Live in Los Gatos

A resource for folks living in or moving to Los Gatos, by Mary Pope-Handy

St. Mary’s Country Fair in Los Gatos

St. Mary’s Country Fair in Los Gatos is a fun, annual community event that always occurs the second weekend of October. This year, it’s October 7th – 9th, 2016, 5pm-10pm.

St Mary's Country Fair in Los Gatos - 1st weekend in October every year

St Mary’s Country Fair in Los Gatos – 1st weekend in October

Open to everyone, and with no admission fee, the three day fundraiser is a great place to enjoy so many cool things, including:

  • carnival rides
  • bouncy house (several)
  • country store shopping
  • arts & crafts (such as pumpkin decorating)
  • martial arts displays
  • dancing
  • dining (good and affordable!) – several food booths to choose from
  • pancake breakfast on Sunday morning
  • car raffle
  • play games
  • giant slide
  • spaghetti dinner
  • full service coffee shop
  • talent show
  • live bands
  • bingo (of course!)

This is a fabulous place to walk through and simply bump into friends & neighbors from all over Los Gatos and the nearby communities. It’s also a fun place to take photos. Each day is a little different, some return again and again!

Details

St. Mary’s Church and School are located in downtown Los Gatos on Bean Avenue near Tait (and near North Santa Cruz Avenue) in the historic Almond Grove neighborhood. You can also reach the party by coming from Main Street and Lyndon Avenue.

Purchase advance tickets for rides, raffles, food, and more using this form. To get all the details on the hours, booths, events, please check the St Mary’s Country Fair website.

Extra tips:

Like a bargain? There’s an easy way to save money. Visit the parish or school office before Friday at 2pm and buy your Butler ride tickets at a substantial discount – and avoid the lines! (Tickets are sold in the 2 weeks leading up to the fair most years.)

Also, much of the Almond Grove District of Los Gatos has permit parking only in the evenings. So don’t park in the neighborhood! There are lots of public parking spaces between North Santa Cruz and University Avenues in Los Gatos, and they are no cost, so park there instead! I usually like to park between North Santa Cruz Avenue and University Avenue in the public lot.

Sereno Group Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Pumpkin Contest Sereno GroupIt’s time to decorate some pumpkins! Sereno Group is hosting its 8th annual pumpkin decorating contest and invites kids to transform a small pumpkin into a work of art! This is not a carving contest and there should be no punctures of any kind as these works of art will need to last, and any cuts will cause rotting.

Every child who enters will get a small gift. Voting on the best work of art will take place during office meetings for each of three age groups, with the winner of each getting a prize.

Small pumpkins are being given away at the Sereno Group office locations in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Willow Glen, Aptos / Santa Cruz, Los Altos and Palo Alto – please see flier for office hours. O[tionally, entrants may bring their own small pumpkin.

The deadline is Monday, October 24th, 2016. Have fun – we cannot wait to see the decorated pumpkins!

Los Gatos Terrain Map

Do you ever wonder about the hills that create so much beauty in and near Los Gatos?  Here’s a Los Gatos terrain map (also called an elevation map) that you can play with – zoom in and out, scroll around the valley and generally investigate the varying hills, valleys, and elevations in Silicon Valley. It is a fun way to check out the altitude or grade of hills.

http://maps.stamen.com/#terrain/12/37.2410/-121.8959

Claws for a Cause in Los Gatos

claws for a cause los gatosEach year, in early to mid-Septemeber, the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club, together with CB Hannegan’s Irish Pub in downtown Los Gatos sponsors a fun end of summer bash: Claws for a Cause.  The annual lobster block party features good food, live music, and dancing.  It is often a sell-out event! Three thousand Maine lobsters will be delivered the morning of the feast.

Per the Claws for a Cause page online, ” proceeds going to the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Charitable Foundation (supporting music, art and youth scholarships).”

This year it’s Saturday, Sept 17, 2016, from 5:30 pm to 10pm.

Learn more and buy your tickets here:

http://lglobsterparty.com/home.html

 

And see the Mercury News article with more details here, also:

Los Gatos: Claws for a Cause returns on Sept. 17

Los Gatos Park Dance

musical notesNeed something to do on Labor Day weekend? The Los Gatos Park Dance is back during the holiday weekend – the 4th annual at Oak Meadow Park. The first year over 2000 people attended and it’s been growing ever since

Los Gatos Park Dance Details

Cost: FREE – courtesy of the Los Gatos Community Foundation

Date & Time: Saturday, September 3rd, 5:30 – 9:30pm

Location: Lyndon Bandstand, Oak Meadow Park, Los Gatos

Same musical lineup as the last couple of  years:  The Johnny Neri Band 5:30 – 6:45 and then The Houserockers (a Los Gatos band) 7:15 – 9:30pm

What else: to get a good spot, arrive early! Bring a picnic supper. Beer and wine are allowed with meals (no other alcohol). Bring layers, as it cools down once the sun sets.

Parking at Oak Meadow Park is free to town residents, but if you’re a local, you know that it fills up fast.  You can park on nearby public streets if that happens, or try Vasona’s parking, which will cost a little.

 

Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening

The Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening took place a couple of nights ago and it was both extremely well attended and well received. By 4:45pm, a few dozen fans and friends had gathered near the front door of the brewpub, awaiting the ribbon cutting and the chance to enter Loma for the first time.  The owners, Scott Youkilis (image left in blue shirt) and Kevin Youkilis (right side of photo), each held one end of the ribbon, and Barbara Spector, mayor of Los Gatos, cut it with a large, gold, ceremonial pair of scissors. Also shown is the talented BrewMeister, Warren Billups (just behind Scott).  Apologies that I do not know the names of the others in this photo.

Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening - Scott Youkilis and Kevin Youkilis, owners, hold the ribbon while Barbara Spector, mayor of Los Gatos, does the cutting.

Inside, Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening was an immediate mob scene!  Someone at the reservation podium was asking who had reservations (had I known that was possible, we’d have reserved, but that wasn’t the case so we made a beeline for the bar).  I was extremely impressed that the staff handled the hyper rush with speed, skill, and calm.   (This wasn’t just any rush: this was the entire place filling up instantaneously!)   The staff was amazing.

Loma Brewing Company Los Gatos Beer Flight on Grand Opening Night Aug 18 2016I wanted to try a flight of beer to get a sampling and to take me out of my comfort zone a little. My better half, despite living in Belgium for four years, is not a beer fan, but there were tons of other offerings and he was very  happy with a glass of wine.  All of the beer I tried was delicious. Most surprising to me was how mellow the stout was. I’ve been to the Guinness Factory in Dublin, and  honestly, this was far better.  Kevin Youkilis told me that they use a  different process involving nitro which seemed to take out the bite.   All four of them were great, but I only finished one – and to my surprise, it was the stout. (Even if you don’t usually like the darkest of beers, give it a try!)

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long enough for a meal, or for me to finish my flight completely, as we had another grand opening to attend at the same time, so after an hour we needed to get going.  We did peruse the menu, which was impressive and offered quite a few temptations.  Many patrons were eating around us, and the food looked wonderful. Very few breweries around here seem to qualify as a Gastropub, so I’m anxious to try the food next time.

Old brewery location, but not the old brewery

Some Los Gatans may have been expecting a revival of the former brewery on this site, the Los Gatos Brewing Company.  That would be a mistake, despite the same physical address.  This is a whole new venture, with new owners, new beer, new food, new equipment, new recipes, new talent, new everything. Go to it with an open mind, not expecting to see or taste or experience what was there before.

Loma Brewing Company has been set up with the contemporary and low key warehouse style of decor, which is so popular today. (As with the new Super Duper Burgers and also the new Mooya Burgers, both in Los Gatos, or with the many public markets springing up around the state.) Don’t go expecting the soft, cushy seating of the LGBC.  At the bar there are tall metal chairs with backs, and at the tables, metal stools (no backs).   I did not notice an acoustics problem, which seems to happen with the warehouse style, so kudos to their designer for addressing that so well.  We sat at the bar and it was comfortable in every way. And I appreciated the hooks for purses there, too.

If you love beer, you will love this place.

More photos of the Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening

A crowd gathers in Los Gatos for the Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening. Scott Youkilis and Kevin Youkilis will hold the ribbon, while Los Gatos mayor Barbara Spector will cut it with the large, ceremonial, gold scissors. A very healthy turn out for a warm Thursday afternoon. When the ceremony was over, people flooded in - and the place was full immediately. Ribbon cutting time at Loma Brewing Company Loma Brewing Company ribbon has been cut Loma Brewing Company beer menu...with more to come soon. A flight of beer - $12 for the sampler, and worth every penny.

 

Loma Brewing Company address, contact info, and locations online

Loma Brewing Company is located at 130 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030 tel is (408) 560-9626
Right now, it’s open 5pm to 10pm, but starting sometime in September will also be open  for lunch.
Find them online at http://www.lomabrew.com/  and also on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Prior posting on the Grand Opening:

The Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening will take place on Thursday, August 18th, per the brewery’s Facebook page and the Loma Brew website:

Join us for our grand opening celebration on Thursday, August 18, starting with a ribbon cutting at 4:45 p.m., followed by our official opening at 5:00 p.m.

We will be open for dinner from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. daily. In September we will extend our hours and begin serving lunch as well as weekday happy hour, in addition to dinner nightly. Stay in the know by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media for the latest Loma updates – @lomabrew.

We look forward to serving you – cheers!
The Youks and Team LBC

Loma Brewing Company Los Gatos logoI plan to stop by for the Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening and wish them well – hope to see you there!
The Loma Brewing Company is a new Los Gatos brewery in an old Los Gatos brewery location – it’s on the site of the former Los Gatos Brewing Company at 130 N Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos CA 95030. Keep posted at the LomaBrew.com site:  http://www.lomabrew.com/

Related reading:

More info on Loma Brewing Company on this site

Loma Brewing Company opening soon

Kid Friendly Restaurants in Los Gatos

Jasmine Chinese Food, Los GatosLos Gatos is home to a great many restaurants. But your kids may not want to try Romanian or Thai food, or perhaps a great steakhouse won’t be well appreciated by younger teens and younger people. But there are many, many places with simple fare, simple decor and sometimes too other things going on that are truly more kid friendly.

So here is the Mary Pope-Handy list of kid friendly restaurants in Los Gatos. Have I missed one? If so, let me know and I’ll add it.

Kid Friendly Restaurants in Los Gatos for Breakfast

Los Gatos Cafe (2 locations) Breakfast place – great food. Downtown is at 340 N Santa Cruz Av., Los Gatos 95030.
East or Uptown is located near the Nob Hill grocery store at 15662 Los Gatos Blvd  Los Gatos, CA 95032-2504 (408) 356-0600  http://www.losgatoscafe.com/

Southern Kitchen another great breakfast place – amazing menu. 27 E Main, Los Gatos 95030 http://www.southernkitchenlg.com/

 

Kid Friendly Restaurants in Los Gatos for breakfast and lunch only

Sweet Pea’s – breakfast and lunch (and catering) but not supper – very low key, they also do catering. Crepes (both savory and sweet), salads, sandwiches, quiche. Great prices for downtown Los Gatos. Order at the counter and eat indoors or out. Limited seating and even more limited parking. http://www.sweetpeascrepes.com/

Purple Onion – Open for breakfast and lunch, not dinner – sandwich and salad shop, (never tried them for breakfast) two locations, casual environment with good food.  One location is downtown at 26 E Main, the other in northwest LG at Vasona Junction 14107 Winchester Blvd.  Good salads.  http://purpleonionlg.com/

 

Kid friendly lunch & dinner spots in Los Gatos

The Diner of Los Gatos  235 Los Gatos Saratoga Rd Los Gatos, CA 95030   (408) 354-4886. Great milkshakes, hot dogs served in paper “cars” and a casual ambiance are perfect for kids.

Andale (Mexican) 21 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos. 408 (395)-4244. Features casual fare and a lovely outdoors dining patio and fountain.

Los Gatos Pizza – out on the east end of town at Blossom Hill and Harwood, this pizza and sports bar place has some of the very best pizza I’ve ever had. Plenty of TVs, a sports bar, and great variety of pizza offerings. 14080 Blossom Hill Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032 http://www.losgatospizza.com/

T-Birds Pizza 444 N Santa Cruz Ave Los Gatos, CA 95030-5313 (408) 395-2525. Low key, good food. Small salad bar, too.

Jasmine Chinese Cuisine 20 S Santa Cruz Ave Ste 204, Los Gatos, CA 95030-6827  http://www.jasminelosgatos.com/

Double D’s Sports Grill 354 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030   (408) 395-6882 – s of this update, they’ve just had a fire but will be rebuilding, so keep them on your list. http://www.doubleds.com/

Malibu Grill – not actually in Los Gatos, but not far from the east end of town. This is a simple sports bar with loads of TVs. Good food, fair prices. 5735 Camden Avenue, San Jose CA 95124 408-448-7300 http://www.malibugrill.com/

Kid Friendly Restaurants in Los Gatos that are beyond casual: burgers and dogs

Classic Burgers – old style burger shack, beyond casual, but great food and at least two dozen different milkshakes offered. 15737 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95032  They don’t have a website, but I have blogged about them previously on this site: Classic Burgers of Los Gatos: Best Burgers in Los Gatos

Happy Hound – great hot dogs! a throwback to the 50s and worth the visit. Great prices.  15899 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95032. Almost no inside dining. Prepare to eat out doors or take to go.

Dessert

Kids been extra good? Got a sweet tooth? You are covered in Los Gatos!

Dolce Spazio – a fantastic gelateria in downtown Los Gatos, this has often been voted the best place for dessert in Los Gatos. 221 N Santa Cruz Ave.  Some inside dining, some outside dining, or you may just take it to go. Yum! http://www.dolcespazio.com/

Powell’s Sweet Shoppe in downtown LG has every kind of candy imaginable (and they are open late). They offer gelato, too. 35 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030. For some reason, on Yelp there are folks reporting it closed but that is not the case, it’s open. http://www.powellsss.com/go/index.cfm/locations/california/los-gatos/contact-hours/

 

Of course, there are many other eateries in town that may work well, whether it’s a doughnut shop, a pastry shop, a sandwich hut or any other type of establishment. If I’ve missed anything noteworthy, please let me know and it will be added here.

 

Los Gatos Homes for Sale Under $1,000,000

Espana Oaks townhomes in Los Gatos

España Oaks townhomes in Los Gatos

With average and median home prices between $1.5 and $2 million, it can be hard to find Los Gatos homes for sale under $1,000,000.  Look hard enough, though, and there’s often an opportunity – usually a condo, sometimes a townhouse, and once in awhile, a house on a lot.  Ok, to be fair, if it’s a single family home on a piece of land, it may well be a tear down – what my daughter used to call a “dozer”, as in “bull dozer”. But it’s a starting point!

What are the best odds for finding Los Gatos homes for sale under $1,000,000?

There will be some strategy involved to find a lower priced home in Los Gatos 95030 or 95032. First, it’s important to understand the impact of  the proximity to downtown and the role of schools.  Find a home with Los Gatos High that’s in one of the official historic districts and you are likely to pay a premium for it!  Go further out, and away from pristine Victorian homes from 100 years ago. and the prices will soften.   Things will also improve if you consider smaller homes on smaller lots.

A townhouse with Westmont or Leigh High may be in budget if it needs remodeling and updating. There are some really nice communities in town, such as Los Gatos Woods, where if you’re willing to do a little work you might be able to squeak by at under one million dollars.

To improve the odds of success, you may want to concentrate on either condominiums or on properties in the 95032 zip code with Campbell Union High School District (Westmont or Leigh High). Or improve the odds better and go beyond the town’s boundaries and consider the Los Gatos Mountains (zip code 95033).  With the latter, you’ll get much more home for your money.  The downside, of course, is that your commute will be longer and you may have issues from living in the mountains.

If you are over age 55 or if you aren’t planning on living there yourself – if it’s an investment property – you may want to think about buying a home in one of the seniors condo complexes.  The Los Gatos Commons is nicely situated in the central or downtown Los Gatos area and as of this writing, in 2016, units can be purchased for under $700,000.

Another tactic to employ is to watch for homes that have been on the market a long time and are hovering at 10% or so above your target price point. In every real estate market, no matter how hot, there are some houses, townhouses, and condominiums which are simply over-priced.  I don’t suggest targeting more than about 10% over budget because “low-ball”offers usually serve to offend sellers and backfire on buyer’s good negotiating intentions.

Browse Los Gatos homes for sale under $1,000,000

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

 

 

 

 

Ending the Alberto Way Condo Confusion

Alberto Way MapMost of the condominiums along Alberto Way in Los Gatos are part of The Los Gatos Commons, a senior complex that’s fairly large. (To read more about senior housing in the area, please see my post on it here.) As with most senior housing, the units at The Commons are more affordable than the majority of  Los Gatos condos. The Commons was built in 1978 and requires that at least one resident be 55 years of age or more. As of 2016, you may be able to purchase a tiny 1 bedroom in the Commons for under $700,000.

A smaller condo community just a little closer to Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, and on the opposite side of Alberto Way, is Pueblo de Los Gatos.  These homes are a little further away from Highway 17, are a little quieter, and are not senior housing.  They tend to sell for a little more than the homes across the way. There seems to be about a 5% difference in price, most of which may be attributable to freeway noise, but part of it to the “senior community” status. This property was developed in 1970.

What is the fastest way to tell them apart? The easiest way, without even clicking on a link, is to spot the address.  If there’s a letter as part of the unit number (as in A100 or B202), it’s part of The Commons. If there’s no letter, as in #7, it’s part of the Pueblo de Los Gatos. Of course, there are other townhomes in the immediate area, too – but these are the largest communities.

Both of these are in close-to-downtown Los Gatos locations. If you’re in the market for Los Gatos real estate and would like to live close in, this is a great street to check out.

Los Gatos Commons homes for sale (55+)

Condos in the Los Gatos Commons (a senior community) which are for sale or pending sale right now.

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

 

All Alberto Way area homes for sale

This includes properties on Alberto Way as well as Maggi Court

  1. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,650 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,306 sqft
    Year built: 1998

See all Alberto Way.
(all data current as of 6/27/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

Creekside Village neighborhood

Creekside Village Plat Map - click to view larger imageCreekside Village is one of the youngest subdivisions in Los Gatos, and it’s located in a prime “walk to town” neighborhood with the highly prized Los Gatos schools, too. As the name implies, this community of houses sits alongside the scenic Los Gatos Creek (the Los Gatos Creek Trail is on the far side of the water from these properties).  All of these factors make the Creekside Village neighborhood a very attractive option for house hunters.

This subdivision was built by Barry Swenson with prefab or manufactured housing between 2005 and 2006 on the former site of a mobile home park.  There are 60 homes, ranging in size from 1251 square feet to 1747 SF (average home size is 1503 SF). Lots are mostly smaller, ranging from 1845 to 8909 SF, with the average parcel being 2846. Garages are either single car or 2 car tandem. While the houses are not big, the interiors are beautifully appointed and there’s nothing modest feeling about them in that regard.

All homes are on Creekside Village Drive and are assigned the 95032 zip code. It’s a very tidy community and includes a home owner’s association for the shared amenities such as the clubhouse, pool, workout room, private road, and parking.

There are pros and cons to every neighborhood. In the case of Creekside Village neighborhood, the negatives are that it’s situated very close to Highway 17 and also Highway 9 (Los Gatos-Saratoga Road). Some home buyers may not like that the lots are narrow, mostly forcing single car garages, with houses quite close together.

What do homes in Creekside Village cost?

Those sold over the last year (as of the writing of this article, October 2016) have sold at $1,199,000 and $1,429,000. That’s right, only two sold in the last year, so it’s clear that inventory doesn’t come up often in this area. For downtown Los Gatos, this is bargain real estate pricing!

  1. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,747 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,051 sqft
    Year built: 2005
  2. 2 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,348 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,003 sqft
    Year built: 2005
  3. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,716 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,613 sqft
    Year built: 2005
  4. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,747 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,181 sqft
    Year built: 2005
  5. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,502 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,482 sqft
    Year built: 2005
  6. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,390 sq ft
    Lot size: 2,744 sqft
    Year built: 2005

See all Creekside Village.
(all data current as of 6/27/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

 

Creekside Village HOA Info

http://creeksidevillage-lg.com/creeksidevillage/outside_home.asp

Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805

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