San Jose’s rapid rate of growth is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, mixed-use high-rises, the spread of public murals and a burgeoning craft-beer scene are turning our city center into the kind of downtown one would expect from the self-proclaimed “Capital of Silicon Valley.”

But as modern buildings replace the blocky beige monoliths of the ’70s and ’80s, rents continue to rise—for individual tenants and businesses alike—and the specter of displacement constantly looms.

CityView Plaza, located on Park Avenue in the heart of downtown—just a stone’s throw from Plaza de César Chávez—is slated to undergo a massive renovation at the hands of San Francisco-based developer Jay Paul Co. As a result, four beloved restaurants must find new homes: Morton’s Steakhouse, Scott’s Seafood, Our House and Peggy Sue’s.

Fortunately for all, this story has a happy ending, as the management of CityView Plaza allowed all four businesses to break their leases in order to find new digs.

Our House was the first to jump ship—taking their affordable, farm-to-table New American dishes south to the Cambrian neighborhood. They’ve rebranded, and are now calling themselves West Coast Beef Company. They have chicken and salad on the menu, but the grass-fed beef is front and center. They have a savory slate of beefy bites, including hot Italian sandwiches, burgers and housemade corned beef reubens. They also have a second, as-yet-unnamed project in development, but I’ve said too much already…

Next out was Scott’s Seafood. They closed shop late last month, but will soon be serving their fantastic crab cakes and clam chowder in the former home of Social Policy (and Blackbird Tavern, and Asqew) on South First Street on the Paseo de San Antonio pedestrian corridor.

Morton’s plans to move their world-class, prime-grade beef next door to the now-defunct, McCormick & Schmick’s (also on the Paseo de San Antonio, at Market Street). Both moves are expected sometime in the next few months, with Scott’s aiming for an early-March opening.

As for Peggy Sue’s, I spoke with owner Shiraz Jivani, and he assured me that they will maintain a second location of the ’50s-style diner at a yet-to-be determined location.

Few things can top a properly made sandwich on fresh-baked bread—just ask anyone among the hungry throng that daily besieges downtown’s Freshly Baked Eatery. Recently opened in  Milpitas, CRUST Fresh Sourdough Deli bakes their tasty loaves every morning, serving them up with hand-sliced Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. They also have fresh market salads for light eaters, as well as fresh-baked cookies for those with a sweet tooth. The only downside to this place is they are closed on the weekend.

Sunnyvale’s St. John’s Bar & Grill plans to celebrate San Francisco Beer Week, which runs Feb. 7 through Feb. 15. This longtime South Bay favorite has served juicy burgers, sumptuous cheesesteaks and savory fries for more than 40 years. Their frothy feté will include daily food and beer specials, like half-off burgers and commemorative glass. Weekday events start at 4pm, and Saturday events run all-day (they are closed on Sunday). Stay tuned to their social media and the beer-aficionado app Untappd for further details.

After a brief three-month closure to complete kitchen upgrades and remodel the dining space, the Southside’s favorite barbecue joint, TAOB Pit Stop, is set to celebrate its re-opening on Feb. 8. There will be DJs, live music and a rib-eating contest. Assuming that Joey Chestnut character doesn’t show up, you might just stand a chance.

Finally, Yelp released its annual America’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2020 list last month. Two South Bay restaurants made the cut this year.

Returning to the list at No. 37 is Achilles. They were the only Silicon Valley restaurant on the list last year, landing at No. 9. with their fantastically crunchy heart-shaped falafel. A drop on the list isn’t necessarily a bad thing; most restaurants never make Yelp 100 list more than once. What’s more, they’ve maintained their five-star average rating with well over 1,200 reviews. Not too shabby.

And debuting this year at No. 70 is Downtown Campbell’s Trattoria 360, which also boasts a five-star average, but only 120 reviews. Trattoria 360 was formerly known as Pino’s Trattoria, but closed to remodel before reopening under the new moniker. The restaurant has the same owner and chef and continues to serve beautifully-plated, classic Italian cuisine in a very formal setting. It’s a great place for dates and special occasions. Reservations are highly recommended.