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San Jose Signs

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Wing's Chinese Restaurant
San Jose, CA
Food Bowl
San Jose, CA
Home Depot
San Jose, CA
Wing's Chinese Restaurant opened in 1925, making it the oldest restaurant in San Jose. This sign is probably from the late 1940s or 1950s. For more, see this website. [map]

The Food Bowl is the main tenant of the Anne Darling Shopping Center. This sign was built in 1959. The "Food Bowl" panel revolved originally. [map]

This Home Depot sign previously advertised for a Mervyn's department store which was located here originally. I believe this sign went up in 1969. The Mervyn's closed in 2005 and Home Depot adapted the existing sign in 2008. For more, see this website. [map]

7-Eleven
Story Rd.
San Jose, CA
7-Eleven
Almaden Expressway
San Jose, CA
7-Eleven
Camden Ave.
San Jose, CA
I believe these 7-Eleven signs are from the 1960s or early 1970s. There are several others around San Jose, one in Oakland, CA, and one in Petaluma, CA. There is another one on 11th St. in San Jose. I don't know of any of this design outside Northern California. [Story map]; [Almaden map]; [Camden map]

Casa Linda Motel
San Jose, CA
Westside Billiards
San Jose, CA
The Casa Linda Motel was built in 1950. This sign is probably from then. It went by a different name originally and had a neon piece on top. For more, see this website. [map]

The Westside Billiards opened around 1947. This sign might be from then or the 1950s. The 8-ball and star were probably added later. [map]

Stephen's Meat Products
San Jose, CA
Stephen's Meat Products opened in 1948 and closed in 2007. The building was demolished to create a parking lot but the sign was left in place. The City maintains the sign which was built in the 1950s. When functioning properly, it features an animated dancing pig. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

City Cleaners
San Jose, CA
Wheel Works
San Jose, CA
Orchard Supply Hardware
San Jose, CA
The City Cleaners sign is probably from the 1940s or 1950s. The neon on both sides of the sign was covered with plastic panels to protect it from vandals. [map]

The Wheel Works sign originally advertised for the Tire Service Company. The business opened in 1946. This sign may be from the mid-1950s. [map]

Orchard Supply Hardware was established in 1931. In 1947, the company moved to its current location. This sign is probably from the 1950s. It has been restored several times. For more, see this website. [map]

Original Joe's
San Jose, CA
Dealin'
Dollar Dan
San Jose, CA
Dive Bar
San Jose, CA
City Center Motel
San Jose, CA
The first Original Joe's restaurant opened in 1937 in San Francisco. This location opened in 1956. The exterior looks the same. The sign letters were probably replicated at some point. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

This cowboy or prospector sign, known as Dealin' Dollar Dan, stood in front of the Gold Rush Motors used car lot in the 1990s. I don't if this sign was there before that. Service Rent-a-Car is the business on the lot now but this sign remains. [map]

The Dive Bar opened in 2004. This sign appears to be from then. [map]

The City Center Motel sign directs motorists to the motel which is a block away. The sign was built around 1960. The diver originally worse a one-piece bathing suit. One panel has been updated to a bikini. For more, see this website. [map]

Firato Ravioli Delicatessen
San Jose, CA
Time Deli
San Jose, CA
The Firato Ravioli Delicatessen opened around 1922. This sign was installed by the mid-1920s. The deli closed in 1977 but this sign remains. The letters at the top and bottom of the sign were most likely opal glass originally. [map]

The Time Deli sign was installed around 1950 when the business was known as the Time Market. For more, see this website. [map]

5-Spot Drive-in
San Jose, CA
The 5-Spot Drive-in opened in 1931. The 5-Spot was a coffee shop until the 1950s when it became a drive-in. These signs were most likely built then. The 5-Spot closed in 2001. It reopened in 2007 as the 5-Spot Chivas Grill. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

Hotel Sainte Claire
San Jose, CA
The Hotel Sainte Claire was built in 1926. Both of these signs were installed then. Originally, the rooftop sign read "Hotel Sainte Claire." From around 2007-2010, it read "Larkspur Sainte Claire." The "Larkspur" letters have been removed. These photos are from 2014. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Coast Counties Peterbilt
San Jose, CA
Hyde Park U-Save Liquors
San Jose, CA
Y-Not Enterprises
San Jose, CA
Mr. T's Liquor Locker
San Jose, CA
The Coast Counties Peterbilt truck and trailer dealership was established in 1949. This sign may be from then. [map]

Hyde Park U-Save Liquors was part of the U-Save Liquors chain. This sign is probably from the 1950s. There are similar signs in Merced, Fresno, Redwood City, and elsewhere in Northern California. [map]

Y-Not Enterprises, an adult toy, book and video store, adapted this sign when it opened in 1974. This sign originally advertised for the Y-Not bar which was here originally. The "Y" is meant to resemble a martini glass. This sign is believed to be from the mid-1960s. It was originally animated. The sign originally read "Cocktail" where it now reads "Open." For more, see this website. [map]

The Mr. T's Liquor Locker sign is probably from the 1960s. For more, see this website. [map]

Winchester
Shopping Center
San Jose, CA
Center
Paint Company
San Jose, CA
Safeway
San Jose, CA
Western Appliance
San Jose, CA
The Winchester Shopping Center opened in 1952. This sign appears to be from then. The sign has not been lit for many years. [map]

This Center Paint Company sign is probably from 1955. It was moved to this location in 1965. The store is closed but the sign remains. For more, see this website. [map]

In 1998, Safeway reworked this former Futurama Bowl sign. The bowling alley opened in 1961. It was designed by Powers, Daly and DeRosa. The bowling alley closed in 1992. The circles on the bottom part of the sign originally spelled out "BOWL" and the sign was topped with a bowling pin. [map]

According to Western Appliance's website, the company was established in 1873. However, a painted sign on the store's exterior says "since 1927." This sign was built in 1962. According to one source, since rooftop signs were prohibited at the time, the sign was designed was a pole sign which pierces the roof. Another source states that when the store expanded, the sign's poles were integrated into the building since local ordinances would not allow the sign to be moved. The sign originally had red, blue, and green flashing lights on top of the three spikes. The lights were turned off when the City decided that they confused planes heading to the San Jose Airport. The neon arrow originally flashed. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Andy's Pet Shop
San Jose, CA
2008: 2014:
Andy's Pet Shop opened here in 1950. This sign projected into the intersection and had to be repaired a few times after being hit by trucks. In the 1970s, the sign was badly damaged. The original text panel was green and looked like this. The parrot part of the sign may be original. In 2010, Andy's Pet Shop moved to a new location. The sign was installed on a truck near the store for awhile. It is now displayed inside the store. For more, see this website. [first photo thanks Mark Comstock]

former Elite Cleaners
San Jose, CA
2014: 2015:
The former Elite Cleaners sign is probably from the 1950s. The cleaners moved to a new location in 2014 and this sign was adapted for The Table restaurant and the Willow Glen neighborhood. The Elite Cleaners sign probably had neon text originally and it might have advertised for another business. [map]

Cambrian Park Plaza
San Jose, CA
The Cambrian Park Plaza revolving, carousel sign was installed in 1953 when the shopping center was built. It originally had all neon text. At some point, that was replaced with plastic panels and a message board. In 2016, it was announced that the shopping center would be redeveloped. The sign will supposedly remain on the property. [map]

Kim's Market [gone]
San Jose, CA
This Squirt sign at Kim's Market was probably from the 1960s or early 1970s. These photos are from 2008. By 2011, the store had closed and the sign was gone. There are similar signs in Bartley, NE, Sunol, NE, and Boston, MA.

former Dick's Supermarket
San Jose, CA
Dick's Supermarket was built in 1948. The building is currently vacant. [map]

More San Jose Signs:
Pied Piper Exterminators
San Jose Radiator
various theatres

The San Jose Signs Project's Guide to the Vintage Signs of San Jose:
The Guide features 25 signs and their histories as well as a driving map. It is available for $13 (includes shipping) from the Preservation Action Council of San Jose. You purchase the Guide through the PAC*SJ's Donation Page.

Alameda Bakersfield Fresno Hayward &
San Leandro
Long Beach Los Angeles
Oakland Sacramento San Diego Area San Francisco Stockton Museum of
Neon Art
Other
California

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