by Mary Pope-Handy, Clair Handy | Jan 5, 2022 | Events, Food & Drink, Irrelevant Fun, LG Lifestyle, Los Gatos Art & Entertainment, Los Gatos Events, Los Gatos Restaurants, Cafes, Bars, Wineries, Pampered in Los Gatos
While the annual CrabFest is postponed another year, the Rotary Club of Los Gatos is continuing a new tradition with their 2nd annual Virtual WineFest & Auction! Save the date for Saturday, January 29th at 5pm!
This year’s event centers around gourmet bites and Argentinian wines (or try the non-alcoholic selection) guided by sommelier Joe Chiodo. Tickets include a Wine Tasting Kit for 2 with curbside pick-up from Rootstock Wine Bar prior to the event. Evening entertainment includes a live performance by Lavender Fields.
And as always, the main event is the charity auction! Proceeds benefit the Rotary Charities foundations, and this year the “Raise the Paddle” auction item benefits Los Gatos House of Hope, West Valley Community Services, and Peninsula Food Runners to help fight hunger and food insecurity locally.
Virtual WineFest & Auction
For ticket sales, event details and updates, contact the event team, or donate directly check the Los Gatos Rotary website and Virtual WineFest & Auction event page. Each ticket is for a 2-person tasting experience at a cost of $150.
The event is also posted on the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce event calendar with easy links to save the date on your virtual calendar and view a video promotion for the event.
by Clair Handy | Jun 28, 2021 | Downtown Los Gatos, Events, Food & Drink, Irrelevant Fun, LG Lifestyle, Los Gatos Art & Entertainment, Los Gatos Businesses, Los Gatos Events, Los Gatos Restaurants, Cafes, Bars, Wineries, Maps of Los Gatos, Pampered in Los Gatos, Shopping, Visiting Los Gatos
Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce poster for the Promenade!
The Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce invites the community to celebrate summer together with free live music all summer!
Thursday Promenades in Downtown Los Gatos
There’s a party in downtown every Thursday Promenade beginning this week! Every Thursday evening, 3pm to 8pm from July 1st to August 12th, the stretch of North Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Los Gatos between Main St and Bachman (that’s from Dolce Spazio to Andalé for the foodies) will transform into “the promenade.” The street will be open to foot traffic, and two stages will bookend the promenade with live musical entertainment!
Bands will begin performances at 4:30pm on the North Stage (Bachman), and at 5:30pm on the South Stage (Main), with entertainment from a different group each week. See the lineup (and any changes) on the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce calendar, the Thursday Promenades page linked above, or Camber of Commerce social media pages.
Drivers, plan to reroute around this stretch of N. Santa Cruz Ave on Thursday nights. While there is usually plenty of parking along the old rail line behind the shops, it tends to fill up with festival traffic, so schedule in some extra time for parking. If you’re coming for the event, consider traveling by bike, or using a ridesharing service if you plan on patronizing any of the bars or brewery!
As someone who regularly attends free summer concerts in Los Gatos, which were mostly canceled earlier this year (and the Fiesta de Arts / Wine Walk postponed until September), the Promenade is music to my ears!
So invite your friends to eat, drink, play, and stroll the night away!
Musical lineup, taken from the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. Click to see the original post.
by Mary Pope-Handy | Feb 7, 2019 | Los Gatos Art & Entertainment, Los Gatos Businesses, Pampered in Los Gatos, Visiting Los Gatos
Love fine art? A fun place to stop in and get tempted by the work of creative people can be found in downtown Los Gatos at JCO’S Place, located on University Avenue (address is near the bottom of this article).
A few years back, when JCO’s was located on N Santa Cruz Avenue near the theater, I was strolling past this gallery with my daughter, plus my visiting niece and nephew, who hail from Boston, and noticed some beautiful, over-sized paintings. I did a double take when I saw one of Tom Brady, # 12, as you don’t normally find a lot of Patriots art here in Los Gatos. Stepping in, that wasn’t the only piece from the Northeast. It was a surprising find!
Not everything is Brady, Patriots, and Boston – there was plenty of other football art on display to keep in the theme of the game for this season and the multiple celebrations of SuperBowl 50 here in Silicon Valley. To get a better sense of the diverse offerings, check out the blog portion of her website: http://www.jcosplace.com/art-blog .
Why the Tom Brady and Patriots focus? I wish it were because they would have been in an upcoming game. Instead, it turns out that the proprietor of the store, Julie Jenkins, hails from Boston. I had a fun talk with her. She is very warm and welcoming, and I’d love to come back to see what she brings in next.
The shop also had an artist painting and visible from the window, Nick Brown, a very talented guy. What I saw looked quite a bit like our eastern foothills, but I didn’t get a chance to talk much as my younger relatives were ready to continue our walk through downtown Los Gatos.
Next time you are out for fun in downtown LG, take a few minutes and stop by JCO’s Place. I think you will enjoy it!
JCO’s Place for Fine Art
805 University Avenue #E • Los Gatos CA 95032
Hours: As of this writing, closed or by appointment Mon and Tues. Check the most current hours on the site: http://www.jcosplace.com/visit.html
by Mary Pope-Handy | Jun 22, 2016 | Great Places in Los Gatos, Los Gatos History, Pampered in Los Gatos, Photos of Los Gatos
Perhaps you’ve driven over Highway 17 from Los Gatos to Santa Cruz and wondered about the large white building off to the left, perched on a knoll overlooking the valley and that same highway. That’s the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, now a retirement home for Jesuit priests and brothers (members of the Society of Jesus) for the provinces of California, Oregon, and Washington (now collectively known as “Jesuits West”). Many decades ago, it was the novitiate for the California province, meaning it’s where young men entered the order. Two of my uncles did just that. I am a fairly frequent visitor to this lovely place now, as one of my uncles has gone full circle and has retired where he first entered. Some of my old professors from Gonzaga University in Spokane are there, too, as well as Jesuits that I knew growing up in the area.
Pan of Santa Cruz Mountains toward Los Gatos – view from the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center (formerly the Jesuit Novitiate)
So today I wanted to share some photos with you, as many people living in Los Gatos would have no occasion to visit what my family still calls The Novitiate. However, Testarossa Winery is next door (at what used to be the Jesuit Winery), so many of my readers will have been close. Please enjoy the photos, which I took last Saturday while there to see my uncle.
I’ve learned that the Jesuits also have a wicked sense of humor. My uncles like to joke that “even the Sacred Heart has turned his back to the Jesuits!”
Please remember many people call this home, so please enjoy the winery and the public trails nearby and respect that the Jesuit Center grounds and its parking is for the workers, residents, and their guests.
NB: I am related to Jesuits but do not work for the province. The number for the reception desk at Sacred Heart is 408-884-1700.
by Mary Pope-Handy | Aug 28, 2015 | LG Lifestyle, Los Gatos Businesses, Pampered in Los Gatos, Relocating to Los Gatos, Visiting Los Gatos
Chocolate Dream Box has been a part of the Los Gatos landscape, in one location or another, for many years. It first opened in downtown along North Santa Cruz Avenue, then was located on Los Gatos Boulevard and Blossom Hill Road at King’s Court Shopping Center, and now calls The Downing Center (at the corner of Union & Los Gatos-Almaden Road) home.
Today I stopped in to see the new shop, to buy a gourmet chocolate gift and see how the owner, Holly Westbrook, and staff are doing. I’d blogged about it in 2011, back at the old location, and thought an update was in order, too, for their new location (and my blog’s new location).
Things seem to be great overall. The new store is bigger and brighter than the former one was and feels comfortably roomy. The decor is always beautiful, with a hint of Europe here and there to remind visitors of the inspiration.
What’s selling? Old favorites, such as the dark and milk chocolate cats, can still be found, and as always, there’s an abundance of specialty candies and exceptionally beautiful and tasty truffles. There are non-candy gift items too, pretty affordably priced also. Today I saw a pewter fleur de lis that was quite tempting…
The move was, of course, a lot of work for them, and if you’re local, you know that they hadn’t wanted to move but got forced out by their former landlord. Any business owner would be concerned about losing customers with a new location, but I imagine in time everyone will find their way to the new shop – it’s only 1.5 miles away from the old one. An unexpected element, though, happened too – the Yelp reviews from the old location could not transfer to the new one – ouch! If you are a fan, cruise on over there and give them a shout out. I did that today; it’s great to support our local Los Gatos businesses!
Truffles, truffles, and more truffles. The biggest problem with visiting the Chocolate Dream Box is figuring out which one(s) to buy! (more…)
by Mary Pope-Handy | Aug 19, 2015 | Los Gatos Businesses, Pampered in Los Gatos
Visit Tradewind Spas in Los Gatos and you’ll find friendly, knowledgeable help with maintaining or purchasing a spa. Almost 2 years ago, we purchased one from them, and received excellent assistance and no pressure from Jeff, the owner, and Don, who’s often running the store. That exceptional customer service has continued as we have returned again and again with either questions or the need to purchase supplies. Our experience has been very positive and for that reason, I wanted to give them a little blog attention. (As always, I am not compensated for this in any way, and the article was my idea, not theirs.)
Their focus customer service and their expertise is in is portable spas and hot tubs. They sell those with the most reliable manufacturers and warranties that exceed California Energy Commission standards. The brands they work with the most are MAAX/Coleman and Freeflow. (We purchased a Freeflow and have been very happy with it.)
Per the store’s website: “We are a four-time recipient of the MAAX/COLEMAN spas or hot tubs “Outstanding Service after the Sale” award. A distinction given to only three dealerships in the country each year. If your spa needs repair, we will fix it quickly and professionally.” and “We will meet or beat any competitors deal on a spa of comparable quality, size and features.”
- hot tub and spa sales
- repair parts (for spas they have sold dating back to 1980)
- spa accessories
- chemicals and water testing
- spa removal and disposal
- used hot tubs and spas
- spa/pool service and repair
Opened in 1979, Tradwind Spas has survived multiple economic downturns and multiple droughts. While many other spa outlets have gone under, they have kept their doors open. I believe that this is a testament to their fair prices and excellent service.
Located along “the boulevard” between Los Gatos-Almaden Road and Blossom Hill Road – you may sometimes see the mannequin or mascot out of doors, sitting atop a hot tub, waving hello:
15736 Los Gatos Blvd.
Los Gatos, CA 95032
Hours per their website:
Monday – Saturday
10am – 6pm
Sunday 10am – 5pm
Read reviews of Tradwind Spas on Yelp