You might remember where Carlo Street is, a tiny one- block street that connects Main and Abel Streets, very near the Milpitas Library. And if you come into the Milpitas Library from the parking garage, you might have noticed large copies of the photographs reprinted below on the wall leading to the library entrance. These photographs show the original general store, first opened in the 1890’s by John R. Carlo. The store was located two doors north of the first St. John the Baptist Catholic Church building on South Main Street.
John R. Carlo was born in 1871 in the town of Horta on the island of Fayal, in the Azores. One of a large farming family, he came to the United States at the age of 15, stopping for a short while in Boston before coming west to California in 1886. He settled in the Warm Springs area, in Alameda County, and attended school again there for a while, before getting a job on a nearby farm, where he worked for seven years.
He then moved south and farmed a part of the old Weller Curtner ranch, on Downing Road, for eight years, after which he moved into town and opened a grocery and general store with Joseph Pashote. Then in 1908, he sold his interest in that store and opened his own store in Milpitas.
In 1904, John Carlo married Miss Lena Pashote, the daughter of Joseph Pashote, and the couple had four children: Mary, John, Alfred, and Joseph.
John Carlo’s son Alfred (Al) grew up to become one of the members of Milpitas’s first City Council, formed when Milpitas incorporated as a city in 1954. He served as a council member until 1962. He and his wife, Josephine Simas Carlo, were married in 1936. In 1940 they bought Central Market on Main Street from Al’s uncle Jack Pashote and turned it into a home-style restaurant called the Kozy Kitchen. Al did the cooking and Josie waited on customers. They served motorists traveling from San Jose to Oakland along Main Street (then called the Oakland-San Jose Road). This was the main route between those two cities before what we now know as Highway 880 was built in the 1950s.
The Kozy Kitchen Restaurant was a familiar meeting place and social center for Milpitas for many years.
In 1999, the historic restaurant was closed and sold by Jim Carlo, son of Al and Josie. The new owners demolished it in 2000 to make room for new development (still unaccomplished). However, the vintage neon sign that hung over the entrance for half a century now belongs to the Milpitas Historical Society. Carlo Street may be rather short but it commemorates a family that contributed quite a lot to Milpitas.
October 3, 2012 by mhs