The Claycord Online Museum – The Old Park-N-Shop Sign On Willow Pass Road

September 1, 2021 19:00 pm · 30 comments

This is the old sign that used to mark the main entrance to Park-N-Shop on Willow Pass Road in Concord.

It was removed several years ago and replaced, however, the big “C” on the top remained in the back of Park-N-Shop for several years. Its whereabouts is currently unknown.

This photo was sent to Claycord by an anonymous reader, however, we believe it originally came from the Concord Historical Society.

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: 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.

BOOYAH! September 1, 2021 at 7:16 PM

Landmark – yes. But one of the ugliest signs ever. Like Gemco’s sign.

Anonymous September 1, 2021 at 7:23 PM

Google Maps shows the new sign since at least 2007. I shopped there all the time in the 80s and 90s. Kragen for all my car parts.

Does anyone remember the hair cutting place that is located where Lulu’s and/or Quickly is located today? They had a bunch of chubby girls working there in the 80s. They were pretty good with my thinning locks.

Exit 12A September 1, 2021 at 7:28 PM

The old sign was turned in for recycling, sent to China, smelted, and returned to Best Buy to be sold as a clothes washer.

Rugsucker September 1, 2021 at 7:57 PM

As I recall the big C was removed along with the lettering and the pipe squared off with sheet metal and painted with it’s flashy color as it is now

Jo Jo The Circus Clown September 1, 2021 at 8:07 PM

Crappie theatre (we called it the “Crappy”) … and there was a killer little donut shop there too … one of the longest business to survive … I wonder if they are still there?

Dr. Jellyfinger September 1, 2021 at 8:46 PM


Dr. Jellyfinger September 1, 2021 at 10:48 PM

And Chick’s Donuts is still there… alas, lost & gone forever the humble little House of Pies is no more (I think it sold & turned into a Chinese restaurant back in the 80’s after Harold died).

The Masked Poster September 1, 2021 at 11:38 PM

Yes, Chick’s Donuts is still there, but under different owners from the original. I don’t recall the original owner’s name, but when he retired, his son and wife took over, then years later they sold it to the present folks. Other than the good donuts, my favorite memory of the place is of the waitresses; Friendly Marge and the cantankerous old redhead, Helen, an old time waitress and one of a kind. She’d bring you a newspaper, slap a menu in front of you and bark, “what’ll you have”? She’s long gone, may she R.I.P. Loved that old biddy.

Justifiable languor September 2, 2021 at 8:05 AM

Yes, the Regency. I guess in later years? It had genuine “anti gravity” flooring. Sticky! I think it houses a church now. Like the old porno theater at Todos Santos. That always makes me laugh.

Maybe I should visit the churches. I will miss them one day.

Mika September 1, 2021 at 9:06 PM

Bring back the big “C”!

The Masked Poster September 1, 2021 at 11:56 PM

The Big C is on Galaxy Way, been there for many years, a very successful and popular athletic club, founded by Ken Hoffman, whose offices are just across the street, although Ken is no longer around. They used to sponsor youth boxing, maybe still do, taught by Terry Lee, a former professional.

Original G September 1, 2021 at 10:30 PM

Whatever happened to that city south of Concord, . . . Had huge sign you could see from freeway with city’s name, . . . Gemco wasn’t it ? ? ?

Addlepate September 2, 2021 at 12:27 AM

Great sign. Like so many of the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s motel signs, this sign has Americana style. Those days are gone.
Wish it was still there.

Chester E. Kitty September 2, 2021 at 7:07 AM

Best sign ever!!! You could see it from all over. I’m sure Booyah! (the first comment on this page) didn’t grow up here and they would have loved the sign. I grew up in the 60s and Park & Shop was the BEST shopping center around … Woolworth’s and Grants were my favorites.

Badge1104 September 2, 2021 at 8:39 AM

Yes, it was a great shopping center. I can understand how hard it is for people to ever realize this judging by the way it looks now and the clientele it has now. But it was a good shopping center! Woolworths, Grants, pennies and Kahns (Liberty house Macy’s)

Anonymous September 2, 2021 at 3:51 PM

@Badge1104 I remember. I shopped there in the 80s and 90s. Always liked it. Chicks Donuts and Nathan’s giant breakfast, IIRC. It was my go-to shopping center for my daily needs.

Huskerfan September 2, 2021 at 8:10 AM

They should have left it there.

Sam Malone September 2, 2021 at 9:19 AM

To bad that they have let the shopping center go downhill also. Thieves at 99 Cent Stores have caused the prices to go through the roof. Thank goodness the $1. Tree is still $1 but the quality of goods has gone downhill but what else can we expect with no prosecution for under $950.00.

So, so sad.

Anonx September 2, 2021 at 9:28 AM

Wasn’t there an Emil Villa’s hickory pit near Park n Shop? I remember going all the time but for the life of me can’t remember where it was at. Chuck E Cheese? Recently went to the one in Walnut Creek and it was like a blast from the past.

DD September 2, 2021 at 9:30 AM

A great shopping center back then. Used to love going to Buzee Bee hobbies and down to Woolworths for a hot dog. Sad how bad it’s gotten there.

Bub September 2, 2021 at 11:19 AM

Famous Grant Dogs. Then Enea Theater before it turned porn and the church.

Shoulda Coulda September 2, 2021 at 12:03 PM

I can’t recall where I left my car keys but
I can still remember the jingle for Park-N-Shop
that they use to play on local radio. —
Let’s go down to the Park-N-Shop and push
the cart around, around. You get a lot more
for your money there, than anyplace else in
town. (Who says advertising doesn’t work).

BlueSkies49 September 2, 2021 at 8:59 PM

I remember camping on Mt. Diablo in 1973. At night we could see the Park n’ Shop sign blinking down there in Concord. The Park would light up then the Shop would light up alternating. Park. Shop. Park. Shop. Also the reference to the Big “C” that was Mika’s comment above might be referring to the old top 40 radio station KFRC with the disc jockey, Dr. Don Rose. When he gave the weather report he would refer to Concord as the “Big C”. (He also would refer to Sacramento as “Sacratomatoe”.)

nytemuvr September 2, 2021 at 11:11 PM

@BlueSkies49…..Nice memory, up until about ’73 the “PARK”/ “SHOP” part of the sign was just painted on in white lettering. The white neon lights for “PARK”/ “SHOP” were installed in the early 70s if memory serves me correctly.

Shoulda Coulda September 3, 2021 at 1:10 PM


It was called Smorgybob’s or Smorgyboy’s.
I can’t recall which one. Had a friend that
worked there.

Lifer September 2, 2021 at 10:55 PM

I miss the Smorgasbord.

Local Lady September 3, 2021 at 11:45 AM

OMH, yes! I always got the fried chicken.

Randy P. September 3, 2021 at 8:41 AM

remember King Norman’s mini-amusement park for the kids at the north end of Concord Park & Shop.

Christena September 3, 2021 at 11:43 AM

The neon was blown by Basil Argo of Argo neon. I know because he was my grandfather.

Shoulda Coulda September 3, 2021 at 8:28 PM


You should be very proud of your grandfather.
He must have been VERY talented. Those
neon letters were huge!

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