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4th Street Pizza in downtown San Jose falls victim to new development

4th Street Pizza in downtown San Jose falls victim to new development
Photo Credit: Google Maps
By Wesley Severson - Published on July 20, 2022.

Another beloved San Jose business is permanently closing to make way for new development. 4th Street Pizza Co. at the corner of East Santa Clara Street and South 4th Street, will shut down when its lease expires at the end of September. The building the pizzeria is in will be torn down to make way for a new retail and office development.

After getting hammered by and ultimately surviving the pandemic, the closure is a death blow for co-owners Josh McGhie and Rich Daly. “This is something we put our entire lives into, this restaurant. At the end of this, we’re losing everything — I’m losing my retirement, my job — everything,” McGhie told San José Spotlight


Photo Credit: 4th St. Pizza Co/Facebook

 

4th Street Pizza Co. opened in 2006, just one year after the opening of San Jose’s new City Hall. It sits just about a block away from San Jose State. Local politicians, city workers, and students made up a considerable chunk of the clientele. “We’re the absolute fabric of downtown and what downtown needs. We started a business here because of the development of City Hall, and we had to adapt a million different times over the years to sustain and grow the business,” Daly told San José Spotlight. 

However, the amount of foot traffic in the area has failed to come close to what it was before the pandemic. Speaking to the Spotlight, a friend of the co-owners, Jerry Vignato, agreed. “Downtown was the place to be, and I just don’t see the people who were here before. Unfortunately, these guys did everything right. But downtown is just not what it was,” Vignato says.


Photo Credit: Bayview Development

 

The building that will replace 4th Street Pizza Co. and eventually several other businesses in the immediate area is a six-story structure project by Bayview Development called SuZaCo.

The Mercury News reported on the U-shaped building in May of last year. It would bring 72,500 square feet of office and retail to the busy downtown intersection. “There’s always this delicate balance for any of us as we watch the city grow between the things that are indelibly part of our cultural past, as well as where our city needs room to grow. Having to make the choice between those two things is not something anyone likes to do,” Lam Nguyen, an aide for San Jose Councilmember David Cohen, told the Spotlight. SuZaCo is under review as part of the California Environmental Quality Act. It's unclear when building permits will be issued or when construction will start.