Ken Ying Low Restaurant!!!

Gang, I have it on good authority that the Ken Ying Low Restaurant (“Cuban International Restaurant”) on 625 N 6th Street has been sold, and will be restored and rehabilitated in a historic manner (Historic Landmark number HL09-18).

You can believe me or look it up under City of San Jose file number: MA13-001.

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7 thoughts on “Ken Ying Low Restaurant!!!

  1. This historic building was built during the heyday of old Japantown and first opened as a boarding house, between 1890 and 1905. It directly faces the entrance to the new Japantown plaza (former Corp Yard).

    A new restaurant? I can see it as a Chinese restaurant, as a nod to the history of Heinlenville. But anything that preserves its historical character will be a wonderful addition to the new Japantown.

  2. It was originally listed as a Chinese “Joss House” as late as 1901 in the Sanborn Maps. It became a Japanese boarding house later on. It is one of three Chinese buildings that remain, having been built across the street from the primary Chinatown site which was lost to the city’s corporation yard. I hope that the historic Ken Ying Low sign will somhow be preserved.

  3. The Ken Ying Low Restaurant at 625 North Sixth Street moved from Heinlenville about the time that Heinlenville was being demolished by the City (1931). The current building at 625 shows as a Chinese “Joss House” on early Sanborn Maps, though the term may have used loosely. In any event, it was originally a Chinese building contemporary with Heinlenville. It is unrelated to the Ng Shing Gung temple which stood near the north end of Heinlenville until 1949 (I don’t believe it shows on the 1940 map provided).

  4. The buildings at 611 (old Sakamoto Barbershop), 625, and 639 are all originally Chinese buildings which survive because they were on the west side of the street. The brick building at 611 and the Ken Ying Low building are the two oldest buildings in Japantown. The brick building at 611 is also historic in that it housed not only Chinese tenants, but the first Japanese businesses at the turn of the century, as well as many Filipino businesses.

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