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Erik HaydenJan 11, 2024 12:56:21 PM18 min read

Paseo 'Tenant Spotlight': Eos & Nyx

“I don’t think anything would ever be built like this nowadays” is how Dan Phan, co-owner of several successful Downtown San Jose cocktail venues, describes the venue of his and his business partners’ latest venture, Eos & Nyx, the group’s first full-fledged restaurant concept. In April, the group plans to open Eos & Nyx — named after the Greek goddesses of dawn (Eos) and night (Nyx) — on the ground floor of our Paseo office-retail project. 

In addition to serving brunch, lunch, dinner, and cocktails, the restaurant will feature a carousel bar system that spans Eos & Nyx’s first floor and mezzanine level, pita bread baked in a wood-fired oven, and a mix of modern Spanish and Italian fare served on small and large plates. This is the beauty of urban reuse and renewal: turning a shuttered, run-down movie theater into a one-of-a-kind commercial space.

“When you build buildings now, there are certain building standards and efficiency standards you need to follow where you’re never going to have a 60-foot-tall atrium that’s been divided into 30-foot floors,” Phan said. He continued: “We have this great volume in the space, and it’s really dramatic.” 

As Phan and business partners George Lahlouh and Johnny Wang work on finalizing Eos & Nyx’s menu and wrapping up construction, the co-owner of Miniboss, Paper Plane, and the former Original Gravity Public House — now being reimagined as a new “listening lounge” at the front of the building and a separate cocktail club tucked away in the back — was generous enough to talk to me about his new restaurant concept. He, Lahlouh, and Wang last year saw their Paper Plane cocktail bar receive a Spirited Award from the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, which local newspaper Metro Silicon Valley described as a "venerated distinction in the industry, named in the top 10 for 'Best Bar Team' in the Western United States."   

The following conversation has been edited for length and clarity. If you're interested in learning more about Paseo and its three floors of newly built office and "flex" space available for lease, contact us today. 

Q: How would you describe your portfolio of venues? Is there a throughline through some or all of them?  

We’ve grown organically, starting with Original Gravity (Public House) and then growing to Paper Plane and then Miniboss, and now, adding Eos & Nyx and reimagining the Original Gravity Public House into this new concept (the Still O.G. listening lounge and Alter Ego cocktail club, which Phan expects will be open in two to three weeks). 

Although they’re run and managed by the same group, they're all pretty different. Each place has its own niche in terms of offerings. Eos & Nyx is going to be our group’s first full-fledged restaurant, whereas the other locations are more like bars first and foremost, albeit ones that serve food. You could call them restaurants, but people don't really think of them as dinner places, per se.

To return to your question, as we took on new leases, we were like, “OK, what's the next concept we want to do? What's the right location for it? How do we want to design it?” And while they're all kind of different in ways, they're different types of entertainment you come to enjoy in Downtown San Jose.

Our idea also is that in the future, when we have people approach us about doing private events, we have a venue that can cater to different kinds of situations. We can do a big event at Eos & Nyx for 200 or 300 people, or do something in a more intimate venue for 40 or 50 people in our Still O.G. and Alter Ego project. 

Q: What about our Paseo space made you feel confident that your first full-fledged restaurant concept could work here? 

The location and the space itself are really unique. We have lots of features that were designed with this space in mind, including two bars stacked on top of each other to create this carousel bar system spanning our first floor and mezzanine level. This is a 30-foot-high system that swings between both floors that you can see from outside, making it a nice feature for anyone driving or walking down the Paseo de San Antonio.

Construction is well underway on Eos & Nyx's mezzanine bar level, photographed here on Jan. 4, 2024 (photo courtesy of Dan Phan). 

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An artist's rendering of the bar on Eos & Nyx's mezzanine level (rendering courtesy of Basile Studio).

We feel this type of space and investment can really perform well in Downtown San Jose. You don’t have to be on Santana Row or in a highly-marketed place because If we build the right quality and type of space and it all lines up, we think we can be really successful given our past success.

Q: What types of dishes and cocktails do you plan to serve? 

Broadly speaking, when people come to Eos & Nyx, I want them to know it’s not going to be a classic Mediterranean restaurant. We’re doing a more modern interpretation where the food will be influenced by areas within the Mediterranean, whether it's pasta dishes or pitas baked in our wood-fired oven. Another big part of our food involves seafood and meats over an open flame, akin to what you’d see in southern Spain. One of our dining room’s main features will be a large open hearth where you’ll see this big fire blazing. We’re going to use charcoal and live coals and infuse those flavors into whatever goes into our hearth. 

We’re going to divide our menu into small and large plates so there’s a shareable aspect to our dishes. We want to keep prices for small plates anywhere from $17 to $30 so that you can order four or five to share. Our larger plates would be higher-ticket items such as a large steak or another large protein to share that can range from $70 to $150 a plate. For example, we’d like to do a large chicken or fish dish that could probably cost between $70 to $90.

For our cocktails, everything we make is in-house, and we’re discussing doing certain ones influenced by the same area influencing our food menu. In Spain, for instance, they have a drink called a Tinto de Verano that's made with red wine, soda, water, and lemon. They’re super refreshing, and we want to offer them during our brunch service. That said, we don’t plan to pigeonhole ourselves into one category of cocktails but instead have a varied and fun cocktail program. 

Q: Can we talk a little about how this restaurant caters to local university students’ sensibilities, given that Eos & Nyx sits on a main thoroughfare connecting San Jose State University's main campus to Downtown San Jose?

With the upcoming opening of the new student housing complex down the way, there’s going to be 800 units down the street from our restaurant. We’re going to have San Jose State students walking by every day, and we need to capture some of that business as they walk by. We want them to be intrigued and to come to our place for a fun brunch, which ties into the restaurant’s name. Eos and Nyx are two goddess sisters, one the goddess of dawn and the other of night, and so we’re putting a big emphasis on our brunch and dinner programs and our drinks.

We’re going to push a fun brunch program between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. that will resonate with students in a way that they want to wake up and have a nice brunch with their friends at a fun place with good food and drinks. 

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Erik Hayden

Responsible for developing more than $3.5 billion in real estate projects, including over 2,300 residential units in the California Bay Area, Mr. Hayden has experience in acquisition, contract negotiation, due diligence, risk assessment, financing, construction, and disposition of multifamily, single family and large mixed-use and master planned developments. He maintains relationships with a broad network of property owners, enabling him to identify and acquire prime investments. Mr. Hayden also has expertise in navigating projects through the entitlement process by working with elected officials, community groups, and political organizations to gain support and get projects approved.