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Dine Downtown in San Jose

Dine Downtown celebrates San Jose restaurants; Mission College expanded hospitality program

IT HAS BEEN a tough couple of years for downtown San Jose restaurants. The ones still standing are true survivors. Now there is a chance to support downtown�s dining scene and these stalwart eateries: the second-annual Dine Downtown, June 2�12.

The event showcases downtown San Jose restaurants and includes specially priced dinners at nearly two dozen downtown eateries, including Morocco�s, Mezcal, La Pastaia, Billy Berk�s, 19 Market and Arcadia. The 10-day event will feature special three-course menus priced from $20 to $40. Dine Downtown kicks off with City Bites on June 2, a cool event where visitors can sample small plates of food from scores of restaurants in the downtown San Jose area. Participating restaurants will serve food right from their front doors. For restaurant info and prix fixe menus, go to sjdowntown.com/dinedowntown.

Hospitality Zone

In discussion of Bay Area culinary and restaurant management schools, Mission College�s hospitality program often flies under the radar. So does its excellent, student-staffed Owl Cafe. But the program offers students great, real-world experience in managing and running a restaurant and continues to turn out talented graduates. The program will soon get a higher profile thanks to an $8 million renovation of the program�s kitchens and cafe. The project is funded by Measure H bond passed in 2004. The renovation expands the dining room�s capacity from 150 to 200 and re-equips two kitchens with new equipment and features. It will also allow the program to expand its baking program with a new baking kitchen. The project is expected to be done next spring.

�We�ll be pretty modern and upscale when we complete the project,� says Haze Dennis, hospitality department chair.

The expansion will increase the capacity of the program and may mean bringing more instructors on. There�s also talk of adding a culinary certificate degree to the program. Currently, there�s just a hospitality management degree.

The hospitality program will host a groundbreaking celebration of the new building, 11:30am�1pm, on May 18. The event will include demonstration cooking, a barbecue, lobster kebabs, desserts and other good things to eat. The cost is $15 and reservations are appreciated. Call 408.855.5252 for more information and to RSVP.