The old A&W on Market Street in Concord

August 30, 2010 11:30 am · 62 comments

These are some of our favorite historical photos we’ve ever received!

Chuck Reeves, who owned two A&W’s in Concord, sent these photos of the original A&W in Concord, on Market Street, just behind Park & Shop.

These photos were taken in the early 1960’s at the Market Street location. A few years later, Chuck and his family would open up another A&W in Concord, on Clayton Road. That location is now Hunan Chinese restaurant.

Also, if you look close at the bottom photo, you can see JC Penney in the background. They first opened up a store in Park & Shop, long before the Sunvalley Mall was constructed.

Thanks to Chuck for the great photos and memories!

1 anon August 30, 2010 at 11:38 AM

charlie and callie had it made!!!

2 9 deuce daisy August 30, 2010 at 11:47 AM

I’ll take a mama burger with a root beer float!

3 Jeannene August 30, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Re: A&W 2nd picture down…the water in what appears to be a parking lot? Whats the story there?

4 anon August 30, 2010 at 11:50 AM

What’s with the water?????

5 David VanOutrive August 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM

CLASSIC !!!!! I believe it was close to Red Barn Furniture….

6 MissMelyssa August 30, 2010 at 11:55 AM

I love these old photos. Keep them coming.

7 SK August 30, 2010 at 12:00 PM

I wish I could read the prices for food on the signs. Then again… maybe better that I can’t! :)

The second photo is interesting, showing how the location got flooded at one time.

8 MO August 30, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Thank you for the Memories.
Amazing ones for me. The ”one with the water” brings in a flood of memories.

Wow….love them.
It’s amazing to me that my long term memory is this good, when jogged by an image…wow!

9 jtkatec August 30, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Wow, what year was that flood?

10 The second photo shows flooding August 30, 2010 at 12:05 PM

which occurred often along that area until they built the “Concrete Creek” up by Willow Pass and 242.

11 soft serve August 30, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Pretty sure “Ol Man Reeves =)” served up ice cream at his snack shack at Cowell pool too!! good stuff!!!! .25 cents to get into the pool and .15 cents for a cone good times!!

12 ConcordCatLady August 30, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Did it flood?

13 Dusty McRusty August 30, 2010 at 12:15 PM

In 1963 the concrete creek was already there but Gregory Gardens and Park-N-Shop still flooded. The concrete creek crested and the flooding would have been MUCH worse without the concrete creek.

14 Shadowgirl August 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Wow, that certainly brings back memories. Loved A&W! I have some recollection of the flooding. I forgot about Red Barn Furniture. So much has changed over the years. Thanks for sharing your photos Chuck!

15 Anon Mom August 30, 2010 at 12:20 PM

I was born in 1960 in Concord and I still remember going to that A & W when I was about 5 or so and getting a Baby Mug of Root Beer. And you can still see the big red building next door. Was that Concord Ice & Fuel? I can’t remember. Love these old pics of Concord!!!!!!

16 anonamom August 30, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Furnished half of our first house with the second hand stuff from Red Barn, and from King’s Auction (across market, where the now empty PetCo building is.) The Drive-thru Dairy was, if I remember correctly, just below the Red Barn. A MaMa burger and a Baby burger were always part of the “browsing” day.

17 Carcass August 30, 2010 at 12:22 PM

I remember the A&W. I don’t remember it having a pool?

18 MO August 30, 2010 at 12:31 PM

I don’t know ”which” flood this was, but in the late summer/early fall of 1962 the flooding was pretty bad…especially over on (can’t name streets)…the street alongside ditch….going towards 4 corners? …Meadow Ln?…then also in the whole area…….

I was driving a 1960 VW Bug at the time, almost full term with twins, and had to help evacuate people………we all would then congregate up in the old Safeway Parking Lot….I couldn’t see my feet – let alone slip in behind the steering wheel…but when push came to shove – I took part in the helping.
Water way to high on the car to make it safe…but we did it!
I lived on 3rd Street ..half way down the block a cute little white house with a darling front porch.

19 erickuntz August 30, 2010 at 12:47 PM

When did Red Barn burn down? I’m guessing end of 1979? Anyone know?
Also do you happen to know when Crocker Bank closed?
Must have been late 80’s along with The Capri ….
Keep the photo coming…

20 Smokey August 30, 2010 at 12:51 PM

I still have a few of those tiny miniature a&w mugs … Anybody remember those?

21 Paul Poston August 30, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Remember it well. The flooding that occured. Park n Shop being built….Kahns King Normans. Red Barn Furniture..still have the dresser I bought there when I moved out in “71”. The drive-in dairy was next to it on the left. Ice and Fuel was further down to the right. Lots of the people I went to school with worked there…A&W.

22 Anon Mom August 30, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Soft Serve … I remember the pool being .25 and then getting a soft vanilla ice cream cone!!!! My friend and I hung out at the pool just about every day in the summer. One of our mothers would drop us off – the other one would pick us up!! Those were the days, weren’t they???!!! And now I remember … the red barn was furniture.

23 Beermeister August 30, 2010 at 1:57 PM

I like how the front of the roof says “Take home a gallon and make your own floats.” Wow a gallon of A&W rootbeer mmmmmmmm (in my best Homer Simpson).

24 justme August 30, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Concord flooded?!?! I’d love to hear the story about that. And is it something that can ever happen again?

25 Dee Dee August 30, 2010 at 2:13 PM

We went there all the time until the ownership changed. I think that must have been late 70’s??? It wasn’t the same after that. We still have furniture from the Red Barn. Anyone remember the GIANT chair they had out front?

We had a couple of those mini mugs too.

26 Rob August 30, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Mr Mayor,

I really want to thank you for the photos. I only wish my parents were still alive to see them – they would just love those old pictures.

27 Cindy August 30, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Wow! Thank you for sharing the pics! Brought back so many memories! Wish the A&W’S were still there!

28 still anon August 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM


29 lilAshlie August 30, 2010 at 4:59 PM

I’m Chuck Reeves grand daughter and I had no clue about any of this… Crazy to learn about my own family on Claycord…Love you grandpa!!!! and FYI #1 Callie and Charlie, my parents, NEVER had it made… so i dont know where your coming from with that comment lol

30 Scoots August 30, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Anybody remember the “House of Pies” at Park & Shop?

31 cvhs94 August 30, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Hi. Great pics. Are there any pics of the clayton rd. location. Thanks

32 Larrabee August 30, 2010 at 7:15 PM

I remember my mother taking me to that Penney’s store when I was a kid. Penney’s and Kahn’s were the only two-story stores in P&S. That’s the building that became the Capri Theater. I went to that A&W years later after I got my license (and a car). I coulda sworn there was a Chinese restaurant next to A&W; maybe that came later?

33 Mad Mom August 30, 2010 at 7:29 PM

What great photos! Thank you for sharing! I remember going to the “dumps” on Saturdays after doing yard work all day. The reward was hitting A&W after all our work for a baby burger and a “Schlitz” (they were a widely advertised beer and I thought that’s what root beer was, it came in a beer mug!) I loved those baby mugs!
Am I wrong or didn’t the back parking lot at Park & Shop flood every year until Fry’s went in. That’s a pretty recent time in comparison.

34 Dean August 30, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Those pictures predate my memories, but I remember the drive-in and the individual menu displays, ordering and Dad having to partially roll up his window so the food tray could be mounted. I remember graduating from Baby Burgers to Mama Burgers (mmmm… bacon!). Eating in the back seat – what a treat! Kids these days don’t appreciate what it was like with their drive-through-and-toss-the-food-in-the-back-and-drive-away places that exist now…

35 Ranchgirlca August 30, 2010 at 8:36 PM

I remember both Concord locations, but we used to go to the one in WC on YVR & Civic most of the time. We always went to the one on Clayton after going Miniature golfing. The new combo restaurants aren’t near as good. I only go for the root beer floats. Forget the food.

36 Bacon Queen August 30, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Hey Chuck! Great seeing pix of the A&W downtown Concord! I went to work for Ray & Lucy at A&W Clayton Rd in the late 70’s. Not like “work” at all, but pure joy just to walk in every weekday morning, and cook burgers and laugh with them until our sides ached! Best years of my life–until the place was sold to strangers who had no clue how to serve the public. So tell Elmer & Virginia I’m sending them a big hug–and I owe them a couple strips of bacon!

37 Lichon August 30, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Wow Memories, and good ones from childhood.

Didn’t it later change to Goody Burger?

I use to love the mayonaise/juice running down my arms.

Vaguely remember having a real Root Beer at A&W.

Nothing like the root beer I thought I was getting years ago when I stopped in one on the road.

Park N Shop brings back memories to.

I still dream about Park n Shop and the area around it.
And it’s 50yrs later.

Thanks for sharing Mr. Mayor and the fellow who sent them to you.

38 Paul Poston August 30, 2010 at 10:48 PM

@Larrabee..there was a Chinese restaurant there but on the other side of the dairy (to the left) Two brothers had it one leaving and opening the House Of Lui on Clayton Rd….named for who else Chan Lui! That place was always packed. Lots of nice people went there(Judges,Lawyers, Police, Executives among the crowd)…to bad it has changed and for the worse….
And yes, I remember the House Of Pies. When I worked at the Round Table Pizza(first in Concord) we would swap pizzas for pies…

39 Nomad August 30, 2010 at 10:59 PM

Anyone out there remember Rick’s Drive-In on Salvio Street?

40 MO August 30, 2010 at 11:34 PM

How about the Crystal Drive In?…(I suspect anyone who remembers the Crystal Drive In is too old to be able to use a computer.) (‘cept fer me)

41 RunnerDope August 30, 2010 at 11:52 PM

The A&W in WC (YV and Civic/Oak) became Jolly Burgers; I think that was the early ’70s. The original A&W in WC was next to the old police station on Broadway. I think it became a Chinese restaurant, too.

42 Nomad August 31, 2010 at 12:33 AM

Sure, I remember the Crystal Drive In–owned by Kenny & Peggy Mattson (of Mattson’s Creamery). Bob, Norm, & Fred stayed at the creamery and Kenny opened Crystal on the corner of East & Salivo. Rick’s was at 2350 Salivo. A Texaco gas station on East & Salivo separated the two places–then, years later, Chap’s went in on the corner of Salivo & Willow Pass. Rick’s lasted longer than any of them. I know. I had the 5 pm to 1am shift, 6 nights a week. What a blast working there from 57 thru the 70’s, and am still in touch with many of the waitresses from that rock ‘n roll era. Those who remember will know exactly who I am. Truly a bygone era. Those of us who remember Concord’s drive-ins still mourn their loss–and I just recently learned to use a computer, Mo–so we’re really old now. lol

43 Babs August 31, 2010 at 6:38 AM

Side note, isn’t it interesting that root beer is ok for you…when in renal failure but not coke or pepsi????

44 Paul in South Concord August 31, 2010 at 7:46 AM

Flooding… I think I either heard or read somewhere, that historically, large portions of the entire Diablo Valley used to be subject to frequent flooding. There was a lot of work done with storm drain systems and the concrete creek, for flood control. That’s about all I know, though.

45 G-Sphere August 31, 2010 at 8:39 AM

I worked for a flood control district and, yes, Justme (#24) it can and does still happen. A similar flood occurred in 1986 and 1995. I don’t have any pictures, but my old Ford Pinto was washed away (what a relief!).
That is why I was glad to see Claycord when they prompted the city to remove those shopping carts. Nothing brings on a flood better than a stream full of shopping carts.

46 Ten Million Year Old Man August 31, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Who remembers Sno-White Drive-In, Gay-90’s Pizza, Jerry’s Beefburgers, Pizza Delight, The Brazier, Smorgabobs, The Mayfair 24-hr Market, The Go-Cart Track, Payless, and Chicken Delight?

47 Sobering Dose of Reality August 31, 2010 at 10:37 AM

“Small-town” Concord…and Antioch used to be that way. Think anyone worried about thugs in baggy pants and hoodies back then? And most intellectually-honest people know EXACTLY what and “who” happened to these towns that made them the pits they are today.

48 Larrabee August 31, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Ten Million Year Old Man,
Gay 90’s had great pizza! They were on the frontage road, just south of the Monument, with Bill Chaney’s and the Sport Chalet. Last time I looked Navlet’s was on that property.

49 Jeninreality August 31, 2010 at 1:47 PM

I LOVE this photo. I remember my family going there for a quick burger and also remember how excited my brother and I were given such a treat. We lived in a time when fast food was a occasional occurence and not included on our daily menu. Thank you for sharing on the site, you brought back some fond memories.

50 Paul Greenwood August 31, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Seems to be across Market from the Capri Building, about where the Oil Express is now Located, Am i Right????

51 Feckin Irish Mouse August 31, 2010 at 4:32 PM

I remember Gay 90’s Pizza………………And the creepy old Notty Pine Bar next door. Had a co-worker that hung out there………….But the best pizza used to be Freddie’s in Lafayette and every former Acalanes Don from the 50’s – 80’s will tell you that………………………..Also Lafayette had an
A & W and a Chaps Drive-In. I remember the A & W on Market from the 1st time I lived in Concord in the early 80’s and the Chinese restaurant that would smell funky at times, the $2 movie at the Capri (hey I say Lust in the Dust with Divine for $2 – such a deal), Busy Bee Hobby, a record store, a bargain Jr females clothing store (hey in my 20’s I was a “jr female”), the House of Pies and House of Fabrics, Woolworths and Chicks Donuts (still here) all being in the P & S in the early 80’s. I really had hopes that Ranch 99 might the beginning of something good for the Park & Shoot..Ooops I mean Park & Shop. Well I guess I can keep hoping.

52 ginny currier September 1, 2010 at 7:58 AM

OH MY!! Talk about bringing back the memories! I was born 1957 in Concord.

I remember the park n shop very well. There was a Woolworth and a Rhodes Department store there. My mom worked at the Rhodes department store, and I remember her taking us to visit Santa there.

I also remember the Foster Freeze that was near the A & W. I moved in 1973 and dont know if the Foster freeze is still there? Also, there was a toy store-hobby shop at the park n shop.

I lived behind the Meadow Homes school and the creek was between my house and the school. I remember the creek flooding, and here were people boating down our street! My father used sand bags around our home, and the water flooded the streets and yards. The water never reached the inside of our house. I was so young then!! LOL

53 Seasons September 1, 2010 at 8:27 AM

#46 I thought the go cart place was a lost dream. So cool

54 MO September 1, 2010 at 8:49 AM

Old old old!

I remember cruising then stopping at the Crystal Drive In and we’d flirt with the sailors from Port Chicago, making our Red Devil ”flat topped” fella’s jealous.
We cruised in a PINK Oldsmobile convertable and an old ’47 Dodge sedan and an old maroon 49 Chevy.

I worked at King Norman’s Wonderland for Bill Edwards….

I remember Mattson’s and the status of a coke and fries with someone special ..cause the ”clique” hung out there. roflol.

We’d go to the ”Rec” and then have a ”shake” ……

My itty bitty kids a few years later were hooked on AW Root Beer. Then I was driving a VW Bug and upgraded to a Nash Rambler Sedan. Somewhere here in a relative’s album are pictures I took with my 35 MM camera of my kids and BIG ROOT BEER FLOATS….

Damn……it’s hell to get old.
But, I’m an old geek…I’m good on this computer. :wink:


55 kim zocchi September 1, 2010 at 1:01 PM

take me back to those dayz….
cindy and i were “BF’s”
loved the chile dogs..
hi ashlie # 29
and # 11 – yep, soft serve at the snack bar at cowell pool – it my first job!

56 Nomad September 1, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Mo, was that a Lehmer’s Olds…?

57 Nomad September 1, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Hey Chuck Reeves, you really started the memories & that old Statler Brothers song almost says it best:
Saturday morning serials chapters 1 thru 15, fly paper, penny loafers, Lucky Strike Green, flat tops, sock hops, Studebaker, Pepsi please, Ahh do you remember these? Cigar bands on your hand, your daddy’s socks rolled down, sticks no plugs and aviator caps with flaps that button down, movie stars on Dixie Cup tops and knickers to your knees, ahh do you remember these? The Hit Parade, grape Tru-Aid, the Sadie Hawkins Dance, pedal pushers, duck tail hair and peggin’ your pants, Howdy Doody, Tutti-Fruiti, the seam of the back of her hose, ahh do you remember those? James Dean, he was keen, Sunday movies were taboo, The Senior Prom, Judy’s mom, Rock ‘n Roll was new, Cracker Jack prize, stars in your eyes, as Daddy for the keys, ahh do you remember these? The boogey man, lemonade stands, taking your tonsils out, Indian Burn and wait your turn, and 4 foul balls you’re out, cigarette loads and secret codes and saving Lucky Stars, can you remember back that far? To boat neck shirts and fender skirts and crinoline petticoats, Mum’s the word and a Dirty Bird and a double root beer float, moon hub caps and loud heel taps and he’s a Real gone cat, aah, do you remember that? Dancin’ close, Litttle Moron jokes and cooties in her hair, Captain Midnight, Ovaltine, and The Whip at the County Fair, Charles Atlas Course, Roy Rogers’ horse, and “only the Shadow knows”, ahh do you remember those? Gable’s charm, Frog in your arm, loud mufflers, pitchin’ woo, going steady, Veronica and Betty, white bucks and blue suede shoes, Knock Knock jokes, who’s there? And Dewey, Dewey who? Do we, do we remember these, yes we do, ahh do we, do we remember these…?

58 MO September 1, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Nomad September 1, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Mo, was that a Lehmer’s Olds…?
”Do we, do we remember these, yes we do, ahh do we, do we remember these…?”

((I think we -the HOT chicks in the front seat-were not going steady at the time-we probably made up with the ”flat tops” by the next day.))

The flat tire on the old Dodge behind Mattson’s meant we rolled it down Willow Pass to the Standard Gas Station….only to discover it was AFTER CURFEW and we had to wait for our parents to pick us up.

Returning the Goat to King Norman’s Wonderland after ”Teahouse of the August Moon”…meant we almost got arrested by the the Concord City Cops as we hoisted the bellering animal up and over the chain link fence with a rope.
Some of the offenders still in stage makeup made the cops think a bunch of little old Oriental men in flowered diapers were stealing a goat.

”Do we, do we remember these, yes we do, ahh do we, do we remember these…?”


59 Mark Revis September 1, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Chuck Reeves was my first boss… I was sixteen and serving root beer floats at that A&W. Thanks for the pictures!

I went to my first rock concert thanks to a “loan” from Chuck. The gang of us that worked there (which at the time included Chuck’s daughter, Sandy) heard that Elton John tickets were going on sale, so Sandy grabbed some money from the till and went to get tickets for all of us. She left a note saying we’d pay it back out of our wages and tips! I’m glad Chuck had a sense of humor!

60 TJ September 1, 2010 at 7:47 PM

About the water, it flooded there, it used to flood in that area a lot before they fixed the system.

61 Nomad September 1, 2010 at 9:01 PM

Mo….I’m old so I sorta forget…what year’d Diablo do Teahouse of the August Moon…?
But I do remember hearing about the goat episode!

62 Sobering Dose of Reality September 2, 2010 at 8:50 AM


“I lived behind the Meadow Homes school and the creek was between my house and the school. I remember the creek flooding,”

Oh, you should see your old neighborhood now. It’s “flooded” every day now, except it ain’t water that has done the damage.

Did you attend Meadow Homes Elementary? Gosh, I wonder if the school population was the same back then as it is now:

Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity
American Indian/Alaskan Native: 1
Asian/Pacific Islander*: 29
Hispanic: 773
Black, non-Hispanic: 21
White, non-Hispanic: 48
Two or More Races: 4

Free lunch eligible: 657
Reduced-price lunch eligible: 104

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: