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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Collection of menus, marketing materials, news clippings, photographs, and banquet reservation book documenting the history of Lou's Village restaurant, originally located at 1465 W. San Carlos Street, San Jose, from 1946-2005.
Background
During their 25 years working together in the San Jose Fire Department, Lou Santoro and Paul Polizzi planned to open a restaurant when they retired. In November 1945, a building permit was issued to Paul Polizzi to construct a single story restaurant at 1465 W. San Carlos Street. Lou Santoro, Lou Ferro, and Paul Polizzi opened Lou’s Village In 1946. In early 1950 the partners began an extensive expansion of Lou’s Village to increase the dining space, create barbeque grounds in the adjacent walnut orchard, and to add offices, an apartment, and a delicatessen the Village Pantry. The Santoro, Polizzi, and Ferro partnership dissolved in 1951 and Lou’s Village and the adjoining barbeque grounds were sold to Eugene Nelson of San Jose. Later that same year, Lou Santoro and his son-in-law, Frank Muller, bought the restaurant and took over management of Lou’s Village. Together the Santoro–Muller family created a popular dining and entertainment venue whose regular customers could count on Lou’s for a nice evening out. During the 1950s and ‘60s the family persevered in the restaurant business, surviving a fire, remodeling Lou’s twice and changing with their customers’ entertainment and dining preferences. Brothers Tom and Tim Muller grew up at Lou’s Village, helping in the restaurant and with banquets while they were in school. In the 1970s Tom and Tim took over management of the restaurant while continuing to work with their parents Frank and Gloria. During this time they again remodeled Lou’s several times and expanded the banquet and catering sides of the business. In 2005, Lou's closed its doors and the land was sold for development. Tom Muller opened a new, short-lived location in the Willow Glen neighborhood circa 2013.
Extent
4 linear feet (3 boxes, 3 mounted plaques, 2 map folders)
Restrictions
Please contact History San Jose for information on publication and reproduction.
Availability
The collection is open to the public for research by appointment. In addition, nearly all of the content is available online through the Internet Archive.