Custom homes pepper the lovely neighborhoods of Willow Glen and Thibault Builders continues to serve many residents in this charming part of the South Bay. In that time, we have learned quite a bit about what makes Willow Glen so beloved and thought you might like to know what we have learned. Have a look!

Quick Overview of Willow Glen

The tree lined streets of downtown Willow Glen offer a small-town feeling within the city of San Jose. Willow Glen has a small town feel because only about 119,500 people live in “the 95125” as it’s often referred to.  San Jose itself has over 1 million residents and the little gem called “WG” is right in the middle of it. 

The quaint downtown features sidewalk cafes, coffee shops, boutiques, flower shops, people walking their dogs, vintage shops, and doggie water bowls everywhere. Walkable tree-lined streets, diverse architecture, specialty shops, and independent businesses makes up the downtown area on Lincoln Ave – pictured here, thanks to Willow Glen Business Association – see credit below article.

Lincoln Avenue is where Willow Glen holds all of their festivals, parades and holiday events. And the businesses on Lincoln also have a special trick-or-treat Halloween candy for kids on the 31st during the daytime. Willow Glen’s very generous neighbors are also known for their extravagant Halloween displays and their exceptional Halloween candy bars and gifts they giveaway to the trick-or-treaters that drive from all over to Willow Glen on Halloween. Willow Glen is known for their many events throughout each year: Dancin’ on the Avenue, Founders’ Day, Willow Glen 5K Run/Walk, and many other wine & beer festivals.

On the weekends, you can see residents regularly head to Lincoln Avenue to grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner, head to the bank, walk their dogs, do a little shopping – all in one convenient location. Just around the corner, off Lincoln Avenue on Willow, is “Bill’s Cafe” – serving breakfast and brunch for over 30 years. Bill’s opened in 1987 and is still going strong. Residents love to wait in line and enjoy the sunshine, coffee, and a chat with their neighbors while they wait.

The neighborhood homes throughout Willow Glen include a wide range of architectural styles: Craftsman and Mission style homes are the most common style in Willow Glen, but you can also see many Bungalow, Spanish Colonial Revival,  Neoclassical (Queen Anne Cottage and Neo-Colonial), Four Story Victorians and more.  


Willow Glen – Nuts & Bolts

  • Boundaries of Willow Glen –  Willow Glen is located in West San Jose, with the zip code of 95125 and some of 95124. Although the boundaries for Willow Glen are not documented consistently, for real estate purposes, the boundaries are generally along Interstate 280 on the north side, Highway 87 and Almaden Expressway on the west side, Foxworthy Avenue on the south side, and Leigh Avenue and Southwest Expressway on the east side. The downtown area is on Lincoln Avenue between Coe and Minnesota Avenue.  
  • CoordinatesLatitude: 37° 18′ 12.85″ N  Longitude: -121° 53′ 50.44″ W 
  • Remodeling in Willow Glen – If you are looking for zoning maps, conditional use permits or village design guidelines, the City of San Jose has a portal for all things related to doing any kind of business or construction on their website. The links are here for all of your permits. Better yet, give Thibault Builders a call and let us handle this for you!
  • Opening or Buying a Business in Willow Glen – The Willow Glen Association website has all of the details for doing business in Willow Glen. This association website will provide the steps from business plans, incubator programs, business structure, licensing and more. 
  • Beekeepers in Willow Glen – Contact a local beekeeper if you need to move a swarm of bees from your property. Not sure if you have bees or wasps? Use this document from the Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers before you call. Do not spray the hive. Call the beekeeper for your area and this service is often free of charge.  Willow Glen is home to quite a few beekeepers, but Steve Demkowski is the most well known and his group is called Willow Glen Honey Bees
  • Recycling & E-Waste –  West Valley Recycles is the collection and recycling company in Willow Glen. Their telephone number is 408-283-9250. Information about their services, what is acceptable for recycling is on their website West Valley Recycles.  If you would like information about renting dumpsters, bins, getting rid of concrete and dirt can be found here. Willow Glen also has an e-waste recycler on Lincoln Ave. The City of San Jose also has free e-waste drop off locations for drop off by appointment. You can also call the City of San Jose to make an appointment at 408-299-7300.
  • Metal Recycling – Scrap metal, CRV warehouse Open 7 Days a Week. They also buy glass, aluminum CRV and plastic CRV.  Willow Glen has a metal recycler on Lincoln Ave near 280 called Ranch Town Recycling
  • Disposal of Hazardous Waste – Battery recycling, light bulbs and other household waste contact the S.C.F.D. website Hazardous Waste or the City of San Jose has a “green enterprise” facility that houses services for residents and clean tech entrepreneurs at 1608 Las Plumas Ave, San Jose. Call 408-299-7300 to schedule a free drop-off appointment at the facility.
  • Ignitables, Corrosives & Reactives –  Recycle your old paints, dry or wet, petroleum products, polishes, gasoline, pool cleaning chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, propane, smoke detectors and other dangerous items can be recycled at the County of Santa Clara drop off points.  Check their online calendar for the dates.  Do not bring your pets but do bring your proof of residency. 
  • Emergency Preparedness – The City of San Jose has a website that teaches people how to be prepared for an emergency.  They also have a website where you can enter your address and find out what known hazards are going on in your neighborhood during an emergency. 
  • Habitat for Humanity – Looking for home improvement products like new cabinets or gently used appliances and furniture? Or want to find a home for your cabinets, building materials or appliances you are replacing?  Habitat For Humanity has stores in the Bay Area where they sell gently used items and can also take donation. Check their website and enter your zip code for the closest store to you. Their stores are called Habitat For Humanity ReStore. Your donations can also be considered a tax deduction.


Various & Sundry in Willow Glen

  • Famed Food – La Villa Italian Delicatessen has been a part of Willow Glen since 1947. They are known for their “ravs.” They make all kinds of fresh and delicious pasta, but they are best known for their raviolis and cannoli. Outdoor seating and grab a number when you get there as it does get very packed inside – even without indoor seating. It’s a small Italian market with bread, cheese and white in addition to their hot foods and cold sandwiches. 
  • Historic Importance – The Garden Theatre building on Lincoln Avenue was built in 1949 and is still standing. It was a “first run” theatre until 1989 when it was gutted and converted into commercial space, but they light up marquee sign is still intact and is lit up with information about local festivals and other fun Willow Glen activities or events. 
  • Claims to Fame – Holly Hallstrom of Price is Right fame is from Willow Glen and attended Willow Glen High School. According to the Price is Right website, Holly was one of the longest performing models who was hired by Bob Barker himself. Eric Kretz, drummer from the band the Stone Temple Pilots also graduated from W.G.H.S. 
  • Historic Homes – There is a walking tour of the historical buildings and homes in Willow Glen. There is a book for sale at several local stores fond on the Touring Historic Willow Glen website. The Willow Glen Heritage WGNA operates a Facebook page with excerpts from the book, too.   

Cozzens House – 1195 Minnesota Ave, San Jose, CA 95125 (Granted historical status.) “The Cozzens Ranch House embodies, through its form and detailing, a distinctive Victorian-era design with an underlying Italianate-era building form and footprint based on an earlier house using the same foundation.” 

Historic Roberto Adobe & Sunol House – 770 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, CA 95125 (Granted historical status.) “The Roberto Adobe & Suñol House are among the oldest and most historically significant homes in Santa Clara County. The adobe was built by Native American Roberto Balermino c1836. In 1847, Antonio Suñol built the brick Suñol House adjoining the adobe. Suñol owned San José’s first store; he was the alcalde (mayor), sindico (city attorney), sub-prefect (assistant governor), and the first postmaster of San José. “


Things To Do in Willow Glen

  • Equestrian Families – Garrod Farms and Riding Stables is a family-owned and operated establishment that welcomes riders of all skill levels. They also board horses and teach riding lessons for all levels. Family owned and operated. For their hours and rates and rules about pets and minors, check their website or give them a call at Tel: 408-867-9527
  • Wine in Willow Glen – There are 2 to 3 wine walks per year in downtown San Jose on Lincoln Avenue. The WGNA invites local wineries to set up at neighborhood salons and boutiques. The residents of Willow Glen walk all around downtown and sample the various wineries. The tickets to the wine walk are open to the public, too. 
  • Wine Tasting Rooms – There are no wine tasting rooms in Willow Glen, but several wine shops on Lincoln Avenue. Coterie Winery is the closest winery to Willow Glen on West Julian in San Jose. They do private events, special occasions and they have tasting hours Thursday through Sunday. Check their website for details and hours. Willow Glen is