Original Joe’s is a downtown San Jose institution, standing strong for 60 years and serving Italian cuisine to loyal customers. General manager Bob Patane oversees operations, and he doesn’t mind commuting from Redwood City to serve good food to good people.

How long have you worked in San Jose?

I worked for 10 years at the Almaden Golf and Country Club before its renovations and transitioning to Original Joe’s. I have been at Original Joe’s for two years now. When they tore down Clubhouse and rebuilt it, one of the owners of Original Joe’s, Brad Rocca, told me about the position, and I started working here. I have been in the restaurant business for a number of years. My dad was a chef, which helped me get familiar with food, and I also have experience owning my own restaurant. It’s intriguing to be around food prep and the whole picture is a very pleasing atmosphere. I am familiar with the establishment of Original Joe’s and like the restaurant, so I thought it’d be a good fit, and it’s been a very good fit. It’s been here for 60 years and is a really professional atmosphere with career servers and bartenders.

At what point did you decide to stay in San Jose and pursue this career?

I was at Almaden for 10 years and got this position and it was a great offer. I live in Redwood City and I’ve had other offers to work closer to home, but I like this city.

What do you like most about San Jose?

It’s very pleasant coming to work, the drive isn’t bad and everything is so close, especially to Joe’s. I recently went to a musical, which was nice. The California Theater and Theater for Performing Arts are so close and convenient. You can come out, have a good time, good food to eat and go to a concert or a play. It’s like a mini-San Francisco.

What is one thing you would change about San Jose?

The homeless. That’s the issue that is really tough. I have police officers come in all the time and I talk to them about it. They really don’t have anywhere to go and it seems like something can and should be done about it.

What San Jose event do you most look forward to every year?

There are so many things to do. The plays and concert and the auto show every year at the convention center. I have seen a lot of shows at SAP. I recently went to see El Volo at the Convention Center and I really enjoyed that show.

Who is the most interesting person you know in San Jose?

We get a lot of the Sharks players in here. I know Tim Ryan, the announcer for the 49ers, and it’s nice to share dinner or lunch with him. We’ve become really good friends. I like sports and value his opinion on various things.  He has a good family and we are on the same level in terms of the way we think.

What’s the best part about working at a downtown restaurant?

The vibrancy. There are lot of things happening and people coming around. When there are conventions, we meet a lot of people from all over the world and seeing people with different ways of life—it is fun interacting with them.

What are some of the more popular dishes at the restaurant?

The chicken parmesan and veal parmesan, for sure. We’ve been here for 60 years and people come from all over. [San Jose State University] alum from 50 years ago, who now live in Modesto or Santa Cruz, will drive all they way down here to have their food.

What keeps people coming back after all these years?

They love the food. They tell me this is the best pasta sauce they have ever had and we serve a lot of food, so people always walk away with something. People enjoy the experience of watching cooks cook with expedition in the kitchen. It makes it a fun experience for them.