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New Bar, The Continental, Hosts ‘Sneak Peek’ And F/X The Club’s Annual Black Friday Party Tonight

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Nightlife lovers living in downtown San Jose will have plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, as the seventh annual Black Friday party, hosted by F/X The Club founder Fil Maresca, will be held at the brand new SoFA venue, The Continental Bar, Lounge & Patio.

A venture of Sam Ramirez, owner of The Cardiff and El Guapo’s in Campbell, The Continental is so new that the F/X Club party—which will feature four DJs, spinning ’90s alternative and house music—is being billed as a “sneak preview” of the new club, which is slated to open officially sometime in December.

The party will feature sets from DJs Brian Raffi, King Raffi, Julius Papp, and Harry Who?

When The Continental does open its doors, it will be a welcome addition to the SoFA district, according to Maresca, a long-time San Jose resident, a member of the SouthFirst Action Committee and founder of F/X The Club, which once occupied the theater on the corner of South 1st and San Salvador, most recently occupied by the Angel’s nightclub.

“I’m really excited,” Maresca says of The Continental’s opening, which he views as yet another sign of the SoFA district’s resurgence—along with opening of Café Stritch, the soon-to-be-completed South First Market and the return of the SoFA Street Fair—not to mention the new housing springing up in the area.

“It’s becoming more of a community again,” Maresca says. “There’s a lot more people in the neighborhood who care about what’s happening.”

Ramirez certainly falls into the category of people who care about the district, and the opening of The Continental is a return to his roots.

Born and raised in San Jose, Ramirez learned the ins and outs of the nightlife business working for Maresca at F/X, throwing parties at the Cactus Club and working at Agenda. After cutting his teeth in the SoFA district, he opened up the highly successful Cardiff Lounge.


“It’s very exciting for me to be able to come back,” Ramirez says. “I feel like I’m coming back home.”

Ramirez has transformed the inside of what was once Brix and Hunters—going for a rustic look and using reclaimed wood, salvaged metal and exposed cement floors. Much like he does at Cardiff Lounge, the bar will feature DJs spinning electronic music, including acid jazz and rare groove beats. He also plans to occasionally host live music.

There will be leather couches and arm chairs and a back patio area, Ramirez says, explaining that he wants the place to have a “lounge feel.” The full name of the establishment will be The Continental Bar, Lounge and Patio.

He is training his bartenders to make craft cocktails and plans to stock mostly high quality and small-batch spirits, micro-brew and craft beers, and fine wine—with a few exceptions: “I might do a Coor’s Light, or something like that,” he says.

Overall, however, he wants The Continental to be a classy—but not stuffy—place, where young people can “come in, enjoy their time, have conversations and enjoy great cocktails.”

Bottoms up!

The party starts at 8pm tonight, Nov. 28, at 349 S. 1st St. There is a $10 cover after 9pm.

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