NEW NAME IN TOWN: Cafe Stritch aims to capture the artistic vibe of the SoFA District.

After 35 years of serving as South First Street’s fine-dining experience, Eulipia Restaurant has removed the white tablecloths, brought in a selection of craft beers and added WiFi. At the new Cafe Stritch, the concept may have changed, but the last name on the ownership papers certainly hasn’t. Eulipia’s Steve Borkenhagen has passed on ownership to his children: Michael, Melissa and Maxwell.

Since Eulipia first opened in the late ‘70s, it had been the meeting and dining spot for visitors attending a musical, play or viewing an art gallery along South First Street. Yet as the SoFA neighborhood become younger and more casual, the traffic for fine dining waned. “Conceptually, white tablecloth fine dining isn’t really as relevant as it once was,” said Cafe Stritch manager Michael Borkenhagen, adding that he hopes Stritch will mesh well with the neighborhood’s artistic culture. As a nod to the artistic vibe of SoFA, the restaurant’s name describes the straightened alto saxophone played by jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Michael described the restaurant as having “a casual funky vibe that’s real fun and real good food.” The current menu is just a small offering of what the restaurant hopes to eventually offer but features American staples such as house-made clam chowder in a bread bowl, a sandwich board with selections such as a BLT with tomatillo slaw as well as vegan and vegetarian options. The bar also features a range of craft beers such as Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout and Lagunitas IPA.

Cafe Stritch will also feature live music, a coffee bar and free WiFi, and eventually serve as gallery for artists.

Cafe Stritch 
374 S. First St., San Jose; 408.280.6161

Looking for more cafe options in San Jose? Visit SanJose.com’s Cafe Guide.