Promotes downtown nightlife and manages issues affecting bar and nightclub policies, operations and security. Meets as needed.

As cranes rise on San Jose’s skyline, building monoliths of residential housing, there is great anticipation of more people living downtown and bringing renewed excitement and vitality.

With the change is a desire to develop safer and more vibrant dining and entertainment options. The Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) is working with the City of San Jose, the San Jose Downtown Association and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency in evaluating trends and opportunities for progressive development of the hospitality industry and transformation of the current nightlife into a more significant cultural and economic asset. One of the ultimate goals of the changes under way is to attract a broader and more appealing customer base.

Extended Hours Pilot Program

San Jose’s Extended Hours Pilot Program ended in January. It allowed downtown businesses to stay open until 3 a.m., one hour later than previously allowed. A three-month trail program began Aug. 2 and extended another three months. The program was aimed at reducing crowds, traffic and impacts on residents’ quality of life by allowing restaurants and clubs to remain open later, serving food and alcohol-free drinks.

The program is being evaluated. Discussions are occurring at high levels to possibly reintroduce the program throughout downtown.

The goal of this program is to enhance the late-night downtown customer experience. Patrons can leave establishments at their leisure over an extra hour allowing them to finish conversations, enjoy non-alcoholic beverage options, dance a last dance or two and allow additional time to arrange for transportation home. The extra hour is important to late-night customers who often arrive after 10 p.m.

A secondary goal is to reduce the need for city services at closing. Hopefully, by reducing the concentration of bar and nightclub patrons on the street all at the same time at the end of the evening, we will be able to reduce the number of police officers needed at closing time. The pressure is off everyone when patrons are not exiting every venue at the same time.

Basic rules are:

  • All alcohol cleared before 2 a.m.
  • No entry or re-entry after 2 a.m.
  • Food and alcohol-free beverages cleared by 2:45 a.m.
  • Please exit by 3 a.m.
  • Patrons should ask the establishment to call a taxi when needed

Promoter licensing

The city is putting together an ordinance that will require promoters who bring people to the clubs for events to be registered with the city. This should make the promoters more accountable regarding the people they are bringing downtown.

Downtown zoning

The city is also looking at the way downtown is zoned, perhaps with the aim of limiting the location of night clubs to certain areas, again, to ease the policing of the district and to make downtown friendlier and safer to everyone.

More details can be found at: www.rhiservices.org