Chelles is a historical icon in San José. It opened in 1899 and is still going strong over a century later. The business is said to have been founded by Mr. Chase. The name Chelles came about as a mispronunciation of his name.
The restaurant, which also serves as a bar depending on the hour, is in a strategic location, where the boulevard of the Central Avenue ends. It sits where the train used to stop. It’s been a meeting place since it’s beginning.
It is open 24 hours a day and has long been a favorite place of refuge for writers, musicians, and artists of all types. People are often seen there talking about politics or culture at all hours of the night.
The building itself also has value in an architectural sense. It survived a fire over a decade ago yet still holds colonial heritage architecture that points to adobe and bahareque works. Even the windows are impressive, with a neoclassical influence.