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Metro's Club of the Week

394 S. Second St., San Jose; 408.947.7070; www.clubelements.net; grand opening July 25

By Todd Inoue

Hours: Fri-Sat 9pm-2am
Ambience: Mediterranean villa
Amenities: "Elegance redefined," valet parking, bathroom attendants, coat checks

THE THOUGHT of Italian restaurant Palermo incorporating a nightclub within its thoughtful Mediterranean environs will be more easily navigated than first thought. Located at the corner of Second and San Salvador streets, Elements will operate Friday-Saturday nights while Palermo will continue to operate as a restaurant during the day and early evening.

Elements' tag line is "elegance redefined," and proprietor Norman Delise wants to ensure that paying customers are treated like guests. There's valet parking for the same price as the lot across the street. Someone offers to take your coat. There's no dress code, but a good attitude is more important than Armani, says Delise. And that goes double for the staff. "Bouncers are to address guests as "sir" or "madam," or they're fired on the spot," he says.

A lifetime San Jose resident, Delise worked at other local clubs for the past six years, including Hamburger Mary's, Club Ecco and Polly Esther's. His vision of an original, simple nightclub experience is realized within the spacious restaurant's walls. Once inside the door, clubbers experience service amenities like bathroom attendants, coat checks, multiple bartenders and real glassware. There are cozy side rooms for conversation, two dance floors with DJs spinning hip-hop and house, a sitting area with huge tapestries.

Delise knows that people from Los Gatos and Mountain View hate coming to San Jose, but with all the amenities in place, he hopes to change that assumption. "My whole concept is that we want people to forget that the outside world exists for four or five hours," he says. "If we have a good product, good service and a smile on our face, we'll survive."

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From the July 24-30, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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