Home News Popular San Jose Greek festival kicks off summer season of fun

Popular San Jose Greek festival kicks off summer season of fun

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Memorial Day weekend has long been the traditional start of summer, but in the South Bay it doesn’t feel like the season really arrives until we’re munching on lamb chops and baklava under white-and-blue striped umbrellas while people dance in a big circle, arm in arm.

That’s right, the Greek Festival is back this weekend at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in San Jose.

The festivities kick off Friday at 5 p.m. at the church located at 1260 Davis St., and continue Saturday and Sunday, opening at 11 a.m. each of those days. There’ll be lots of Greek food, music, dancing and wine — and best of all, you don’t need to be Greek to enjoy any of it, especially the loukoumades, an irresistible honey donut that I have failed to resist many times.  If you’ve never been before, be sure to make time to tour the St. Nicholas church, which has a beautiful byzantine altar.

Meat roasts during the San Jose Greek Festival at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, June 4, 2023. (Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group)
Meat roasts during the San Jose Greek Festival at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, June 4, 2023. (Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group) 

A couple of things to note: The festival is cashless, so expect to use a debit or credit card (and you can use cash to purchase a debit card at the festival) and your best bet for parking is at 1900, 1960 and 2021 The Alameda, where shuttle buses will run to and from the festival. There’s more information at www.saintnicholas.org/festival, but the festival’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SJGREEKFESTIVAL) has a full schedule.

LAST CALL IN LOS GATOS: You’ve probably heard by now that Charley’s in Los Gatos — known forever to many of us as Mountain Charley’s — is closing its doors this weekend after more than 50 years of good times. Sunday’s final day will basically be an eight-hour jam session starting at 1:30 p.m. to let musicians have a last shot at the iconic venue’s stage.

Saturday will be the last regular night, though, and the BentPeter Band — made up of a group of one-time dads at St. Christopher School in San Jose — is the last scheduled to play, going on at 9 p.m. Singer Mike Morgan says the band has played there many times before. But it didn’t hurt that Morgan had a sentimental angle to pitch to Pam Davis and Chuck Oliver — who co-own the nightspot with hockey player-turned restaurateur Alex Hult — for the prestigious last show.

Morgan met his future wife at Mountain Charley’s on July 23, 1982 when they were both San Jose State students and danced the night away, making North Santa Cruz Avenue their first stop on the way to the altar. Morgan points out that he was 20 and his bride-to-be was 19 at the time, and that tells you everything you need to know about how carefully IDs were checked in the early ’80s.



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