Fans of Lou's Village are getting their hearts broken again.
Tim Muller, co-owner of the San Jose seafood restaurant that reopened in Willow Glen in 2012, told me Tuesday the restaurant will be shutting its doors by the beginning of September.
"We got an offer we couldn't refuse," he said. Word is that Opa!, the growing chain of Greek restaurants, will be moving north on Lincoln Avenue to take over the larger space.
Lou's Village traces its roots back to 1946, when Lou Santoro -- grandfather to brothers Tim and Tom Muller -- provided a rare dining experience on West San Carlos Street. The restaurant hosted celebrities like Lucille Ball, Walter Cronkite, Lenny Bruce and Billie Holiday, and gained a loyal following among South Bay movers and shakers. That restaurant closed on New Year's Eve 2005 after the site was sold to home developers.
Gone but not forgotten, the Muller brothers announced a deal to bring Lou's back in 2010 and opened in 2012 as a prime tenant in the new Willow Glen Town Square development at Lincoln Avenue and Willow Street. "Things have changed in the food business in seven or nine years," Tim Muller said. "Seafood prices were going through the roof. And we were never an inexpensive restaurant, but it was difficult to maintain quality and keep prices reasonable."
San Jose's increased minimum wage didn't help matters, either, Muller said. There's some talk about opening a Lou's 3.0 as a smaller, more casual operation, but there's no telling if or when that may happen.
"We have mixed emotions about closing," Muller said. "Mostly, we want to thank all our customers who have stuck with us. We hope everyone comes in before we close the doors to so we can say goodbye."
SWEET TRADITION: The San Jose Woman's Club has its free Ice Cream Social and Open House on Sunday at its gorgeous downtown clubhouse at 75 S. 11th St., which has gotten some recent upgrades including improved stage lighting for its ballroom thanks to a grant from the Farrington Historical Foundation.
The Woman's Club is celebrating its 120th anniversary and will have on display some historical items during the 2 to 4 p.m. event, including its membership book with signatures going back to 1894 and the original club membership ballot box, complete with the infamous and feared "black ball."
The ice cream's free, but guests are encouraged to bring gently used bras and new underwear to support "Be a Dear and Donate a Brassiere," founded by club members Eileen Hunter, Lisa Collins and Beverly Williams to help meet the needs of women at shelters.