Su Vianda open in downtown SJ!
For all of us who have been living on the edge of desperation waiting for a decent grocery store in downtown San Jose, definitely check out Su Vianda, where the old disgusting Lucky's used to be on 7th and Santa Clara. Excellent produce, a truly incredible looking butcher. A dairy counter with bulk Mexican cheeses, flavored yogurts and bulk sour cream. Needless to say, fresh tortillas and pan dulce. The produce and butcher prices are remarkable . . . 25 cents for a cucumber (!), and we got flanken ribs for $2.79 a pound, about a third what I pay at Lunardi's. They also have a full line of Goya products, much missed by this New York girl. It's clean, bright, and everyone serves with a smile (couldn't be more different than the store it replaced).
I see this new store as a lost opportunity for downtown SJ and the immediately adjoining residential communities. The previous occupant of the space was Albertson's -- not the best supermarket chain in the US, but far from the worst. The store was clean, decently stocked, and had frequent specials. When corporate management pulled the plug, it left a big hole, because this was the only mainstream supermarket in central San Jose (say, the transportation loop formed by 280, 101, 880, and 87.) The closest full-scale supermarket to that location is now the Midtown Safeway on W. San Carlos, about 2.5 driving miles away. I don't count Zanotto's, because it's smallish, somewhat expensive, and more of a deli/gourmet/specialty store.
SuVianda is a mercado, rather than a supermarket. Its selection is deep in certain ethnic items, but sparse in many basic mainstream items. It's website announces that it "was created for Latinos by Latinos."
That's all well and good, but central San Jose does not lack for mercados: the block-long Mi Pueblo, just four blocks away, has served the Hispanic market well (even including a taqueria, which Su Vianda lacks), and there are a couple more largish Latino grocery stores within a mile or so east on Santa Clara.
I hope that the many new condos and apartments now going up in downtown SJ will induce a supermarket operator to re-enter the now abandoned central zone of America's tenth-largest city. There are rumors that Safeway may go into the nearly completed 88 E. San Fernando project. Has anyone else heard anything along those lines?
I had to check out this store since I was in the area. It's brand new - opened Sat. April 12, 2008.
It's clean & bright, it's great for SJ City Hall workers, SJ State students, & residents in the neighborhood.
Nice looking Mexican bakery, freshly made tortillas. I think I saw 3 lbs for .99c in a pre-packaged bag. Larger sizes available too.
There's a Deli for ready-made food, salsa bar to buy salsas. Lots of meats that looked really good. Separate beef section & separate chicken area. Cremeria too.
NO Taqueria inside - that was a bummer.
Seems like a pharmacy in the back but I didn't explore it.
What I got:
Manila Mangos - special price 3 for .99c
Cabbage 2 lb for .99c -mine was 2.72/lb - $1.34
Olivera large eggs dozen (eggs from SJ) $1.99 special
Goya black beans 1lb dried - $1.39
Goya frijol rojo de seda 1 lb $2.19
4 cans of diced tomatoes & green chili .69c each
Saw Doritos Sweet Chili chips $3.49 didn't get it.
My total $10.66. They take credit cards!
Tip: Grand Opening Specials will be on Wed. 4/16/08!!