The owner of Casa Vicky is selling a historic San Jose restaurant


Nothing lasts forever, not even a San Jose institution like Casa Vicky restaurant. Owner Maria Aguilar told me this week that she has sold the store, which has lain on the corner of Julian Street and North 17th Street since 1989 and whose roots go back much further.

Tequila’s Restaurant –– which also has two other San Jose locations, including Tequila’s Botanero on North First Street and Tequila’s Taqueria on Leigh Avenue — took over the 1930s Spanish Revival building on July 1. The words “Casa Vicky” have been painted over on the outside, but the inside looks the same – for now. However, I have been told that many changes are coming soon.

Ironically, despite some concerns in the neighborhood, Tequila’s doesn’t seem to sell its eponymous spirit, instead offering beer and wine (and a popular Michelada) at its other locations.

SAN JOSE - MAY 19: A portrait of Casa Vicky <a class=restaurant owner Maria Aguilar at her restaurant in San Jose, California on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (Randy Vazquez/ Bay Area News Group)” width=”3900″ data-sizes=”auto” src=”″ srcset=” 620w, 780w, 810w, 1280w, 1860w”/>
SAN JOSE – MAY 19: A portrait of Casa Vicky restaurant owner Maria Aguilar at her restaurant in San Jose, California on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (Randy Vazquez/ Bay Area News Group)

Aguilar’s mother, Victoria Aragon, opened Vicky’s Cafe in downtown San Jose in 1968 and a few years later Casa Vicky on Market Street, which moved to the Tropicana Mall in 1975. Aguilar said she’s been an employee since her mother opened the store and has owned it since 1979.

It gained a reputation for its Mexican food and pastries, as well as tortillas that are handcrafted on-site each day.

Last year, Casa Vicky was one of 25 restaurants in the country to receive a $40,000 grant from a National Trust for Historic Preservation program to help smaller, historic restaurants make improvements to break away from the economic recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant went towards upgrading the building’s exterior lighting and patio seating, as well as the awning and wrought iron fence.

Aguilar was struggling with health issues and needed a well-deserved break after 54 years in the job. “It’s difficult if I stay in the restaurant,” she said. “It’s time. It’s bittersweet. I miss my guests, my staff and the restaurant.”

NEW SOUNDS ON THE COURSE GROUNDS: The Wednesday Night Music Series returns to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds this week and will run for the next two months. The energetic 10-piece dance band Clean Slate kicks off with fellow bands such as The Usual Suspects (July 27), Country Cougars (August 3), the Houserockers (August 24) and the Hitmen (September 14). ) to follow in the coming weeks.

Local artists set the mood at 5pm each week, with headlines starting at 6pm. There are food trucks and stands selling beer, wine and soda, but don’t forget to bring a chair or blanket. Admission is free and you can see the full program at

“IT PLAYS IN THE DINI”: After making a name for himself on Bay Area television and radio, Steve Dini embarked on a second career teaching drama at Pioneer High School for more than 25 years until his retirement in 2017. but he’ll be returning to San Jose this fall for a very special event: Pioneer is dedicating the stage at its performing arts center in his honor.

“When I heard the news, I was speechless for the first time in my life,” he said.

One might ask why only the stage and not the whole building. Dini points out that there’s a rule that a person’s name can’t be on the building until that person is dead, and he’s not willing to go that far to be recognized (yet).

He will be back with Pioneer for the October 29 inauguration, which follows a series of “The Music Man” from the Glue Factory – the fundraising group made up of Pioneer alumni artists. Dini will of course play Professor Harold Hill on the show.

“Jokes aside, I’m honored by this gesture and commend what can happen when you show up every day for over 20 years while I’ve had the pleasure of working with wonderful children and generous people,” he said. And now generations of future artists will be able to walk on it, or at least on the stage that bears its name.

SHARK MAKE A BIG CHANGE: The San Jose Sharks made plenty of news this week with the hiring of new general manager Mike Grier, the NHL draft and the release of next season’s game plan. But one massive change has gone unnoticed that could have as big an impact on the fan experience as a successful season. Coca-Cola products are in and Pepsi are in the SAP Center, Sharks Ice and the new TechCU Arena, where the Barracuda will be playing starting this fall.

The deal with Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling – the drinks giant’s West Coast distributor – makes him the team’s “official soft drink partner” as we’re not just talking about soda as fans will now be able to join in the fun at the Kids ‘ College to borrow funds for bottles of Dasani water instead of Aquafina.

But consider this: The Sharks have never won a Stanley Cup while the arena served Pepsi. Scoff all you want that has nothing to do with the game on the ice, but when a team is three seasons out of the playoffs we have something to hold on to.


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