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San Jose’s new Signia by Hilton hotel has upscale vibe

Past year, I wrote that the closing of the Fairmont Hotel was the end of an period for downtown San Jose. Perfectly, it’s time to start a new a person, with the opening this week of the Signia by Hilton.

Yeah, it is heading to choose a when to get utilised to “Signia” in its place of “Fairmont,” but proper now we can be content to have a location to get for the duration of massive downtown functions like San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, Christmas in the Park, the Veterans Working day Parade and Cinequest.

With the exception of some sign alterations, the Industry Avenue lodge — which originally opened in 1987 — seems to be the exact on the outdoors. But it’s a full new world within with the renovated reception location and the lobby lounge, which is now referred to as Aji Bar and Robata. The cream columns and dance floor of the Fairmont — a seem charitably described as “old elegance” — has been changed by wood-paneling, arched entry techniques and a horseshoe-formed bar in the middle entire with discreet retailers to demand your cellular phone.

SAN JOSE, CA – April 26: An inside view of the major entrance area of Signia by Hilton San Jose is photographed on April 26, 2022, in San Jose, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Place Information Group) 

The previous two-top tables have been changed by groups of comfy chairs and couches. There are tables where by the organization-minded can break out a laptop, a fashionable “conversation pit” with a sofa that could seat a occasion of 20, and a pair of massive display screen TVs tucked absent. Taken with each other, it is like a marriage involving late ’70s structure and 21st century functionality.

The food menu — devised by Executive Chef Hans Lentz, who previously worked in Dubai and Hawaii — is infused with Latin and Asian flavors, from the chicken wings cooked in a yuzu kosho honey glaze to the Wagyu beef sliders topped with fried avocado and queso fresco. The same goes for the cocktails, like the mezcal-primarily based Negroni Rosita, the Margarita Picante (garnished with wasabi caviar on a plantain chip) and the Jap Martini, a acquire on the Vesper that features sake, citrus miso and chive oil.

You may be in for publish-pandemic sticker shock as all the cocktails on the menu are $17-$18 (and even a draft beer goes for $10-$11), but that seems to be turning out to be the new ordinary at increased-close joints. Also, it would be good to add a craft brew or two from one of the locals like Camino, Narrative Fermentations or Clandestine. Certainly, that would be much more interesting for an out-of-town guest than a Blue Moon or a Stella Artois.

SAN JOSE, CA – April 26: An interior see of Fountain Cafe is photographed inside Signia by Hilton San Jose on April 26, 2022, in San Jose, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Location Information Group) 

The modern renovation suits completely with the vibe Hilton would like to develop with its elevated Signia model, but it in fact began back again in 2019 and was quite considerably complete when the pandemic shut almost everything down in March 2020. The area was dark and unused for a lot more than two decades, as the hotel went into and out of personal bankruptcy around the earlier 12 months.

But perhaps opening Aji now alternatively of then was actually a blessing. We can maintain independent our fond memories of fantastic situations at the Fairmont and get started making new types at the Signia.

Shock COMMENDATION: The San Jose Metropolis Council presented a commendation Tuesday to the Bay Region Household furniture Financial institution, a 6-yr-outdated nonprofit that offers family members in need with a little applied home furniture donated by lodges, university campuses, tech companies and other resources. The nonprofit, launched in 2016 by retired tech revenue dude Ray Piontek, has diverted about 23,000 pieces of household furniture from likely to the landfill — roughly 1,400 tons that would fill up 56 garbage vehicles.

Bay Region Furnishings Financial institution board member Joe Noonan was at the assembly for that item, and when it completed, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo advised him to adhere about. Noonan was offered with an surprising commendation for his operate as an advocate and champion for San Jose. (It was unexpected for Noonan, but I’m guessing not for the dozen admirers, including his father, Joe Noonan Sr., who confirmed up at the council chambers.)