A Michael Jackson tune serenades the space, where vinyl records line the walls and 45s cover light fixtures, with wide-screen televisions playing music videos, reminiscent of MTV’s early days.
Tempo Kitchen & Bar celebrated its grand opening Nov. 9, bringing what it describes as “elevated American cuisine” to downtown Gilroy at 7560 Monterey St.
Owner Dan Nelson said the response has been “fantastic” since Tempo opened a little more than a month ago, after Covid-19 delays pushed its debut back for months.
“We really wanted to create a restaurant that had quality food, great service, great unique craft cocktails and a musical theme to create a unique atmosphere,” he said.
That musical theme carries throughout the indoor and outdoor decor of Tempo, which hosts live bands every weekend.
“Music is something that’s beautiful,” said Nelson, a drummer himself who grew up in a musical family.
Tempo’s menu is led by Executive Chef Oscar Monroy and specializes in smoked meats, Nelson said. Prime rib, cauliflower steak, pork shanks and more are on the menu, with the restaurant also offering a full smoked turkey available to take home by order for Thanksgiving.
The menu also features a host of salads and small plates of pork belly morsels, octopus confit and more.
Nelson added that Tempo is rapidly expanding its number of signature cocktails, with names such as “The Berry Thought of You” and “Let’s Get Fizzzical.” Wine from local vineyards and throughout the state is also available by the glass or bottle, as well as various beers on tap.
Tempo fills the spot vacated by Golden State Brew and Grill, which closed in 2019.
The well-attended Nov. 9 grand opening included a visit from Assemblymember Ash Kalra, who presented Nelson and his wife Nancy with a proclamation.
Mayor Marie Blankley was joined by other members of the Gilroy City Council and various other community members.
“I love to have a new restaurant in town,” Blankley said. “I hope the community will continue to come out and support it.”
Nelson encouraged the public to try out the restaurant’s menu and give their feedback.
“We want to have the best food in town,” he said. “We hope we can build the restaurant to be a local place that everyone visits on a regular basis.”
Tempo currently has openings for various positions. To apply, or to find the restaurant’s hours and menu, visit tempokb.com.