outdoor dining downtown los gatos
The rise of outdoor dining in Los Gatos has opened up possibilities for new experiences downtown, business owners say. Photo: Drew Penner/Los Gatan

The once-popular Le Boulanger has been sitting empty at the corner of Main Street and Montebello Way for nearly three years, but sometime this summer the black window coverings will come down and a new restaurant, the Parkside, will open for business.

Right next door, at 9 Montebello Way, the Montebello Market is getting ready to open in a few weeks.

“The Parkside and Montebello Market are going to flank Town Plaza,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Catherine Somers said. “It’s a cool new concept for the park and I think it shows we’re becoming a little more European, with outdoor cafes spilling out into parks and public spaces.”

Montebello Market partner Jim Foley describes the hybrid fast-casual-market-deli as a “gourmet deli and market with an East Coast twist. We’ve got some cool East Coast/New York-style sandwiches planned for the main deli portion and we’ve got a whole breakfast/beverage program as well.”

A to-go window will make it easy to grab ‘n go coffee and deli items, while the market items—things like olive oils, barbecue sauces and spices—will be indoors along with wine, beer and liquor.

le boulanger main street parkside
The former home of Le Boulanger at the corner of Main Street and Montebello Way is getting a facelift, with a new restaurant, the Parkside, set to open in about four months. Next door, finishing touches are being put on the Montebello Market, which should be open by the end of this month. Photo: Judy Peterson

Somers thinks some of the changes coming to downtown represent a “new concept,” combining a market with a restaurant and high-end meals to go.

That’s exactly what’s on the menu at Old Town’s new hotspot, Teleferic Barcelona, which features sit-down dining on one side and a Spanish-themed gourmet market.

The Tasting House at 368 Village Lane also represents the new “combo” trend. Its website says, “The Tasting House isn’t a restaurant, nor is it a wine bar.” It is a place where customers can enjoy a glass of wine with a small plate and then shop for cheese, wine, chocolates and gifts. 

“They’ve been having some amazing music on weekends and people spill out into Village Lane,” Somers said.

She’s also excited about a new French bistro that’s opening at 12 N. Santa Cruz Ave.

“The chef is from France and he sees a lot of potential in Los Gatos,” Somers said. “He was looking all over the Bay Area and Los Gatos reminded him of the ‘Parisian’ way.”

She went on to say that interest in the Los Gatos dining scene has “made everybody step up their game. We’re seeing an evolving dining scene that started with outdoor dining, which opened up the possibility for different types of dining experiences.”

Will the trend continue?

“People are craving connections but they still want to feel safe,” Somers said. “I think one thing that’s appreciated is people like to be seen and be part of the scene, and when you’re sitting outside you can see your friends—horns are always honking. It’s bringing vitality and energy back to town.”  

Restaurants got a big boost last year when the town council offered $40,000 to help them build parklets; the money came from the town’s streetscape program and the American Rescue Plan Act.

Parklets typically cost anywhere from $65,000 to $80,000, depending on engineering challenges at individual locations, Somers said.

The goal is to be ready for the busy summer season.

Which is why green fencing just went up along the Double D’s perimeter: they’re starting construction of an outdoor patio that is expected to be completed by late May or early June.

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