Shopping • Restaurants • Salons • Spas • Street Festivals • Sundown Cinema • Events • Farmers' Market • Art Walk • Concerts • First Fridays • Dog Friendly

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Campbell Themed Christmas Ornaments

New at the Stone Griffin Gallery are hand painted ornaments by talented artist John Cloud! Pictured is a Christmas tree ball painted as the Campbell Water Tower. This one is $25, others are priced from $20/up.

Come on in soon and pick out what will sure to become a special treasured keepsake!

Stone Griffin Gallery
234 E Campbell Ave Downtown Campbell

Friday, November 18, 2011

Warming up Downtown!

'Tis the season to be warmer - especially in downtown Campbell where we are shining a new "light" on things!

Recently the city replaced all of the tree lights here in downtown, the stark whiter less warmer lights that were switched out last year for economical purposes did not meet the expectations.  They were too white, less glowy and simply didn't hold up as we had hoped, so the city replaced all of the lights and viola! A new brighter, warmer and cozier experience!

November evening with new tree lights in downtown Campbell!

The trees lining the street here have a much warmer and inviting presence! I happen to notice the difference right away when walking the pup-pup a couple of weeks ago and I have to say that the new bulbs give you a sense of calm and comfort while strolling the avenue.

Be careful when admiring the new lights and that you don't run into anyone  :o)
Strolling along the downtown is certainly festive in the wonderful brisk November weather, the holiday banners are a compliment to the warmer trees and adding character to the light posts.  So, if you are strolling, the avenue while taking the doggie out, or walking for shopping or dining we hope that you feel comfort and warmth while vising us downtown!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Campbell Fall Winewalk - A Wine Connoisseurs Dream!

Hey there folks - here we approaching this fall season and with summer almost over (technically) what's there to do?

Well, successful downtown Campbell events in recent times have included the lively Wine Walk, a twice-a-year event which has become a favorite with wine lovers (new and experienced) and becoming the kind of special event for which downtown has become known.

This fall’s winewalk event is scheduled for Wednesday, September 28, and chair of the event, Sonya Paz has lured more than 30 wineries to enroll by setting up in downtown shops where they will be able to chat with participants about their winemaking process, which wines they recommend and how to place orders for favorite vintages.

Downtown guests can take part in the Wine Walk Raffle to win a wine basket including favorites from several participating wineries and proceeds to benefit The Assistance League. This event will include opportunities for late evening shopping, as participating shops will also be open for shoppers.

This is the fourth such event sponsored by Campbell’s Downtown Campbell Business Association (DCBA)who also booked some downtown music and artists to add to the festive atmosphere.

How do I get my tickerts?: Registration for the event can be made at
Advance tickets can be reserved for pickup the night of the event beginning at 5 p.m. (Last spring’s wine walk sold out so advance ticket purchases are advised.) Headquarters for the event and the location where raffle tickets will be available is in the parking lot between First and Second Streets. Merchants also selling tickets currently are Bombshell Boutique, the Olive Bar and Sonya Paz Fine Art Gallery.

Ticket holders will be given a commemorative wine glass in which to sample the wines. All those purchasing tickets will be required to provide a proof of age and will be given a wrist band which is used acknowledge their participation. The Heritage Theater and the downtown Campbell Business Association (DCBA) are the official sponsors for this fall event.

Some of participating wineries include Aver Family Vineyard, Brassfield Estate Winery, Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards, el Sol Winery, Kings Mountain Vineyard, Naumann Vineyards and Roudon-Smith Winery.

Story submitted by Sally Howe of the Campbell Express.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Alice's Restaurant" by Terje Nordberg

Just off of the easel (and the creative mind of Terje Nordberg) and currently on display at Stone Griffin Gallery is "Alice's Restaurant."

This piece continues Terje's mission to capture the beauty, splendor and the sheer nuttiness of California and California Living, and with that being the goal — I feel that Terje hit the bullseye with this piece!

In this painting we see two Happy California Cows arriving at the restaurant, about to park their hot pink Vespa next to a Harley, to pop into Alice's for Brunch.

"Alice's Restaurant" is an original oil on canvas, 30" by 40", please inquire on price and availability.

The Gallery's number is 408.374-5200

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Downtown Campbell's Creepy Crawly Trick or Treat

Downtown Campbell hosts a Trick or Treat every year — usually the Friday night closest to the actually Halloween date.

This year we will have the event on Friday, Oct 28, from 5pm to 7pm. This event is sponsored by the Downtown Campbell Business Association (DCBA).

Our celebration includes the door to door trick or treat and a costume contest.

This picture below shows kids trick or treating in a local shop. We have about 50 Downtown merchants participating in the trick or treat. The Downtown area for the trick or treat includes the businesses on E Campbell Ave between Third St and the railroad tracks.

We have a very dog friendly downtown — and this extends to the Trick or Treat event. People bring their dogs along with and also part of their enjoyment of the event. The picture below shows someone in costume with their dog part of their costume.

Dogs are not only welcome, we also have a costume category for dogs (any pet really) with prizes!

This picture below shows a costume contest from some years ago. The location for the contest has not been chosen at this time, the contest will start at 7pm and the DCBA will award prizes to the best costumes in several categories, from infant up to early teen.

We also have categories for Adult/Infant and best pet!

Visit for details, and while there be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss a thing!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Photo-Board is Finished!

John Cloud has completed his magic — the photo-board is now finished! I had it out last Saturday night, and during Downtown Campbell's Farmers' Market.

This first picture was taken Sunday with two children posing:

On Friday night children and 'children at heart' stopped by to use the board as a photo prop. Here are two of the later, Sharon Eakes and her daughter Lilliann

Here is another copy of the kids again. I mistakenly uploaded two copies up to Blogger and can't figure out how to remove it. My only thought would be to delete the blog and start over, don't want to do that. *sigh.*

The board will be out for free use most days that the gallery is open.

Stone Griffin Gallery
234 E Campbell Ave, Downtown Campbell.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Stone Griffin Gallery's New Location!

Its been a while since the gallery has moved into the new space — and it is about time that I post all the new contact information here on Downtown Campbell's Blog!

The gallery moved into a real nice space, #234 E Campbell Ave. This location is two blocks east of the prior location.

To give you a handle on where this is, the gallery's new next door neighbors are The Olive Bar and Cardiff Lounge — and just across the street from Vintage & Vogue, Twist Cafe and Simple Smashing!!

All the proper details are:

Stone Griffin Gallery
234 E Campbell Ave
Campbell, Calif 95008

We still specialize in California landscapes by local artists, also display landscapes, figurative, and other work by local and national artists.

Come on in! We are open seven days a week — and open late Friday nights.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Plywood Cut-out Photo Op Board

Hello Downtown Campbell:

I have been moving along on my fun little Downtown Campbell community project — which is a board painted with the Campbell Water Tower, images of kids 'climbing' the tower, and with holes cut into the board so that kids can stick their heads out and pose for pictures.

The picture with this blog shows the board in front of the real McCoy. As you can see it has the base coat of primer, the image is sketched out, and the holes cut out.

I bought the board at Home Depot, had them cut it to size; the artist John Cloud sketched the images on the board; and Ed Arrowsmith just cut out the opening.

I will try to convince John Cloud to paint it this coming Friday night (as the Gallery is open late on all Fridays and John is always in attendance doing live painting); perhaps finishing it up on Sunday, as John paints here on Sundays during the Farmers' Markets — then I will have it set up and see how the kids react!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Life Insurance: Dispelling the Myths

Life Insurance: Dispelling the Myths
There is not always an absolute choice when it comes to choosing life insurance protection for either family or your business.  There is a significant difference between term and permanent protection, and each has an application depending on the needs and objectives of the user.

Brian Dixon of Fifth Street Financial Group sheds some light on dispelling the myths of what to know about life insurance and helpful answers to your questions.

Fifth Street Financial Group is an specialized insurance broker catering to startup and emerging companies, as well as established businesses.  We are also personal life insurance and California group health brokers.

As an Executive Benefits company, we provide risk mitigation strategies for founders, partnerships, business owners, C level executives and VC/Angel investment using corporate-owned life insurance. 

Learn more about Fifth Street Financial Group services and offerings throught their website!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Brief History of Sundown Cinema

Let's say you thought it'd be really cool to show movies for free outdoors in your town, but you've never done anything like this before. You've also heard that other people have previously tried and failed to organize outdoor movies in your town. Now let's say that you don't have any expertise as an A/V technician, you don't have any of the equipment that you'd need, and you can't afford the thousands of dollars it takes to hire a company that specializes in showing outdoor movies.

These are obviously big problems and unless you had a lot of cash and expertise to throw around, you'd be forgiven if you concluded like others before you that it was more than you could tackle. If you're a single father of five and your name is Manuel Viveros, you'd be unfazed by the challenge. You'll end up applying for a grant from a charity run by your employer (Safeway) to get the funds to buy a modest projector. Then you'll pull apart your living room and drive around town to borrow other A/V equipment you needed. Somehow, you'll figure out where to plug in all those crazy wires. Finally, you'll do your salesman best and manage to convince your entire household and some of your friends that they really want to give up their Friday nights for the whole summer to help you pull off your improvised outdoor cinema.

It sounded crazy then and it still sounds crazy now, but on June 18, 2004, a modest crowd plopped down in their lawn chairs for the first time in the "movie lot" and watched Casablanca. It certainly didn't happen the easy way, but Sundown Cinema was born. It grew steadily through the years and somehow managed to stay relevant in the face of increasing competition from other movie series that were far better funded and professionally staffed.

It was a miracle that the first night ever happened at all and it's an even bigger miracle that Sundown Cinema is in the midst of its eighth season without interruption. It has almost folded several times for various reasons, but disaster would be averted each time when money, organizers, or volunteers would come through at the last minute. Manuel Viveros ran it for four years, a small business owned by a Saratoga resident did it for one year, and Jim Aspinwall and Sheldon Chang (me) have been running the show since 2009.

Since the early days, Sundown Cinema has been through a number of changes. In its original format, it scheduled classic movies almost exclusively because Manuel Viveros thought that it was worthwhile to preserve our cultural literacy of movies from past eras He intended Sundown Cinema to be artistically nutritious as well as entertaining. The current day format of Sundown Cinema has evolved, but continues to honor the spirit of its founding by keeping approximately half of its titles to movies from before 1970.

Our setup has evolved over the years too. We took advantage of a couple of good donation years and upgraded our theater equipment one piece at a time. We have a better projector now and our sound system thumps with 450W in the front and 220W in the back. Thankfully, we've finally amassed enough A/V gear of our own that we don't have to deal with returning stuff to someone's living room after the night is over.

Most importantly, we also now have a seasoned crew of over two dozen volunteers that includes one certified A/V technician. Sundown Cinema isn't quite the fire drill that it used to be, but from top to bottom we're all still volunteers. Once in a while, something unexpected happens and you can tell that we all have day jobs that don't involve running a movie theater. This is one thing that I hope will never change because it's part of the unique character of Sundown Cinema. It's still a movie series run by people who are doing it simply because showing outdoor movies in their community is a cool idea.

Casablanca was the first movie shown at Sundown Cinema in Downtown Campbell

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Great things come in small (tasty) packages!

Bryan Robertson of Los Altos had the pleasure of stopping by the Frost Cupcake Factory last week after his dinner here in downtown Campbell. Deciding to venture in before the official opening, he was delighted to find two employees who were very welcoming and nice, as well as the owner (Andrea Parks) who was baking a fresh batch of cupcakes.  Andrea, came out to meet us as well as other customers to get our feedback.  She was very kind, nice to talk to, and offered a free sample cupcake to get our opinion.

Bryan says the new sweet shop is exactly what Campbell needed as a way of offering some truly distinctive variety to the downtown dining experience.  Sure, Campbell has had it's share of yogurt, ice cream, and sweet shops but let's face it, cupcakes are just different.  And in this case, different is better.  These cupcakes offer exceptional texture quality along with flavors that are subtle and distinct.  He also had the Tahitian Vanilla cupcake which had a sublime flavor that exceeds anyone's expectations for a dessert.  If you've had real vanilla, truly high-quality stuff, then you'll know what I'm talking about. 

They also had the mocha java and coconut.  All Bryan can say is "WOW!" to both.  He describes the flavors and textures are exceptional and it's like eating cake from a master pastry chef, all in a nice package you can eat at the shop.  The size of the cupcakes is more than enough to make a single enough for dessert.  I'm sure that some folks will feel that one isn't enough but I can assure you it is.  As with anything world-class, a little goes a long way.

So, after dinner downtown, he highly recommends stopping over there.  Frost Cupcakes is located at 199 E Campbell Avenue, between Aqui Restaurant and the Sonya Paz Fine Art Gallery in Downtown Campbell.

Submitted by Bryan Robertson of Los Altos and a realtor for the Sereno Group
To see Bryans blog and more on this story, visit his site!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Old Downtown Campbell!

I have been sorting through the photographs stored on my computer — and decided to post up some. It is fun to have memories triggered by looking at old photos.

The picture above is the front of the dining room of what was Mio Vicino, a nice family style pizza and pasta restaurant. There is a story about that painting hanging on the wall, but I can't quite remember what that story was.

This picture shows Marsha Smith inspecting work that was being done behind Mio Vicino. There was some kind of drain pipe that had to be dug up and repaired.

Pictured here is the patio of Mio Vicino. Mio Vicino moved into downtown Campbell in the '90s, into a remodeled building, adding this patio by moving the outer wall back. This was the first restaurant in downtown with a patio.

Here is a picture I took of the Gaslighter. The file is dated Feb 1999. The sheet metal and neon sign was removed some time ago during a remodel — it went to the City of Campbell for storage and possible reuse at a later date.

This picture shows the former alies corner café a favorite of mine for breakfast and lunch back in the day. To the right is Brian's Custom Framing. The building is now a restaurant called Cafe Campbell. Brian's Custom Framing closed down, the space is now The Celtic Shop.

Behind the building is the Campbell Water Tower. It was painted the peach and plum color back then, now it is a tan color.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Come Join us at the Downtown Campbell Artwalk

Every third Friday, Downtown Campbell hosts it's very unique and fun Artwalk, a casual, "tour-on-your-own" style artwalk. Which is a great opportunity to visit with the art gallery owners to view their exciting handmade artistic creations in a friendly, casual and creative atmosphere. We have a info card with the resident art galleries located here in downtown, plus you get the added bonus of the guest artists that often participate monthly with their artwork!

Guest Artist Margaret Fairchild with one of her paintings
Showcasing her work at Recycled Books for artwalk.

From photography, fine art paintings, Raku ceramics, jewelry, textiles, silkscreen shirts (made to order while you wait no less), polymer clay creations and more, our artwalk is filled with great talent that brings additional depth to this monthly event.

To add to this festive event there is also an array of music placed on each block of downtown. The enjoyable sounds of classic guitar accompanied by vocals or perhaps a three piece group covering some classic jazz. No matter where you, you're sure to be soothed by some upbeat melodies.

The Community Canvas exhibit feature of the artwalk is a favorite for all aspiring young (or older) artists! This is a enjoyable opportunity to create a mini masterpiece for yourself, or add some of your flavor and creativity to a community painting! We have recently seen a few regulars come for the community canvas each artwalk who are getting more and more creative every month!  Come on over and indulge in the fun!

Hop on for a fun ride for artwalk!

During the warmer months Kwik Karts offers their people powered pedal powered services to downtown Campbell with their three-wheeled versatile vehicles are powered by trained, local drivers to provide a fun and practical mode of green transportation throughout our downtown. Now mind you, our downtown is a petite in its size, just over four blocks long, but with all of the artful finds you will encounter, you may need some ped-power to help you transport your new art pieces back to your car!
Get involved creating artwork - come on down!

So, if you feel yourself puzzled of how to spend your (third) Friday of each month, look no further, come visit, have some dinner at one of our fine eateries, stroll the avenue and meet the artists and get acquainted with what our downtown has to offer!
To view more about the artwalk, schedule and participating artitsts, visit the official website:

Waggin' Wednesdays in Downtown Campbell

Downtown Campbell hosts a dog walk every Wednesday evening. All dog owners are invited to come walk their dogs in downtown, have fun, let their dogs socialize and 'sniff' out some new friends.

All Downtown Campbell restaurants that have patios are dog friendly, most all the shops are dog friendly (often with dog treats) so leash up Fido and come make an evening of Downtown Campbell!

Waggin' Wednesdays is Wednesday evenings 6pm to 8pm year around. We have designed this as an informal dog walk: there is no leader or schedule, just come on down and visit — and meet people as you exercise the doggie!

Of course, please be considerate: pick up as necessary and make sure your dog 'plays nice' with others.

We have other dog friendly events throughout the year. This Saturday is the Bunnies & Bonnets parade, and while it is probably too late to enter — there is always next year.

Visit our website for more information:, and while you are there be sure to sign up for our email newsletter so you don't miss a thing!

History of Campbell's Water Tower

Just in the off chance that anyone reading this is as interested in the Campbell Water Tower as much as me, I thought to post a little bit of the history of the tower.

Benjamin Campbell, the founder of the City of Campbell, along with family, friends and neighbors created the Campbell Water Company in 1892. There were different wooden tanks and pump houses over the years, what survives to this day is a steel tank and tower, and a wood and stucco pump house building.

The pump house building — with the words 'Campbell Water Company' painted on it — was constructed in 1927. The water tank — a 75,000 gallon steel tank — was purchased from Pittsburg-Des Moines Steel Company in 1928 and installed on a tower, which makes the structure 130 feet tall. The tower was painted a two tone apricot and plum color in 1997 with the letters spelling Campbell added. About ten years later the tower was repainted the current beige color. This color was chosen by a long time resident of Campbell, who remembers the tower used to be a beige color.

The Stone Griffin Gallery offers photographs and original artwork of the water tower, come in and have a look!
Stone Griffin Gallery
415 E Campbell Ave
Campbell, Calif 95008

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Have you Tried Deep Fried Olives?

Olives aren't just for martinis anymore! Everyone knows that olives can be eaten straight from the jar and most of us have had them sliced into salads and pastas. . .

But did you know you can deep fry stuffed olives in a simple batter as savory hors d'oeuvres? They would be a great surprise treat for guests at your next dinner party.

This recipe for deep fried olives on The Food Network looks really delicious: Italian Fried Olives

And on I found this one for: Fried Gorgonzola Olives

Both are highly rated by readers so I bet they're really delicious! If you try them come back and leave a comment to let me know how they turned out.

You can batter and fry them or batter and bread then fry them. Either way they'll be a surprise treat for your guests.

Heat the Oil

Batter the Olives

Fry the Olives

Straight from the jar or deep fried discover the delicious flavor of gourmet stuffed olives.

The Olive Bar offers Chardonnay Almond Stuffed, Chardonnay Garlic Stuffed, Chardonnay Pimento Stuffed, Feta Cheese Stuffed, Vermouth Blue Cheese Stuffed and Zesty Lemon Stuffed olives you can take home and fry up!

Want to learn more about different olive oils? Attend their next tasting class at:
The Olive Bar
Thursday, April 28th, 2011
Cost $5.00
Please call the store for more details. 408 370-1901

By: Stacie Tamaki a fan of in Downtown Campbell, CA