May 28, 2024


General Evolution

Milpitas’ The Note Lounge serves up sweet tunes


Editor’s Take note: The Biz Defeat is a series highlighting area little firms and dining places in Silicon Valley. Know a company you’d like to see featured? Let us know at [email protected]

If you’re looking for the finest Japanese-born bluesman at any time to arrive out of the clubs of Chicago to play in Milpitas, you’ll find Yoshi Senzaki playing guitar at The Take note Lounge, a reduced-crucial bar with a exclusive character and exceptional live music.

“When The Observe reopened after the COVID constraints had been lifted, our band occasionally outnumbered the customers,” Senzaki advised San José Highlight. “But now, this is wherever serious blues fans are commencing to acquire because this bar is known for becoming so welcoming and accepting.”

The Yoshi Senzaki Blues Band. Photo by Robert Eliason.
The Yoshi Senzaki Blues Band performs at The Notice Lounge in Milpitas. Picture by Robert Eliason.

The Yoshi Senzaki Blues Band is a common act at The Note Lounge, which also functions karaoke nights, a effectively-curated jukebox and big-screen TVs for sports activities events. It’s an all-reason, all-tastes bar that prides itself on welcoming newcomers and pouring customers an honest drink.

“We may perhaps not have the atmosphere of a Santana Row bar,” mentioned manager Michele Jackson. “But we have the coldest beer in Silicon Valley and our drinks are significantly greater and considerably more affordable. We really don’t overflow our drinks with juice or whatsoever the secondary substances are, and we pour an ounce and a half—not just an ounce like most bars. We are dedicated to mixing beverages ideal and our shoppers respect it.”

Michele has been performing for her father, bar proprietor Steve Jackson, for 31 a long time. Steve opened The Note Lounge in 2003 soon after jogging another bar, The Three Moreover Just one Club, for 18 decades. In accordance to Michele, The Note’s place was less than promising.

“This position applied to be a biker bar,” she reported. “Dad called me down one particular day to see it and I reported, ‘No way,’ since this place was so smaller and I could not visualize it as being just about anything different. But it was a great value in a first rate locale and he understood what he wanted to do with it.”

As a single of two Black-owned bars in the location, The Notice Lounge fast cultivated a adhering to amid locals and in March 2020, Steve acquired the Company & Entrepreneur Award from the Silicon Valley Black Legends Hall of Fame.

“We had a large social gathering for him,” Michele mentioned. “Then the pandemic strike the week soon after. We were shut down for practically two decades and we ended up not absolutely sure we have been likely to make it.”

The moment the bar opened up yet again, Michele reported The Take note Lounge saved demanding wellness and security protocols. Masks were being required and on “Vaccinated Sundays,” prospects experienced to exhibit their COVID-19 vaccination playing cards to get in.

“At occasions, we do have an more mature crowd, which is element of my dad’s subsequent,” she informed San José Highlight. “We required people today to know that they would be protected coming right here.”

Even with the safeguards, lots of of the old consumers were being unwilling to return to these types of a community environment.

“Business was sluggish when we first reopened,” Michele explained. “So we commenced reserving a lot more bands and carrying out a large amount of social media, striving to access a larger team of customers. Because then, we have experienced a lot more styles of people today attempting us out. So we now have a truly various group, and the spot is a lot better since of it.”

Rita Ramirez at The Note Lounge. Photo by Robert Eliason.
Customer Rita Ramirez at The Notice Lounge. Image by Robert Eliason.

Consumer Rita Ramirez has been coming to the bar for 11 several years. A musician herself, she enjoys the live bands and the atmosphere.

“The to start with time I arrived, my impression was that this is a spouse and children-oriented location with terrific buyer services,” she explained. “I am so self-assured in how they take care of you that I will have functions at this location and invite everywhere from 5 to 30 individuals to arrive with me. And my buddies always close up telling me they will be coming back.”

AJ Torres at The Note Lounge. Photo by Robert Eliason.
AJ Torres at The Notice Lounge. Photograph by Robert Eliason.

The effective transformation from a biker bar to a jazz lounge is underlined by the decor—walls coated with photographs of Black musicians and sporting activities heroes, as nicely as cultural and political figures—and the relaxed, welcoming vibe that greets you as you enter the location.

“I have been coming right here due to the fact Thanksgiving—it was the only put open,” purchaser AJ Torres advised San José Spotlight. “We arrived here and absolutely everyone was cool. I was likely by means of a rough patch, but absolutely everyone here handled me like household. I have been coming here at any time given that. They know my title, they know what I drink, and when I arrive below, everyone reaches out to me. This is not like any other bar I have been to right before. It is a lot more like getting with loved ones.”

Make contact with Robert Eliason at [email protected]

The Notice Lounge

Spot: 765 E Capitol Ave, Milpitas, CA 95035

Telephone: (408) 262-8363


  • Monday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Tuesday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Wednesday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Friday 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
  • Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Sunday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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What places them on the map: Generous pours and the ambiance


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