The man behind Little Italy's revitalization on how the neighborhood is getting back on the map

Oct 06, 2017 839

Joshua DeVincenzi Melander, president of the Little Italy neighborhood association, is the man behind the revitalization of the tiny Italian neighborhood in downtown San Jose. Earlier this month, popular Los Gatos Italian restaurant Enoteca La Storiaexpanded with a second location, opening in the historic storefront at 320 W. St John St. in Little Italy. As the Business Journal reported, the restaurant's opening is yet another milestone for local leaders who have worked for years to revitalize the small corner of downtown into a thriving restaurant and retail district.

In an interview with WhatUp Silicon Valley, Melander shared the history behind Little Italy and the efforts being made to renovate the area. “The reason we started this nonprofit is to honor the contributions of Italian-Americans in Santa Clara Valley,” he said. The area that is now home to Little Italy was once three Italian-immigrant neighborhoods. The area's Italian heritage dates back to the 1880s. Little Italy is a grassroots effort, with all funding coming from local fundraisers and donors, Melander noted. “I think people have always been supportive of Little Italy because literally every dollar we raise is going to a project,” he said.

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