Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Lou's Village Collection
Collection Number: 2021-4
Muller, Francis P.
Muller, Gloria Santoro
Muller, Thomas Francis
Muller, Timothy Louis
Lou's Village (San Jose, Calif.)
Extent: 4 linear feet (3 boxes, 3 mounted plaques, 2 map folders)
Online items available
History San Jose Research Library
San Jose, California 95112
Abstract: 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.
Language of Material: English
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.
Please contact History San Jose for information on publication and reproduction.
Lou's Village Collection. History San Jose Research Library
Donated to History San Jose in 2021 by one of Lou's former owners.
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
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.
Scope and Content of Collection
Collection of menus, marketing materials, news clippings, photographs, and banquet reservation book spanning the entire history
of Lou's Village. Lou's remained a family-owned operation for over six decades, from its beginnings in the late 1940s as a
local restaurant with nightly entertainment and cocktails, expanding in the 1950s to offer large-scale banquet and catering
services, then becoming one of the first restaurants in San Jose to specialize in seafood flown in from the East Coast. The
menus, in addition to the banquet reservation book, offer insights into restaurant cuisine and trends over a 60-year period.
Italian American families
Dinners and dining
San Jose (Calif.)
clippings (information artifacts)