After seeing business boom in downtown San Jose, some shop owners and restaurants are now on the move. One of them, saying downtown is just too dangerous.
At Discover San Jose, Kymberli Brady’s shop sells the city itself. Her shelves are stocked with San Jose souvenirs and local products.
"I've seen downtown come a long way, otherwise I wouldn't have invested in it a year and a half ago and opened this store,” Brady said.
As a board member on the Downtown Residents Association, Brady was disappointed to learn two nearby businesses recently closed.
"So when the theater closed, and then Blackbird closed and now Azucar, every time somebody closes it just affects us a little bit more each way as well so I’m a little concerned,” she said.
The two establishments that closed are Azucar Restaurant Bar and Lounge and Sparta Sports Bar. A post on Azucar's Facebook page reads, "we will reopen in a safer, cleaner upscale location. Too much violence in downtown San Jose."
We couldn't reach Azucar's owner for comment.
Its next door neighbor, Chacho’s Restaurant, disagrees.
"It’s not too dangerous, I think the problem is everybody perceives it like that because of word of mouth,” Chacho’s manager Carlos Morales.
Chacho's hired a security guard last year as a precaution. The manager says a bigger problem is vacant buildings. He says they turn people away from exploring the city. A view some workers in downtown share.
"[The restaurants] are all sort of spread out, so you can't really hang out downtown like you would anywhere else,” said Allan Enemark.
South First Billiards is also planning to move. The owner posted a “For Lease” sign in the front window of its location last week. However, a manager told NBC Bay Area they actually hope to move closer to the downtown core to increase business.
"We had 40 new restaurants open up last year," Brady said. "We've had four leave recently, so I think we have a pretty good average, if you want to look at it that way, the glass is half full."