What’s New? Changes and Re-Openings in Los Gatos

Open Sign NeonSpring has stretched into summer and while closure protocols remain in place, the Town of Los Gatos has been progressively re-opening.

Safe Summer Reading

Socially distant opportunities are ever-expanding. The Town Library is working hard to circulate your summer-reads safely. Residents can now check-out material online with safe patio pick-up for books, CDs, and DVDs. Virtual services include online classes and remote storytimes in addition to the virtual library services already in place.

Summer concerts have gone virtual, too, at least for Jazz on the Plazz.

Back in Business

Unfortunately, increasing virus spread has led to a rollback on opening many indoor services. Outdoors, however, there’s plenty to do!

Back in May the Town Council began work and the April-approved reallocation of $1.9M in surplus to bolster local COVID-19 economic recovery. Some of this has been used to help create the outdoor expansions into temporary parklets.

If you haven’t been downtown recently, it’s all hustle and bustle with the new setup. Patio dining is now available at many of your favorite restaurants. Personal services including hair salons, cosmetologists, nail salons, and barbershops are now also open for business – outdoors and by reservation only. The weekly farmers market is still open for business every Sunday.

While indoor malls remain closed you can still enter shops in outdoor malls or at standalone stores, so window-shoppers, follow the posted rules and enjoy stalking the shelves!

Re-Opening the Outdoors

Los Gatos Collage Re-OpeningTrails and parks remain open with social distancing requirements. Boating on Vasona Lake is open with plenty of safety protocols in place. County parks have yet to reopen playgrounds, water fountains, and group picnic sites, according to their website, so keep that in mind when you plan a Vasona visit. Town parks have reopened some sports equipment (such as tennis courts), and playgrounds, picnic tables, and BBQ areas are all open for use. The Town of Los Gatos is accepting picnic site reservations online again.

To keep track of what’s open and what’s changing in the Town of Los Gatos, check the Town Department Updates page, the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce Open Businesses page, or contact individual businesses for details.

Remember that the best practice is still to remain home as much as possible. When not possible, follow all safety protocols, wear a mask, stay physically distant, and wash your hands often.

Gooseberry Designs

Gooseberry Designs pillow with stylized Los Gatos and Saratoga mapLooking for a clever, locally made gift? Check out the offerings at Gooseberry Designs in downtown Los Gatos! Their website and Etsy page give the viewer an idea of their reason for being: “Whimsically Stylish Home & Paper Goodies”

For a recent birthday, my daughter gave me a pillow (shown here) with a very cute map of Los Gatos and Saratoga created by the owner of Gooseberry Designs, Nina Kulick (a Saratoga native, as I understand it). I love it!

In addition to pillows, the shop features a wide variety of items with similar maps from everywhere: prints, stickers, bamboo boards, tea towels, and  totes.  A few of the locations highlighted on the items are Monterey, San Francisco, Oakland, LA, Seattle, Boston, Long Island, Maui, Palm Springs, and many more.

Take some time and browse their offerings online (links below) or in the store. The items are loads of fun and great to purchase for yourself or as gifts for others.

 

Gooseberry Designs Studio + Shop

Nina Kulick
(Located at the corner of S Santa Cruz and Main, at the Lyndon Plaza shopping center)
20 South Santa Cruz Avenue, Suite 105
Los Gatos CA 95030

408-402-5270

hello@gooseberrypress.com

Gooseberry Designs

Etsy page 

Sur La Table – Old Town

Located in the newer part of Old Town in Los Gatos along University Avenue, Sur La Table is a bright and welcoming shop known locally for its great supply of kitchen goods and cooking classes for people of all ages. If you’ve not been there in awhile, it’s worth a return trip!

Front of store - Sur La Table on University Avenue, Los Gatos - Old Town area

One easy offering that may beckon you in the door is free knife sharpening (for the first knife it’s free, after that $5 each, with some exceptions, such as no scissors, no broken or damaged knives, and a few others – if you have a lot of knives to sharpen, you may prefer to take them to Nob Hill, which will sharpen 3 for free at a time).

Today I was in the neighborhood after enjoying coffee with a friend at the Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company nearby. I popped in for a little bit and learned that Sur La Table in Los Gatos is undergoing a little bit of a redesign. The shelves which are away from the wall are shorter than they used to be. Visually, it is much nicer as patrons can more easily view the rest of the room. You can get a sense of the lower racks in the photo below.

 

Sur La Table - Old Town Los Gatos - interior photo

 

Read moreSur La Table – Old Town

One-way pilot program

This summer, the town of Los Gatos will begin a one-way pilot program along N Santa Cruz Avenue, in the south bound direction, between Bachman Avenue and Elm Street. The trial will run from July through October and will also include the addition of a southbound bike lane, angled parking on the east side of the street, and 7 parklets. Parklets are spaces carved out of the roadway for people to gather and dine, along the lines of a sidewalk cafe. To learn more about what’s coming, please see all the details on the town’s website:

Experience Los Gatos – Town of Los Gatos summary of changes coming this July – October

Town of Los Gatos: One-Way Pilot details

One way pilot FAQs – a PDF on the town’s website

When I first heard about this program, I wondered if it was intended to address the problem with beach traffic. The FAQ page, though, states that “This project provides an opportunity to envision a future downtown with wider sidewalks (demonstrated by parklets) which leads to areas for sidewalk dining and casual gathering. Combined with other placemaking efforts, the goal is to provide for a vibrant downtown.” The downtown businesses do suffer each summer when traffic makes the area difficult to access, so perhaps this will be helpful to bring more cyclists and pedestrians into the beautiful downtown area (and perhaps the foot traffic will discourage cut-through motorists?).

Los Gatos pilot one-way program
Los Gatos pilot one-way program