Willow Glen has always been one of San Jose’s most appealing neighborhoods. It is a tidy, well-maintained community with good-looking homes, lots of leafy, mature trees and a walkable downtown—Lincoln Street. Things are getting even better with an expanding food scene. 

Hay Market opened this summer in the space formerly occupied by Casablanca’s, and the locally sourced, eclectic menu has generated the kind of buzz seldom heard about a restaurant in Willow Glen. 

Meanwhile, Jim Stump, co-owner of the Los Gatos Brewing Co. and former co-owner of A.P. Stump’s, has plans to open a restaurant called The Table on Willow Street. The 50-seat restaurant will feature a long, communal dining table, a full bar and even a small batch distillery. The restaurant could open as early as this spring. 

The biggest change to Willow Glen’s dining scene is the Willow Glen Town Square project, a restaurant and office development being constructed above and around Willow Street Pizza, one of the good food pioneers of Willow Glen. As part of the project, Willow Street added a new bar and patio and will benefit from two new parking lots. Parking has always been a challenge for the restaurant.

Willow Street Pizza is one of the mainstays of the neighborhood’s dining scene, and owner Ed Rathmann is excited about the impact the project will have on Willow Glen. “There hasn’t been a new building in Willow Glen for 60 years,” he says. “We think it might bring some excitement to the neighborhood.” Willow Street plans to debut its new bar this week.

Lou’s Village, which operated a beloved restaurant on San Carlos Street from 1946 to 2005, will move into the project, as will the Crepevine and the Willow Glen Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Co. The town square project will also include a public plaza at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Willow Street.