The Claycord Online Museum – The Montgomery Wards Mall in Pleasant Hill

April 15, 2014 · 51 comments

dome_mall dome_mall2

Here are a few pictures of the now non-existant mall that once stood in the Crossroads Shopping Center, (courtesy of groceteria.com).

Anybody remember the stores that used to be in the mall? Also, who remembers the art/craft/jewelry sale that used to fill the inside of the mall during Christmastime?

Thanks again to groceteria.com for the pictures. Visit their site for many more photos from all around the United States!

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area. If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: news@claycord.com. It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online! Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items.

1 Elwood April 15, 2014 at 2:07 PM

That “mall” was dark and scary.

Good riddance.

2 Josh T April 15, 2014 at 2:08 PM

LEATHERBY’S!!! (before Fentons was there)
Good memories from going there after swim meets as a kid!

3 Cowellian April 15, 2014 at 2:17 PM

In recent years, I found it annoying that none of the stores on the I-680 side of the mall actually connected to the interior of the mall.

4 KenInConcord April 15, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Who know what store will fill the building to the right of Dick’s (former Bally’s).

5 Dr. Doc, PHD April 15, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Good riddance.

That place was DEPRESSING.

6 Brian April 15, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Used to go to Leatherby’s then Fenton’s.

Also, Key’s Pools. Super helpful people.

7 Miles Microft April 15, 2014 at 3:21 PM

The bottom picture with the trailer at the entrance of the old BofA building was taken in October 2005 as the Pro-Wrestling WCWA was evicted from the building. The WCWA did not do anything wrong, it’s existance just offended the “Nordstrom wanna be” stores.

8 AZbunch April 15, 2014 at 3:22 PM

I remember the Chinese restaurant with wierd stuff (to a youngster!)…also spent many hours at the fabric store (Home Yardage I think?). And it did have a great craft fair during the holidays, but during the year, yes, it was kind of dark and depressing.

9 Mimi (original) April 15, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Used to visit the fabric and craft store there, when I HAD to in order to find something I couldn’t find at Michael’s, otherwise I only went there for the Christmastime Arts/Crafts event.

10 marinemom April 15, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Thrifty Drug Store, a fabric store, a bank, Beauty Shop I think there was also a Chinese restaurant. I remember the mall always smelled like popcorn.

11 waverunner April 15, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Agree – it was really a weird arrangement, and depressing is right.

12 Chester E. Kitty April 15, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Used to go to House of Fabrics, Leatherby’s, Thrify, Western Christian Bookstore and the movies! And my Grandma banked at Bank of America when I was just a wee one. And I totally remember the craft shows.

13 Antler April 15, 2014 at 3:51 PM

That mall was very inviting at first. There was the high-quality ice-cream, the huge fabric store, a book store…..nice variety. Yes, I do remember the Christmas arts and crafts festival…..lovely. It seems that many of those stores began suffering from shop-lifters……..i.e. let’t face it, the neighborhood was bad. The bar didn’t help, either!

14 Jojo Potato April 15, 2014 at 4:06 PM

My dad always called it “monkey Wards” which I didn’t get then and still don’t I guess. Always felt like the floor was sticky in that mall. Where did all those bikers go from the bar next to the dome? Hope they found a place to roost.

15 jtkatec April 15, 2014 at 4:14 PM

What was the name of the fabric store that was in there?

I miss local fabric stores

16 Dorothy April 15, 2014 at 4:45 PM

House of Fabrics, gone. Art/craft/jewelry vendors lining the halls, gone. Fenton’s, gone. Dome theater, gone. Progress was made? I don’t shop there at all anymore.

17 DanMtz April 15, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Yeah, I remember it. It was always about as empty as you see in that picture.

18 Amy April 15, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Fenton’s was the only reason to go to that ugly, creepy, nasty old mall. If this site is trying to remind us of the worst of Concord, how about old photos of the Spirit Poles?

19 Lori R April 15, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Well, I miss it, loved the Christian book store, Mongomery wards, House of Fabrics, the Christmas fair and the dome. I had my hair done in a salon there back in 1974 for my senior ball.

20 still here April 15, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Wasn’t there a pizza place where the dough was pounded and a lot of pepperoni was embedded in the tomato sauce. I remember people watching the pizza guys doing this. Was it Blondies?

21 JET April 15, 2014 at 7:59 PM

@still here #16 – not sure about a pizza place, but I remember that Leatherby’s had a window on the side that you could watch them make the ice cream…. maybe you’re getting it confused with pizza?

22 Those were the days..... April 15, 2014 at 7:59 PM

The old abbreviation in the phone book for Montgomery was Mntgy, which if you sound it out, sounds like Monkey. So people used to call it Monkey Wards.

23 @KenInConcord April 15, 2014 at 8:17 PM

I think I heard that it was going to be a DSW for women’s shoes. Not 100% sure tho.

24 Killjoy April 15, 2014 at 8:36 PM

It seems like Friedmans has been there forever.

25 Why is this a story??? April 15, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Really Claycord? Just because there isn’t an internal courtyard/walkway, doesn’t mean there isn’t a mall anymore. I’m actually getting sick of this site crying about the dome and the mall. Nobody (sorry,I should clarify, not nearly enough people) shopped there or went to movies. Businesses closed, capitalism keeps new businesses coming in. With Kohl’s, Starbuck’s, Marshall’s and now Dick’s, how is this not a shopping mall Claycord? 3 or 4 anchor retailers with a bunch of smaller retailers, I’m looking at what used to be there and what’s there now… wow, what a upgrade, both in overall looks and tax dollars for the city. I’m all for it, good riddance to the old wanna be mall and thanks god for the new mall with relevant retailers.

26 Remember.. April 15, 2014 at 9:19 PM

The key kiosk in the parking lot in front of Wards, and the elevated digital temperature readout on the pole? You could read the local temperature from the freeway.

27 Silva April 15, 2014 at 9:45 PM

#19, wow! Thanks for solving a longstanding mystery! Like Jojo Potato, I remember the older generation calling it Monkey Wards also. I had no idea why. Brilliant! Oh, how I hated it when my mom took me to browse there as a kid. The smoke from all the cigarettes burned my eyes and nose and breathing was difficult. She once threatened cancelling my birthday, and I said I would agree if we could just get out. She refused.

28 Miss the dome April 15, 2014 at 10:10 PM

I remember seeing Jurassic Park there as it was one of the first places in the Bay Area to get THX sound. I saw it opening night with my dad and had to get there hours early for good seats.

Also I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the old arcade that was at the end where Bally’s eventually ended up. It was a true 80’s arcade. Big with tons of games. Back when we couldn’t imagine having those graphics on a home console.

Oh and remember how the floor of the mall sparkled when you walked through the interior? I always stared down at the sparkling floor when cutting through from Montgomery Wards to the theater.

29 Cuzzzzzzz...... April 15, 2014 at 11:11 PM

Not knowing how it looked in its heyday the pictures are kind of sad. While there is limited physical improvement to the buildings the quality of stores is not the best in the west. Kohl’s is dumpy, but I have yet to see a Kohl’s that isn’t dumpy. Marshall’s is ehhh. I to want to know what is going into the new building next to Dicks. It looks to small for a DSW. I did hear Ulta was looking for a central county location so maybe this is it.

30 AndrewV April 15, 2014 at 11:34 PM

Does anyone remember the name of the appliance store that use to be in the mall?

31 @ AndrewV April 16, 2014 at 6:23 AM

Friedman’s

32 Anon April 16, 2014 at 6:51 AM

I spent a lot of hours in curlers under the dryer at the beauty shop there. At the time it seemed to be a chore but I wouldn’t mind doing that now.

33 Lari April 16, 2014 at 7:07 AM

I took my visiting parents there once to see a movie and later my mom remarked how depressing the mall and theatre were.

34 #28 April 16, 2014 at 7:09 AM

I’d clean forgotten that super sparkly floor! I remember when our neighbor gave my mom directions to get there from Lafayette. Before the freeways, and before Sun Valley Mall it was pretty cool.

35 Silva April 16, 2014 at 7:12 AM

Wait a minute, didn’t Monkey Wards stand alone for quite a while?

36 p April 16, 2014 at 7:12 AM

The entryway to this mall is too cumbersome and frustrating.

37 Jason L. April 16, 2014 at 7:58 AM

We used to go to the Chinese Restaurant all the time growing up in the 80s and 90s. It was called Almond Budvilla. Then it changed to something else and we stopped going there. I remember the Leatherby’s right across the restaurant before it turned into a Fentons.

Also remember in 7th grade, our English teacher let us walk from Oak Grove to the Dome to watch Jurassic Park on the first day it came out. It was our reward for finishing the book in class. And then I saw the movie again later that night at a friend’s birthday party. Great movie. Saw a lot of bad movies at the Dome too, like Entrapment, XFiles movie. I still remember watching 3 men and a baby at the Dome.

Didn’t go to many of the stores because I was too young and uninterested but I do remember there being a Christian store, an appliance place. I’ll tell you what I do remember – the Starcade! Miss the days of arcades. Growing up is no fun.

38 my opinion April 16, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Doesn’t matter what stores were there, or are there now….don’t shop there because it has THE WORST PARKING LOT IN THE COUNTY!!! If you park on the Starbucks side, you have to drive the whole length of the lot just to get out . They should have at least one or two “cut-throughs” between the 2 rows of parking!!!

39 anon April 16, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Do you remember the glassed in atrium with the plants and wildlife statues? I think it was by the bank.

As for movies, the dome was ok but the other theaters didn’t have raised seats. it was like watching a movie in a bowling alley.

40 still here April 16, 2014 at 8:20 AM

that was a more recent blondies, for sure. #

41 GoodMemories April 16, 2014 at 8:33 AM

I spent many hours in the fabric store. I remember the coin store, dollhouse store, christian book store, Montgomery Wards, appliance store and Leatherby’s/Fenton’s. I used to love the craft fair and looked forward to it every year. I loved watching movies in the dome. In my mind, the dome was one of the best places to see a movie with it’s rounded screen and seating. It was a big theatre.

Miss the good ol’ days.

42 Michelle April 16, 2014 at 9:02 AM

I remember those days and that Mall. Good times…

43 jtkatec April 16, 2014 at 9:04 AM

We’re all beginning to sound like our grandmothers…..

44 nytemuvr April 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM

There used to be a “Monkey Wards” close out store where Leatherbys used to be. It had returned and ordered(and not picked-up) items. Anyone remember that store?

45 Teenager in the 70's April 16, 2014 at 12:25 PM

I loved that mall! Fond memories growing up going to the movies there. Thrifty ice cream for a nickle. The craft fairs were always fun to check out! The mall had the wonderful smell of popcorn that drifted in from the movies. During the early years, that mall was a cool place to hang out and we didn’t think it was dark and scary like some of you have commented. As the mall aged, I think the owners let it go down hill. I will always have great memories of that beautiful place. During the 70’s and 80’s and before, when you passed someone at the mall, people would say, “hello”! Now, they are so consumed in their iphones nobody ever notices who passes you by. I’m so glad I was born when I was. I wouldn’t want to be growing up in today’s stressed out world where most teenagers and adults are all Yuppied Out. That’s what I remember the most.

46 Used to go there regularly! April 16, 2014 at 1:59 PM

I shopped regularly at House of Fabrics, Western Christian Bookstore, Montgomery Ward, and Thrifty. Now, there is nothing there that interests me.

47 RanchgirlCA April 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM

I saw plenty of movies in the dome over the years. I remember seeing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, first show opening day. We sat on the sidewalk all morning playing cards, patiently waiting. Fun times. I too remember the atrium garden by Bank of America, the Christian book store, Thrifty (who doesn’t love their cheap, good ice cream cones??), and the Craft fair at Christmas. I get that times and things change, but please, before Dicks opens, and whatever is going into the old Bally location, DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE PARKING LOT!!!! Sometimes it is near impossible to get out of there.

48 Specksynder April 17, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Thrifty’s used to have $.10 single ice cream cones and $.15 for doubles.
Before Ballys gym there was a Sawmill and going way back I remember a grocery store called Farmers. I snuck into my first R rated movie Caddy shack in the Dome. Matinée movies were $1.25 I think I was 7 or 8 years old.
I have too admit, even with fond childhood memories, it was a funky mall.

49 Tricia April 17, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Wasn’t there a pawn shop there at one time. I remember going there and purchasing the best camera we ever had until it was stolen when we were on vacation.

50 macawlady April 17, 2014 at 7:19 PM

There was a bird store there for a few years. I loved that place. We got to know the owner and she gave us several handicapped birds that she couldn’t sell. We were happy to have them ( I always take in foundlings.) What a nice person. I miss “Elmo” the big red macaw, in particular. Sigh. Time marches on.

51 Freeman April 23, 2014 at 4:49 PM

I know the dome itself is gone, but isn’t the mall’s building still there? I haven’t been there in quite some time.

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