music in the park san jose

.Last Round Tavern Builds Community One Pizza at a Time

music in the park san jose

Downtown San Jose is home to many fantastic eateries, but few have captured the community’s heart like the Last Round Tavern. Celebrating its fifth anniversary, this local gem blends tradition with innovation. This milestone highlights the relentless effort and passion that Danny and Caleb Orozco brought to making Last Round a downtown staple known for its family-friendly environment and exceptional slow-braised meats and house-made sauces.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Caleb to discuss the restaurant’s journey, its history and future plans. Reflecting on the recent five-year anniversary, Caleb shared that it was a moment to appreciate their perseverance, especially after opening just nine months before the onset of the pandemic. He emphasized the importance of local support: “Without our customers, we wouldn’t have made it to that first or third or even fifth-year mark. At the end of the day, they are our number-one investor.” Caleb also highlighted their mission of creating genuine connections and maintaining transparency with patrons, which has been key to their success.

Community engagement remains a priority for the Last Round Tavern, with regular collaborations with local businesses and artists, and hosting events that bring the community together. Looking ahead, Caleb envisions growth through expanding the space and enhancing branding and marketing efforts. He is also dedicated to revitalizing the East Santa Clara Street area, now being rebranded as the East Village, and fostering a community identity beyond just the tavern.

Caleb takes pride in their signature dishes, particularly the meatballs and braised meats—recipes passed down from his father. The Cubano pizza, featuring braised pulled pork and Cuban sauce, has become a favorite among staff and customers alike.

Naturally, I couldn’t resist trying these standout items—starting with the legendary meatball. Every bite of this menu cornerstone, featuring an all-beef meatball drenched in a delectable marinara sauce, was nothing short of irresistible. The tender beef combined with the robust sauce had me cleaning my plate, savoring each mouthful.

Before enjoying the pizza, I tried the signature cocktail, Tavern Tamarind Punch. This drink mixes sweet and tangy flavors with a hint of spice, making it a refreshing start to a meal. Its blend of tamarind and watermelon set the stage for the food that followed.

As a fan of both traditional pizzas and a good Cubano sandwich, I was excited to try the Cubano pizza, and I immediately fell in love with it. The pizza was loaded with tender, slow-braised pulled pork, savory ham, salami and fresh vegetables, all brought together by a house-made Cubano sauce. What set it apart was the tavern-style crust: thin and crispy, it stands up to the rich toppings without being too heavy. The combination of sweet, tangy and slightly spicy flavors creates a harmonious and satisfying bite.

As Last Round Tavern embarks on its next chapter, the future looks bright for this local favorite. With a blend of tradition, innovation, love and community spirit, it continues to be a beloved staple in downtown San Jose.

354 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose, (408) 286-9710. Tues.–Fri.–11:30am–2:30pm and 5–10pm; Sat. 11:30am–2:30pm and 5–10pm; Sun. 3–9pm. lastroundtavern.com

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