Grillin’ in the Central Valley for the Fourth

While many of you were grillin’ at backyard picnics this weekend, the dogs and I were grilling ourselves in the Sacramento area.  It was 90s on Friday and 100s on Saturday.  I had had enough by Sunday, had miraculously finished my list, and scurried home to the beach just as fast as I could.  Today is delightfully foggy.  I’ve got lots of photos for you so I’ll split this into two posts — one for each day.

Let’s start with this one in Tulare.  It looks like there was a word there before “The” — maybe someone’s name?blog1

From Visalia — these plastic mortar & pestle signs were mass-produced but are very rare now:blog2

A couple of signs from Fong’s in Fresno — a nice old 1930s/1940s blade sign and a cocktail sign.  I don’t know what the vertical text was on this.  Probably “Restaurant”:

blog3 blog4

These plastic clock signs are getting scarcer these days.  I can’t think of any others in California.  This one is installed above a closed Kung Food studio in Fresno.  There’s also a green version:


One of the day’s big heartbreaks.  I wanted to reshoot this U Save Liquor sign in Fresno since I inadvertently chopped off the neon arrow under it when I shot it last year: belmontu

Well, I guess when they finally got around to repainting it, they decided to replace all the neon with backlit plastic letters.  Uff!  What a shame!  blog6

Adrian’s is a cute little walk-up take-out stand.  It probably went by another name originally.  But the stand is looking a little beat now and the cute pole sign is covered with ugliness.  At least this nice little porcelain enamel sign remains on the roof:


Just next door is this sweet sign for Ann’s Beer Mug which I think is closed.  The bulb bubbles must have flashed originally:blog8

I can’t find any history for the El Prado Nightclub in Fresno.  It’s a huge building and has a 1940s look.  I love the little guitars and tacked on blue cocktail: blog9

The Sequoia Super Market is in Ceres.  The “La” was added in later years:

I’m all for recycled buildings — but this one disappoints me.  A lot.  The wavy roofed Dairy Queen in Davis closed in 2013.  Lots of examples of these buildings at my page here:

In 2014, the Davis building was stripped to its frame in preparation for the remodel.  The box at the back was the kitchen & order window set-up.  Everything in front of it would have been dining area with tables originally:mddqAnd now… the finished product as an architects’ office.  For architects, I expected more:  blog11At least they kept the wooden beams inside (shot through the window, best I could do): blog12

Some much better news.  The Mercury Cleaners in Sacramento moved across the street and had their sign restored and installed at the new location just a couple of weeks ago:

Here’s a photo I took of the sign in 2008:


And here’s what the sign looks like now (crappy light, I got a better shot on Sunday which I posted to Flickr).  I don’t know why it was painted blue but I’m assuming that was the original color.  I’ll make calls when I upload to my website.  I’ve also never understood what the winged red disk represents.  I suspect that might have been a Mercury dime originally?  I’m glad they kept that little “Drapery” sign underneath:


OK – that’s enough for this post.  I’ll cook up Day 2 next.


6 thoughts on “Grillin’ in the Central Valley for the Fourth

  1. I saw one of those arrow shaped clocks yesterday along Hwy 99 somewhere around Gridley or Yuba City. It wasn’t in as good of condition though. I’ll keep an eye out for it next time I drive through there and let you know where it is

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