There is a little town in the big silicon valley called Willow Glen. It is not where I grew up but it is home to my parents whom moved there when I was in College. I grew up in a track home in South San Jose that fit our family just fine, with my dad adding on a room addition here and a room addition there over the years. We were on a court with lots of kids around. It was a perfect suburb for my childhood.
My parents always loved antiques and every once in a while would buy a new hutch or sideboard to fill our family home. It was unlike any of my friends’ homes growing up. The furniture had history and character. And until they decided to move and fell upon the 1907 Victorian in Willow Glen did I realize, they where now where they were meant to be: in a house with charm and character and history.
Lincoln Avenue is the heart of downtown Willow Glen. When I visit, I HAVE TO take as many walks as possible down The Avenue to see what’s-a-brewin’ in downtown WG. There are shops, cafes, restaurants and salons. There’s a hoppin’ Starbucks, a fantastic order-at-the-counter and tequila bar called Aqui!, a bike shop, cute and affordable boutique called Ibiss, a beautiful flower shop called Apis (follow them on Instagram–their stuff is BEAUTIFUL!), and lots more. You can grab coffee at Peet’s and a bagel at Noah’s before heading to paint pottery with your girlfriends at Petroglyph Ceramic Lounge! So many things to see. Here are some of my favorites (and new places to try):
Three Sisters. One of my favorites. I mean, how can you not walk into this adorable pink and black shop? It’s filled with all that I love: vintage fines, oil cloth by the yard, and holiday necessities. (yes, I did say necessities! I mean everyone NEEDS a pink vintage Christmas tree!!!) I love chatting with the owner about her scavenger trips to the NW and where she found her goodies!
Home & Garden. If I lived here in the bay area, I would be using this shop as my go-to for all things garden (pots and decorative sculptures) as well as beautiful unique furniture pieces and accessories. I am still eyeing some beautiful salvaged columns that would be so cool propped in the ivy of the backyard.
Bella James. This is a small shop but some beautiful staples for any girls’ wardrobe.
Details. One of our family favorites. Geared toward the stylish neighbors that doesn’t want the bill to pose damage on the pocketbook, this shop has fun and funky jeans, dresses, shoes and jewelry for the women AND men of WG. You can often see the owner, Bernie, sporting one of his own Tommy Bahama pieces and a smile to go with it! Love Bernie!
The Table. My favorite. As my mom likes to say, “It feels like Portland” with it’s long barn-wood, community table and open bar facing the dining room. The food is top notch and the service very classy. Highly recommend brunch or dinner.
Purple Onion & Braise. These are two places I discovered this trip that I want to try! Purple Onion is casual cafe style dining in the hystoric theatre building. The brunch items and salads look outstanding.
Braise also looks incredible for dinner with cheese beignet appies, anson mills grits and their communal main coarse platters. LOVE! And talk about a creative libations menu! I have to try the tranquilo AND the national (then walk home to my parents’ home 🙂
Susie Cakes Last time we were in town, we stopped in here for samples. The cute staff had handkerchiefs over their hair and the cakes were stunning (and tasty too). Great for special occasions (or just because 🙂 )
Mariette I hadn’t seen this cute-patootie shop before but my sister said they have delightful chocolates. Their ceiling is even dripping with chocolate sauce! Isn’t that fun?! So cute! Though my family is still quite particular to Schurrah’s which is just outside of downtown. Love me some peppermint chews! Mmmmm, good!
Now you can see why I insist on a little stop thru downtown Willow Glen! I tell you, I wouldn’t have to leave this street, if I didn’t want to. It’s just so cute.
4 thoughts on “Walking “The Avenue””
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I loved the article about The Avenue in Willow Glen. It is a lovely place to live and spend time. It harkens back to a simpler time of family values and neighborhood friendships. It seems that people walking the avenue are happy and taking their time to absorb the nostalgic atmosphere.
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you did a good job in finding a beautiful place to live those many years ago!