.
Bertucelli’s La Villa Deli | Est. 1947
This deli, known for its handmade ravioli, was founded by married couple Frank + Ann Giacomelli and later bought by Dave and Patty Bertucelli who then ran the business with their family. Indulge in Italian sweets + pick up its not-so-secret menu item, the Chris Combo sandwich.
Neto Sausage Company | Est. 1948
The family business began with Arthur Goncalves’ move into California, and his search for the old-world, traditional linguica he grew up eating. The company still uses his techniques + recipes to produce the highest-quality linguica, and it runs alongside the family-owned Santa Cruz Pasta Factory.
Kirk’s Steakburgers | Est. 1948
After WWII, Bill Sincere and his wife, Kirk, moved from New York to California and decided to open up a burger joint that served charcoal-grilled patties like the ones they enjoyed back east. After opening up the first location in Palo Alto, word spread among early Silicon Valley developers, and the rest was history.
Olivera Egg Ranch | Est. 1949
Not much is known surrounding the opening of this east side community staple, but for over 75 years, this market has provided affordable eggs — and lots of them. From duck + quail, to balut and chicken eggs with double yolks, you’ll surely find the egg-xact one you need.
Andy’s Pet Shop | Est. 1950
Founded by Andy Camilleri 73 years ago, this business has gone through several owners. It faced a closure in 2009, but survived and moved from its original home on The Alameda to its current location on Bascom Avenue. It sells pet supplies + treats, but has suspended its adoption center operations.
Original Joe’s | Est. 1956
The founders of the original Original Joe’s in San Francisco desired to bring the homestyle Italian American flavors from SF to the South Bay. So much so, for the first few years of operation, they transported SF French bread via Greyhound Bus everyday. It remains an SJ institution in the heart of downtown.