City of San Jose sues sports bar for alleged prostitution, illicit activity

San Jose neighbors said it’s notorious for illicit activity and now a sports bar on Alma Avenue could be forced to permanently shut its doors.

Agave Sports Bar & Grill is where an alleged drunk driver killed a young mother in an outdoor patio last month. City leaders have now a lawsuit against the restaurant and its owners.

The 21-page filing alleges the bar was a place for prostitution and a public nuisance. The city wants a judge to close it down.

On Wednesday evening, the name was missing from its sign but Agave Sports Bar & Grill in San Jose was open. However, that could change.

The City of San Jose filed a lawsuit this month against the restaurant for unfair business practices. Among the allegations include women there encouraged customers to buy alcohol and then initiated acts of prostitution.

"We’ve had stabbings, we hear gunshots, large fights, and a lot of reckless driving activity happens around here," said Shane Patrick Connolly of San Jose.

Connolly is president of the Willow Glen Creek Homeowners Association. His condo is next to Agave. He calls the city’s action long overdue.

"It’s been a constant thorn in our residents’ side, the neighbors’ side for at least five years," said Connolly.

Agave sits in Councilwoman Dev Davis’s district. She said a woman run over and killed by an alleged drunk driver in the outdoor dining area triggered the lawsuit.

"It’s bad enough, this is not an action the city attorney takes very lightly and it's not one they do very often," said Davis.

Neighbor Jennifer Fanucchi also witnessed Agave not following health orders during the pandemic.

"I saw lots of people over there, it was a big crowd there didn’t seem to be six feet distancing," said Fanucchi.

According to the County Health Department, Agave has racked up $71,000 in fines. Fines were reduced to $28,000 after the restaurant agreed to comply. So far, $7,000 has been paid.

"I don’t want anyone ever to lose their business but if they aren’t following the rules what are you supposed to do," said Fanucchi.

The owners also own Meli’s Restaurant in San Jose. KTVU reached out to them. Calls were unreturned and employees did not disclose their whereabouts.

Neighbors said if the restaurant remains open more city resources like police and fire will be utilized there. Councilmember Dev Davis said the court system is backed up due to the pandemic so the timeline for the suit is unclear.

Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Azenith at and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or