What was Mountain View like in the '70s Around Town, posted by Newbie, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2008 at 3:50 pm
I am new to the area and am curious what life was like in Mountain View in the 1970s, 1980s and even earlier. I would love to hear some interesting facts from native Mt. Viewers or long term residents.
Posted by Nick Perry, a resident of another community, on Apr 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm
Mountain View was a very different place back then!
-Downtown Mountain View was kind of a ghost town.
-Mountain View High School was on Castro Street.
-The Crossings was a mall called The Old Mill
-The Mayfiled Mall "site" was actually Mayfield Mall
-San Antonio Center was a mall (yep, three malls!)
-Whisman Station was a big industrial campus for GE.
-The North Bayshore area was still farms.
-Shoreline Park was a landfill.
-Housing was affordable and the city was considered working class.
I'd say more, but, well, there's a little book you can pick up at the library or at Books Inc that has tons of photos of Mountain View's history and will probably answer a lot of your questions. It's called, "Images of America: Mountain View." I highly recommend it ;)
Definitely check out the History Center if you get a chance. There are tons of photos and books, and if you go on the right day, long-time residents and natives from the Historical Association are usually around and they are happy to recount the "old days" - although to most of them, that usually means a couple decades before the 70s.
Posted by Mele, a resident of another community, on Apr 17, 2008 at 5:53 pm
Downtown Mtn. View was a ghost town on weekends. My friends and I would literally rollerskate down the middle of Castro St., on Saturday's with no problem. And the Navy was the major employer of the city, at least when I was in elementary school. AND, There were greenhouses along 237 for as far as the eye could see, along with Ferry Morse Seed Company. Sometimes I don't even recognize the downtown area.
Posted by Mele, a resident of another community, on Apr 17, 2008 at 5:53 pm
Downtown Mtn. View was a ghost town on weekends. My friends and I would literally rollerskate down the middle of Castro St., on Saturday's with no problem. And the Navy was the major employer of the city, at least when I was in elementary school. AND, There were greenhouses along 237 for as far as the eye could see, along with Ferry Morse Seed Company. Sometimes I don't even recognize the downtown area.
Posted by Bernie Brightman, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2008 at 10:59 am
When I got here in '86 the Shoreline Amphitheater had just recently been converted from the dump and methane fires were breaking out when the garbage caught fire.
The only things going in the downtown were Printer's Inc. and a few restaurants like Szechuan Gardens, Dynasty, Fu Lam Mum and Florentine. It was mostly known as the place to get Chinese food. Imperial Gardens was doing big business on Rengstorff and El Camino and also Peng's further up on El Camino, both specializing in dim sum. Imperial Gardens even had a water wheel going in their back yard. There was a movie theater on Castro, but it only seemed to show Chinese or Mexican films and nobody went there.
It's amazing how many good book stores we had back then. There were also Tower Books, Printer's Inc. in Palo Alto, Stacey's, Kepler's, Books Inc. in the Stanford Center... all of them with much bigger and more fascinating selections than one sees now.
The Old Mill and Mayfield malls were already mostly derelict.
The library had only one story and was overcrowded. The current city hall and MVCPA did not exist.
Sun and SGI were a couple of the large employers, fighting out the workstation market.
Posted by Old Times, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm
I have lived in Mountain View since the early 70's. Here is some details about the Mountain View I grew up in.
Downtown only had Chinese Restaurant's except for the Weinersnitzel on the corner of Castro and California Street.
Mountain View Hight was located in downtown M.V. and it was the Mountain View Eagles.
The Redrock Cafe was a butcher. That's where my mom got her meat.
Shoreline Avenue was called Bailey Avenue
The Monte Carlo Restaurant was the Movie theater for the town
Florentine Restaurant ( The only Italian place in the middle of all the Chinese Restaurants ) was located where Xanh now is.
We had 3 shopping areas in Mountain View . Old Mill on California Street where the Crossings housing is now located. Mayfield Mall where HP had offices and now is empty. And San Antoinio Mall where Menu Tree was located. ( In door food court )
Shoreline Park was the dump for the city
The Chinese market on Castro street was a pharmacy/rite aid type store.
The Kaiser bldg was a shopping center with a grocery store Lucky and the best bakery. Stigs plus also a mens clothing store, dry cleaners and a small store that sold home items.
We had 2 A&W Burger places in Mountain View. One was on ElCamino Real where the Amber Cafe is now located. The other was located after you pass the train tracks going towards Moffet on left side near the corner of Moffet and Sterling.
I could go on forever on how much this city has changed. I have we have one of the best downtowns in the area with such a great selection of places to eat and hang out. On the other hand as a kid we felt safe walking any where in town not now. The California Street area and Cuesta Park has become a gang area.
Posted by Ag, a resident of another community, on Apr 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm
The Simpson Buick car dealership used to be on the northeast corner of El Camino Real and Castro with a Chrysler dealer that had a huge tower with a globe on top on the opposite corner where the big bank is now. On the northwest side there was an (RCA?) television dealer in the building that burnt down recently.
The Monte Vista drive-in movie theater was on Grant Road behind where the Walgreens is now (bunch of housing there now.) Lots of good memories there...
You could buy tires from a tire dealer in the middle of downtown Castro Street (about where Don Giovanni's is I think.)
Mtn. View was a great town back then and still is today.
Posted by neighbor, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2008 at 10:07 pm
I have lived in Mountain View since the mid 70's. Here are the places that I remember on Castro Street:
cheap movie theater
old Mountain View High School
"Dog City" Building
Kamei House Chinese Restaurant
Eddie's Gun Shop
I also remember P-3's flying over my house hourly from Moffett Field and the Blue Angels Air Show annually with Fireworks on July 4th
Cuesta Park has an artificial lake. There was no Shoreline Park. It was farmland with a few ranch homes. There was a drive in theatre on Grant Road across the street from Erik's Deli. The old Nob Hill was Fry's Grocery Store. Rite Aid was called Thrifty then Payless with Alpha Beta Gocery Store next door. There also was Handyman hardware store where Radio Shack is today. Juice Time was next to the cleaner's
There was Rainbow Record Store at the light on Grant Road as you approach the shopping center. When they closed, it became Jenny Craig, and then Prudential Real Estate office. Currently being remodeled and replaced with Wachovia Savings. There was an A&W Root Beer, Bob's Big Boy Hamburgers, Bowling Alley, Gelato ice cream, Foster's freeze ice cream, Mike's Pizza, were on El Camino Real.
Posted by kathryn, a resident of another community, on Apr 24, 2008 at 11:29 am
I've been her since 1952 (Sunnyvale, actually). Remember St. Johns on Moffett? It was a great place to go and drink and dance. It has the peanut shells on the floor and it was a great singles dive. Oh, how I long for the old days!!!
Posted by Pete Kramer, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2008 at 1:30 pm
Wow. I lived in Mtn. View from '56 to '79 with a detour through the USMC abd SE.Asia. Let me just add to notable places, Susie's Diner and El Zarape on El Camino. I went to St. Joseph's Elementary and we had to buy our burlap pants and sweaters at the J.C. Penney store on Castro. You could buy fresh ravioli at the old State Street Deli on Castro and State. The car dealership on El Camino with the globe on the pole was Mancini Motors. Thank goodness, Foster's Freeze and Clarke's Charcoal Broiler are still there. The concession stand at McElvey Park was run for ever by an old guy named Levy, who loved baseball. We used to have regular apricot fights in the orchards that are now Cuesta Park. Malachi's was a little "head shop" that sold beads, incense and other weird stuff in a little stucco building on the east side of El Camino when you sat at the El Monte and El Camino stop light. At one time, a band that later turned out to be Santana could be heard practicing in Malachi's basement while you waited for the light to turn green. Harry's Hofbrau was the Food Fair Market. Ken's House of Pancakes was the best (and maybe the only) middle of the night meal in town. St. James Infirmary was always rockin'. I think the Angels had several social functions there. Everybody actually went to Shakey's Pizza in P.A. on Friday nights after football games. I could go on.......
Posted by Old Times, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2008 at 4:04 pm
wow I forgot about some of the places listed above. As for the tire store it was located where the bead store is now. And yes who can forget St. James ( cheap drinks and lot's of fun ) and my favorite place Linda's on El Camino. Tater tots and Parisian Burgers. Such great memories. Keep them coming...
Posted by Reminiscer, a resident of another community, on Apr 28, 2008 at 1:53 pm
Wow, what memories! I was born and raised in Mtn. View since the mid/late 70's, things have definitely changed since then, both in the town and around the valley.
I remember Bank of America where it used to be next to that tire store, and is now a sushi restaurant in front (if you go inside and look at the floor, you'll still see the original mosaic flooring at the entrance), the Asian supermarket being some sort of drug store? My sisters all worked at the Weinershnizel at the corner of Castro/California. In the median of Castro in front of the city hall was a huge redwood? tree that always got decorated during Christmas time, and unfortunately got damaged and chopped down during Castro st. renovations. Carrs pet store at the beginning of Castro Street was where me and my dad would always go to buy chicken feed for our chickens. Moffitt drive-in where Century 16 is now, Shoreline park area being a big expanse of empty dirt and the landfill, and the shoreline house being in it's original location near where the movie theater is today, boarded up and being in shambles. Shoreline Blvd was Sterlein Rd the entire length. The Safeway on Shoreline was tiny compared to today with an empty restarant space next to it, and when the Grateful Dead came to play Shoreline the deadheads would always take over the parking lot. Old Mill had a AMC theater in the back with cheap movies, then it turned into a big empty farmers market, then finally razed. Mayfield Mall with the Grayhound station next to it became HP, and will now become more housing, the original San Antonio mall with Menu Tree (what a great place to eat), the little water fountains and a Woolworths where BevMo is now. Target used to be a store called Gemco. That area around Middlefield/Ellis was where Raytheon? was. I remember visiting it during a shadowing exercise as a student at Crittenden. There was a party supply store on the corner of Old Middlefield/Middlefield, and my grandmother would clean their linens for side money. That furniture place on El Monte/El Camino that sold unfinished pine furniture became... Office Max? And across the street where Longs Drugs/Starbucks/Blockbuster is was a lumber yard/home improvement type of place, forgot the name. Old Mountain View High was diagonally across the street from St. Joseph's church, one of my sisters was one of the last graduates from that high school before it got tore down (what a shame). The Navy was in town, Moffitt Field was booming and the Blue Angels had their air show every year (my family would watch the show from our roof). I remember St. James Infirmary, but I was too young to go inside, but I do remember eating some leftover hot wings my sister brought home and lovin it. Bobs Big Boy became a Japanese restaurant became another restaurant. Where that big El Camino Medical group complex is at 85/El Camino used to be the Emporium Capwell department store. And don't forget the Camino Bowl, a great place to go bowling before it got torn down and replaced with businesses/condo units.
And I second the notion of Web Link, being a AWESOME place on the web to see the rich history of Mountain View.
Posted by neighbor, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2008 at 8:24 pm
Yes... I do remember Carr's Pet Store. I bought a hamster for my kids there. There was an unfinished furniture place called Decor on El Monte near El Camino Rl that became Office Depot. I bought a coffee table and oak side tables there. Don't forget Andy's Chinese Restaurant on Castro Street. They had a neat fish tank inside. The Golden Wok was good too, but suddenly closed and never reopened. I believe it is still vacant. Don't forget Fairchild. It was located off Middlefield near Ellis Street. JoAnn Fabrics was called New York Fabrics. Camino Bowling Alley was near Bob's Big Boy on El Camino Real. Next door, was a Gelato ice cream shop. Mayfield Mall was where The Crossings condos were buildt. It had a french quarter food mart , mexican restaurant, movie theatres, bookstore, and and water wheel with water in the center of the mall.The mall was two stories. It seemed like a great concept. It was sad to see it go.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2008 at 9:09 am
Wow we can't forget Art's chili bowl on el camino real. You could drive up el camino and art would be sitting outside reading. Does anyone remember the gas station on evelyn and casto back in the 60's shoreline was two lanes. Does anyone remember the little italian restaurant right across the street from Graham. the best mexican food was on castro the "cabana".
Posted by Miles Tone, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2008 at 9:54 am
The Decor furniture store that became Office Depot at El Monte and El Camino was also once a grocery store, in the 60's I think?
The mall where the Crossings is now was The Old Mill. I do remember the French Quarter food mart and the Mexican restaurant was called La Posada. There was also a pizza place called Fargo's that had live music on weekends. The Old Mill also had an FM radio station at one time where you could watch the DJ's at work, through a large window. That mall also had another restaurant that had live jazz music by The Danny Hull Quintet?
Posted by Janis, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2008 at 6:56 pm
I remember when there was a break between Sunnyvale-Mountain View. Lots of fruit trees on ElCamino. On El Camino near Mathilda was this huge langendorff bread sign that sliced bread of buttered the slice. Anyway it was big. Driving to Stanford via ElCamino Real one could smell skunks from the open fields. Great times when Mountain View really felt like families where the heart of the community not transplants!!!!!!
Posted by Liz, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2008 at 11:05 pm
wow such great memories. I also grew up in Mountain View and attended Landels, Graham and Mountain View High on Castro Street. My friends worked at the movie theater and some also worked at Village Host a pizza place in downtown. I think it won't broke due to all the free pizzas that they gave away. My first job was at Menu Tree and after that I worked at Gemco. You needed to become a member and show your card when you entered the store. I will never forget how nice they would fix up Mayfield Mall for Christmas. And all the great air shows at Moffett and yes when the Blue Angels came to town one place they would hang out was St. James.
Posted by gc, a resident of the Sylvan Park neighborhood, on May 3, 2008 at 9:43 am
In the 80's
I was told was like the 70's only more people. It started when high tech (ie computers) hit the area. Shockley lab the real birth of silcon valley is still on San Antonio road as a furniture store. but others are not Fairchild, Atari, National Semi, Intel ... All these parts but no real use until the computer, more jobs more people.
The house prices went up, $450,000. These were new, and under the daily Navy P-3 airplane landing routes (4 propellers). Who knew those daily landings for about an hour would go away along with the base. 20 planes about 2 minutes apart, talk about noise pollution. Yes there were also the yearly Navy air shows.
The only other big event was the art and wine festival and a chinatown. Maybe if we had renamed it "Peking buisness district" it would still be there. Shoreline made us known in the area as thousands came to listen to music. But so did Thousands of Deadhead fans, noise complaints and traffic jams. We are lucky some parts of the old town remain and we have " a downtown area " unlike Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino. We tried to be a Palo Alto, thats why people eat in parking spaces on Castro street!
Posted by Kent from Morgan Hill, a resident of another community, on May 3, 2008 at 11:34 pm
Miles Tone wrote: "The Decor furniture store that became Office Depot at El Monte and El Camino was also once a grocery store, in the 60's I think"?
The grocery store was Diamond Ranch in 1970 until 1971, before Diamond Ranch was Les Brothers grocery store since we moved to MV in 1951.
At corner of Castro/El Camino where Wash. Mutual located, Mancini Motor (Chrysler Dealer)had world globe on a top of round column, that column with globe came from Treasure Island World Fair in 1930's.
Posted by gepers, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on May 6, 2008 at 11:28 am
no one mentioned Continental MKT. Their ad every Tuesday on the back page of the PA Times. Food Fair where Harrys Hofbrau is. The field where they sold Christmas trees and fireworks on El Camino Real east of Calderon (across from Tuban Ford). It was the site of the old Highway School. The old house on Phyllis (the last home on the back side of the shopping center) was originally located in a ring of Redwood trees in the former Handyman parking lot! The field behind Cooper School was not a park yet! Just east of Cooper school on Eunice was a big dip in the road where it was county property, as was all the neighborhoods with no sidewalks. The Wunderman house is there still. TG&Y between Safeway and Walgreens. Spiveys was in the shopping center too. Old California Pizza Galaxy Gifts, the Variety store, Archies Couffures, and Tots to Teens at the Blossom Valley shopping center where Mayfair Market was. My 'Tiny Tots' (preschool) was at the Adobe Building where we would take walks holding onto a rope to cross the Expressway! Walking to the pet shop by the laundry where the lpressing shirts would wave at us. Grant Road was only 2 lanes with no sidewalks! Ming Pan Florist and the Moffet Drive-in Theatre too! The small open spaces like the corner of Cuesta and Grant Road and on Shoreline Blvd were homes that had to be moved for the widening of the those respective streets. Noone mentioned Lenny's Pies on Castro and the Dairy Queen on El Camino Real! Standard Brands was built on the corner of 237 and El Camino Real, so many open fields built up. But the biggest thing to miss... STIGS bakery and the pink box those treats came home in!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Karen, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on May 8, 2008 at 2:44 pm
In the 50's, MV had a downtown city park on Castro. There was a Penneys store (now Meyer's), Sim's Shoes, Veglia's Store, Arminini Drugstore and two popular Chinese restaurants: Andy's and Qui Hung Low (?). Bells would ring from St. Joseph's at noon and the whistle would blow at 5:00 from the downtown fire station everyday, so kids always knew when to go home for meals. In the summers, kids rode their bikes all over town and hung out at the local neighborhood parks. The parks would take us on a tour to the downtown firehouse and police station where we got to slide down the firepole! We always looked forward to the annual Pet Parade that would start in front of the downtown pickle factory and march down Castro to MV High. There was a pedestrian tunnel under the El Camino at Calderon for the kids going to Highway School. Highway School had large wood paned windows, oak floors, wide halls, and huge cloakrooms! Across the street from the school was a small gas station store that sold penny candy. The Mancini house on Church St. was the place to go on Halloween because of the great treats and to sneak a glimpse at the marble interior. Open fields around the neighborhood were great places for playing baseball and hide and seek. Our Mom would send us to Hap's Grocery on Calderon with a quarter to buy a loaf of bread and tell us to keep the change! We thought the old house (still there) on the corner of Calderon and Church was haunted. The Jewell Tea Co. brought groceries right to your door without the Internet. The first 2 years of St. Joseph's School were held in the old classrooms of at what is now St. Francis High School. The first Bank of America was located where the Red Rock Cafe is now, then it moved into the building where Books Inc. is located until it grew out of that location. MV is still a great place to live!
Posted by Ted, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on May 9, 2008 at 2:56 pm
There was a "Variety Store" at Blossom Valley shopping center on the corner nearest to St. Francis. It was full of inexpensive children's toys and candy, and had this amazing candy smell that I still remember to this day. As a kid in the 70s, we would go there in the afternoon with our parents and get a match box car from there extensive collection. At halloween time, they had the best selection of wax whistles, plastic lips, and dracula teeth.
Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community, on May 15, 2008 at 12:16 am
My mom wored for Wells Fargo Bank but it wasn't always a wells, we also owned a short lived book store in Blossom Valley Center, how about the deli and donut store, old cal pizza use to be a paint store, now the safeway
Posted by Jeff, a resident of another community, on May 24, 2008 at 4:02 pm
As a former resident of Old Mountain View in the 70's and 80's one of my fondest memories is of St. James Infirmary on Moffett. Who could forget WonderWoman on the main floor and (if your male) the "Not tonight I've got a headache" dinosaur in the men's room. Who was that guy who wore a dress and sat in the bleachers? $2.00 pitcher of beer, peanuts on the floor, awesome pinball, and almost a guaranteed biker tussle every Friday night. It's hard to find entertainment like that anymore.
Posted by Dave, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on May 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm
Growing up near Blossom Valley and St Francis high school I have some great memories of the annual Western Roundup/Carnival St Francis put on. They would have this giant table with holes in it, and you would roll a ball and make bets where the ball would stop and then you would win whatever amount it landed on if you had that same bet. 5-1 or 3-1 etc.....
Blossom Valley also had a great pizza place called Old Cal where we would go as kids on minimum days from Blach. There would be like 50 bikes out front on those days.
I remember when they opened up Fro Yo at that shopping center, when Safeway was Brentwood market and opened into a liquor store, there was a deli next store called Feinshmeckers? Jocelyn's Bike shop, Movie Rental Place next to the post office, and Jack "n" Jill kids clothing store was there, I think close to the Vacum Cleaner sales and repair place.
Posted by Bernie Brightman, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on May 31, 2008 at 11:46 am
Where was Stuft Pizza located again?
Speaking of pizza, have you followed the curious path of Pontillo's Pizza that was on Rengstorff near El Camino? It later moved to El Camino and lost an "l" to become Pontilo's. Then a few years later it became Ontilo's. I only tell you all this so that someday when it's called T's there will be a record ...
Posted by long time MV resident, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2008 at 12:21 pm
Stuft Pizza became Kapp's Pizza Bar. It's located on Castro St. across the street from Red Rock Cafe. Also, does anyone remember Otto's Cheesecake downtown MV? They had the best selection of cheesecakes...
Posted by Miles Tone, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2008 at 1:40 pm
Another pizza place I remember was Boswell's Pizza Company on Castro near California, probably more 80's than 70's. They had a huge selection of bottled beers from around the world. I think that space is now occupied by a Chinese restaurant. There was also Fargo's Pizza at the Old Mill.
The betting game with the ball at the St. Francis Western Roundup was The Pan Game and it is still played every year at the St. Joseph International Festival on Miramonte.
The "new" MVHS used to host a carnival in its parking lot on Bryant Avenue in the 80's and there was also one that stopped at the Sears parking lot on San Antonio Rd. Any others going further back?
Posted by Heidi, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2008 at 9:53 pm
When I first moved to Mountain View in 1983 I went to the movies at the "Old Mill" shopping center. I had only been here for a day or two. I thought this place was absolutely perfect and much better than Redding, where I had just come from! I saw "Purple Rain" at the movies that weekend.
And to this very day, Prince's music reminds me of how happy I was to have discovered Mountain View!
Posted by Irma Wehle, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jun 4, 2008 at 3:57 pm
I was a Mt. View renter in Mountain View from '73 through '85 then returned to Florida.
Thanks to all your memories of place & business names I had forgotten. Here are some more ... the memories may be too personal... but I see them as a testament to how comfortable Mountain View was to live in... I truly felt at home.
First I rented in a duplex on Sierra Vista:
Sold my 1958 VW bus, painted Rustoleum orange with yellow roof, with an engine that had died forever on the highest point of Hwy 17, to teenagers across the street who cut out the back end for surf boards and replaced the engine. Still had the bumper sticker "Can't read? Write now for free help" that Herb Caen's column had mentioned when I had lived in Santa Cruz.
Dreamed of a jet in a small group colliding with a tree, a few days before the Blue Angels had their first (?) fatality. Never dreamed of planes before or since, despite having been a sky diver and knowing well of the Blue Angels.
I see from maps now there is a pocket park on Sierra Vista by Middlefield. There was a nursing home across the street from us. "Our" red painted wood duplex and the big empty field inside the block disappeared when the block "went condo" (in '76?).
Lived the rest of the time near Castro Street:
Ken's House of Pancakes' German Babies soufflé pancakes with powdered sugar & lemon wedges.
The El Camino foreign auto repair/sales where Fred Stengle sold me a rebuilt forest green 1966 MGB for $2,000, and the foreign auto repair guys west of there on Miramonte who later kept it running (re-rebuilding it piece by piece).
Being wakened one Sunday morning each year by a strange sound - drums, cornets, and clarinets of a Portuguese fraternal band marching down Castro Street to St. Joseph's Church and marching back after a church service, with a parade of small children costumed as friars passing out miniature loaves of bread, teenage girls trudging along in formal gowns or robes, accompanied by proud mothers.
Mountain View Library with great new book selections inside the entrance... usually getting no farther than that to stop and read.
Near San Antonio & Middlefield the pay-to-play indoor racquet ball courts for just a few years, and next to it, I think, was a pay-to-play woodworking shop.
Chuck's Cellar on El Camino near San Antonio. The live music downstairs... John Stewart of "California Bloodlines", Crystal Pistol (3 girls, violin & guitars)...
Getting a traffic citation for making a u-turn in front of the Post Office (considered in the business district although 1 block east of Castro and seemingly behind the actual business on the street.
Registering a complaint with the City of MV when my landlord (1904 Bates house at California & View Street - next to the little home in the orchard tower) planned to cut down his 2 story tall Australian Pine (Casuarina equisetifolia ) because it dropped too much "mess." The tree reminded me of home (Florida beaches... now it's illegal to grow them in my Florida city). Turned out there was a mistake and the permit was supposed to be to have been issued for his small pepper tree instead. MV was specifically preserving the Casuarins - had a special one in a ramp right-of-way (Central Expressway and...El Monte?).
The persimmon tree in "our" front yard and the people who would drive up and try to strip the fruit. The tulip tree next to it, with bare branches I filled with lights at Christmas while blaring my record of Bach's "Magnificat." A plant nearby that sprang from nothing each year and was spectacular. Little violets that filled the back shady patio if the landlord was slow to mow.
Taking Amtrak to San Jose train station by dropping off my bags at the Amtrak shelter, driving back home, and walking back the 2 blocks to catch the train. Or, taking a local bus home from San Francisco Airport, down El Camino to my street (View), and rolling the bag home.
Blue Sky Cafe - vegetarian restaurant in a wooden cottage west of Castro.
Aikido lessons in a hot second floor dojo above Castro Street.
Poking around the unrestored Rengsdorff house in that surreal setting all sky and wet/flat lands, pre-development and amplitheater.
Mountain View near Castro was a wonderful place to live.
Posted by Miles Tone, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Jun 5, 2008 at 10:30 am
Chuck's Cellar on El Camino was mentioned and John Stewart of Kingston Trio fame. The Cellar was in the 4900 block of El Camino, on the Los Altos side and operated from 1969-85. Stewart recorded his "Lonesome Picker Rides Again" album there.
In 1971, Linda Ronstadt played The Cellar with Randy Meisner, Glenn Frey, and Don Henley who soon formed The Eagles.
I remember the Wherehouse Records store at El Camino between Clark and El Monte, although I bought most of my LPs at Tower Records on San Antonio in the 70's and 80's.
Posted by Rosalie, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Jun 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm
I lived on Sterling RD.(now shoreline) my home was where the parking lot for Shoreline AmpleTheater is now. There was aWhisman Gramer School on the corner of Sterling and Charlston Rd.It had 4 class rooms with two grades each room. During the summer many of us were required to work in the fruit harvest. ie Apricots, cherries, prunes.
Tour buses would take visitors on tours to see all the trees in blossom that were a sight to behold. What wonderful memories!!!
Posted by Christine, a resident of another community, on Jun 20, 2008 at 12:48 pm
Reading all the comments brought back fond memories - I grew up in Mtn View in the late 60's, early 70's, in the neighborhood that is bordered by 101, Middlefield Road, Shoreline (Sterling), and Moffit. My parents still live there, and I visit them often.
We had a wonderful wholesale bakery in that neighborhood, where you could buy a big bag of shortbread cookies for a $1. they were the "reject" cookies, but as kids, we didn't care if it was missing a corner or had a funky shape, as long as the cookie was warm and melted in your mouth.
Does anyone remember the name of this bakery? If you grew up in that neighborhood, you would remember the smell of those cookies! Is this bakery still in existance? No one in my family can remember the name of this bakery! Even our long time neighbors can't recall the name. It's driving us all crazy.
When I was pregnant a few years back, I had a sudden craving for these cookies from my childhood!
Posted by jeff, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2008 at 12:00 am
yes,st. james that burned down.and Gyro's house of terror at the old mill ..before it became a tent in san jose>> The Greatful Dead would come into town!!!!!!!!the jack in the box at shoreline & montecito was a gas station>>> the deli at baily park was owned by a former wrestler.. who cut turkey sandwhiches w/ an electric carver as you ordered>> where I practiced graffiti.. god bless IN&OUT BURGER
Posted by Charllie Welch, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jun 24, 2008 at 1:56 pm
Monta Vista Drive-In.. Moffett Drive-In.. auto wreckers and the city dumps at the end of what is now Shoreline (Bailey Ave)... Fosters Freeze when it was two buildings... burgers on one side, shakes and ice cream on the other... Ike Wilson Car Wash... Camino Bowl, Ron's Farm House, Babe's Mufflers, Bettencourts Market, Simpson Buick on the corner of Castro and California (later ECR & Castro)... My Uncle Bob's Chevron station on the opposite corner, the Flying A (I think) across from it... the fighter jet crashing into my friend Charlie Myers home in 1957... the undercrossing at Caldron and El Camino... the old Highway School on Caldron and ECR... the mini putt golf course along Stevens Creek on ECR... Anrad's Hardware... Tuban Ford on ECR... Mancini Motors and the World Globe... the Mountain View Gateway signs at the entry to Castro St. from ECR... Stereo Habitat home of the first 8 track tape decks on Castro... Sherm's Barber Shop at Palm Plaza... Yorkshire Clothes at Palm Plaza... the Old City Hall... the old little park on Castro, between California and Mercey (Easter egg hunts)... the old Presbyterian Church on Castro St... of course the old Mtn. View High (graduated in '68, brother in '59 and mother in '37)... orchards everywhere... Rengstorf Rec Center Friday dances... Dana Street School... Slater School... Linda's Drive In.. La Cabana Mexican food at the end of Castro near Andy's and Florintine restaurants... gadz, someone said they swam for the Dolphins in the 60's, so did I... do remember Shaw's Ice Cream.. Suzie's Diner... Hap's Market on Caldron and Church (Sav-Mor)... the Rumpus Room and Matts on ECR, good ol' dive bars... of course St. James Infirmary with Wonder Woman and the bi-plane and peanuts on the floor... Mtn. View - Alviso Road before it became Hiway 237... the 88 Cent Store on Castro... JC Penny's before it moved to the Mayfield Mall... Co-Op Market by Sears... the pool hall on Castro.. the old theater (stinky bathrooms)and double features (25 cents)... Wagner's Drugs on Castro... Robert Moore Flowers on Castro... Parkers Flowers on Castro... Moore Furniture on Castro.. Lawrence Tires... Sims Shoes... Mtn. View Music.. I think I have to quit now... my brain hurts... cheers to all who recall the peace and joy of growing up amidst the orchards and of our once sleepy little town... keep the faith and go Eagles.
Posted by Stan R, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Jun 27, 2008 at 8:54 am
Dances on friday night at the rec center were great.. Eagles Rule!!! Crusin with Dave G and the Cuz Glenn. Moffet Drive In..worked there in the 60's along with the Shell station at San Antonio and El Camino. Tackle football on the weekends at Monta Loma school with the forniers and walshes in the mud. Man what a time... You could actually walk across town or to school and not worry about anything but being late. Those were the days !!!!
Posted by oldscholgirl, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Jul 1, 2008 at 7:52 pm
I remember my mom and grandma shopping at the Purity grocery store where Golden Wok now sits, it was one of the first grocery stores in town and had smaller shopping carts for the kids to use. When it closed down we started going to the Continental Market on California Street. I remember the Rexall drug store on Castro and J.C. Penney's and if you now go to Mayer Electric it still has the squeaky floors Penny's had upstairs. How about the California Bakery and the Beauty College right in town and how you always took out of town visitors to Andy's restaurant for the best chinese food or Linda's for the magnificent Perisian burgers and tater tots. Later years the Poblanita restaurant on Castro for the Milanesa, yummy! and those Cinco de Mayo dances that Mountain View high school would have at Rengstorff park or sometimes at the Portuguese hall on Stierlin (boy did you open a can or worms) i could go on and on. The year the Circus came to Mountain View high school field and the carnivals the school would have. The high school games at Foothill and how exciting it was and still is being in Mountain View.
Posted by MV, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Jul 2, 2008 at 9:29 pm
Gemco was called Bazaar. They had these numbered grey totes that the checker put the groceries and purchases in, and placed it on a conveyor belt which sent it to the front of sidewalk., where you would present your claim ticket and another clerk would load it in your car.
Dont forget about Rhodes department store, Roos Atkins, Purity Super Market at San Antonio Center.
Posted by Frank Brune, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2008 at 11:32 am
I was born in Lost Altos and lived there until 1971. I attended Eastbrook Elementary. Since I was so young I am not sure about the cities for these places.
We used to eat at The Menu Tree and the kids got the $1 burger basket. Was the Chinese restaurant Qui Hing Low? Also, there was “Mings” where the kids never ate because it was “too fancy for kids.”
We used to go to a hardware store in what I believe is now The Village. There was a huge barrel of pickles there – does anyone remember that? Next door was an ice cream store, I think it was called Don’s.
At the little mall with the hobby store upstairs they used to decorate extensively for Christmas. There was a frozen North Pole and Santa sat in his house nearby.
I remember the P-3s flying over, often with a prop feathered for training. My dad worked at Lockheed. He quit in 1971 and we moved to Southern California.
Posted by Frances, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 15, 2008 at 11:02 pm
Just a few things I didn't see mentioned. Liberty House department store at the old San Antonio Shopping Center. And the "Generic Hamburger Stand" in the old Der Weinerschnitzel (which became Weinerschnitzel again after the generic place closed). You could get a hamburger for 39 cents.
Posted by Miles Tone, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2008 at 2:20 pm
Thanks for the link to the 1969 restaurant guide, Richard.
I remember Sakura Gardens at 2116 W. El Camino and it did have some beautiful Japanese gardens inside. Chevy's occupies that site today. I also remember another Japanese restaurant on El Camino west of San Antonio that did teppan style (similar to Benihana). It might have been called Samurai, but I can't recall.
Chez Yvonne was at 1854 W. El Camino, although I never went there. There's a Residence Inn there now.
It was also interesting to see that 1984 W. El Camino was once a Holiday Inn. We'll see if the condo development goes through for that location.
Posted by MV, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Jul 22, 2008 at 7:06 pm
Actually, the Nob Hill where it is today was Handyman, a home center. Hubbard and Johnson was on the corner of El Monte and El Camino, where Longs and Starbucks are today. Nob Hills previous location across the parking lot was called Fry's Food Store, then Food Fair, which had relocated from El Camino and Bonita Av.
Shogun was about a half a block up El Camino from Rambus.
Posted by LLOYD HUFF, a resident of another community, on Jul 23, 2008 at 10:33 am
I took my parents to the Balkin Village on the Elcamino for their 25th wedding aniversary in 1973. That place could get really crazy. Some guy would provide entertainment by dancing and picking up a dinner table with his teeth and begin swinging it around.I ended up on his shoulders while he was doing a greek dance step and the whole room got up and everybody started dancing to the greek music . It was crazy but totally fun!!
Posted by Jay Pushkin, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2008 at 10:55 am
I remember moving to Mtn View in 1965 from Sunnyvale so that my dad could live closer to his clothing store that was located on Castro St. The name of the store was called Palm Yorkshire Clothes in the Palm Plaza shopping Center. I went to Huff elementry, Graham Jr. High and Awalt High School. I miss those days
Posted by steve, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2008 at 11:27 pm
I cannot believe I am reading this article still. Is the staff stagnant, lazy and amateur. I am sure it isn't hard to keep up with the current events, sports and crime of this town a week at a time. But to leave this on for weeks and weeks is very ridiculous and very boring. It's time has expired.
Posted by DV, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2008 at 10:19 am
Steve don't be such a downer... you must be a transplant... people like myself who happen to be a 4th generation MV resident like hearing old stories of MV... stop clicking on the link. This is an old town paper not the SF Chronicle...The Home Page has plenty of updates and current news for your viewing pleasure... now kindly stay out of the Town Square if you have nothing nice to say...
Posted by Irma, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2008 at 9:29 am
I live in Florida now, but I keep checking this on-going trip down memory lane. It stimulates my aging brain. And probably ensures I will make Mountain View a destinationthe next time I visit relatives in the area... and patronize the MV businesses... so, Steve, it may bore you, but, it's not all a waste!
Posted by Long Time MV Resident, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2008 at 5:56 pm
I enjoy reminiscing the things that made Mountain View so great. When my kids were small, the biggest thrill for them was hearing the music and seeing the ice cream truck come down our street. They took their hard earned allowance and bought an ice cream. All the neighbors would then come out and talk. We had a close neighbors that looked after each other.
Posted by Greg, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jul 31, 2008 at 7:05 pm
I guess you could call me a true Mtn. View native. I spent the first 30 years of my life living in what is now called 'Old Mountain View.' I lived there from the '50s thru to 1984. I remember the following:
When Shoreline was still Bailey Ave. and it was just a 2 lane road. Calif. street was still 2 lanes, too.
When MVHS was still on Castro St. Could hear the Friday nite football games from where I lived.
When Pacific Press was still in town. (I worked there from 1976-1984).
When the infamous 'dog house' was built.
When Mancini motors (Dodge dealership) was on the corner of Castro and El Camino. I think the globe on the building came from '39 or '40 worlds fair(s), but don't quote me on that.
The tire dealership on Castro was called Paul Auger's Tires.
Across the street from the tire store was a five-and-dime store.
JC Penney's was where Meyer Electric is now.
A butcher shop was where Red Rock Coffee Co. is now.
State Delicatessen. Had the best ravioli anywhere. And the best kosher hot dogs, too. Makes me hungry just thinking about it. Great funky atmosphere, too.
Andy's Chinese Restaurant.
Heard the wind tunnel at Ames at night.
Town dump at the end of Stierlin road. (Now Shoreline park)
Posted by Pete, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Aug 8, 2008 at 4:53 pm
Steve, Is someone making you read this stuff? It's great and I am grateful to the Voice for continuing it. If it's boring you, CHANGE THE CHANNEL...! Does anybody remember the Sunnyview Family Club, down on Esceula? I think everyone attended some sort of function there at some point in their lives.
Posted by neighbor, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Aug 8, 2008 at 10:14 pm
Mountain View Library was very small and crowded. It was hard to find parking. There was no parking garage. Mountain View High School was on Castro Street. It was a beautiful spanish style building which should of been restored and named a historical landmark.
Posted by Lee, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Aug 9, 2008 at 6:45 pm
I grew up there in the late 70's when my grandfather retired from TWA we moved from Mountain View to Florida. I remember that Mayfield Mall closed right around 1983 when we moved. When did the Old Mill close down and whateve happened to the best pizza place that I knew of Fargo's?
Posted by md, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Aug 11, 2008 at 3:17 pm
Anyone remember Clints ice cream? Bubble gum was the best flavor. Feinschmuckers Deli, remember Best products store. Mtn View Dolphins swim team, coaches Sehlmeyer, Perry, and Bosmans. Albertsons and Payless were connected in the middle, @ El Camino and Grant. TG&Y, the Red Barn (country Gourmet now). House of Yee on Castro. Eddies Sport Shop, The Instep for Addidas. Shagging foul balls at McKelvey for a quarter. Free suicides after the little league game. Baseball team sponsors, Civitan, Freeman Songroth, Gienger and Hays Funeral Parlor, Raytheon, Cliffs Chevron, Kiwanis, Collishaw Sprinklers, RW Consruction, Oddfellows. OJ Cooper school. What a great place to grow up.
Posted by Student now teacher, a resident of another community, on Aug 13, 2008 at 9:30 pm
Did anyone go to Crittenden for elementary school?!
I did in 1978 and broke my arm on the monkey bars. My mom was a single mother of 4 and she was able to afford to feed all of us occasionally at the Menu Tree and Bobs Big Boy. When we moved to Palo Alto, we would take the bus for 10 cents and go to Mayfield Mall.
Posted by Miles Tone, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Aug 25, 2008 at 1:50 pm
To answer Lee's question from Aug 13th, according to the book "Milestones - a History of Mountain View" the Old Mill's water wheel was removed in 1988 and then the mall was demolished by the mid 90's to make way for the Crossings development.
The book also said that the owners of Fargo's wanted to build a hotel on the site, but that project obviously didn't go through. I recall that Fargo's was a pretty happening spot for live music in its day.
Posted by H, a resident of another community, on Aug 26, 2008 at 9:05 pm
I remember when the "Dog City" building (corner of Castro and Mercy) was vacant, for years, and full of dogs. The entire street, except for the scattering of bars and Chinese restaurants was vacant in the late 70's and 80's. As a kid my friends and I would like to knock on the windows and aggrevate them. The grocery store at the Palm Plaza was for years called Bee Foods. I have fond memories of taking my little sister there in her stroller so I could get free candy from the manager. He liked my sister, but never gave my friend and I candy if we came by ourselves.
Posted by VB, a resident of another community, on Sep 15, 2008 at 3:48 pm
For the longest time on ECR (80's) there was a great little store selling seat covers (I think it was near Castro). The sign for the shop was misspelled as "Sheespkin House", and as a teenager I giggled every time I drove by. I assume the owners knew about the misspelling and either enjoyed the humor of it, or just didn't care.
I also remember the original House of Humor in the shopping center at the corner of Grant and ECR. Going into the back of the store was always a scandalous adventure as a child...
What about driving through The Milk Pail at the corner of San Antonio and California to get your daily dairy? My grandpa and I would go through in our funky station wagon.
Now -- this one may be way in my imagination, but I remember as a child that at the corner of Escuela and ECR there used to be a shoestore in the shape of a house (before the Cost Plus moved in there). Does anyone else remember this or am I crazy?
Everyone remembers the Old Mill, but do you remember the fantastic candy store there? It was the first place I'd ever found Jelly-Bellies.
I lived right behind the Mayfield Mall, and mostly what I remember are annual magic shows, Easter egg hunts, great decorations at Christmas, and the fantastic egg-rolls that a man sold from a cart. Does anyone remember the name of the diner on the lower level of the Mall? I used to love to go there as a kid with my great-uncle who spoiled me rotten with pancakes.
My grandmother and stepmother both worked at Liberty House in the San Antonio Shopping Center, and the Menu Tree was the best place ever ever ever (besides the fantastic Hobby Shop). I'm still digging through old family photos trying to find a pic of the big tree of birds and clocks.
My mom and dad both went to the original MVHS -- though I went to LAHS (who stole their mascot and not a few of their teachers). My dad and I both had Mr Chadda and Mr Bonzell for math, heh.
Posted by Jeff, a resident of another community, on Sep 15, 2008 at 8:17 pm
I moved to Old Mtn View in the late '70s....remember Gemello Winery? You could bring your empty bottles and get them filled. I thought that was absolutely amazing. I now live in Napa Valley and I haven't found anything like that here.
Posted by Liz - a new resident, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Sep 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm
Thanks for this thread! I've recently moved here from Louisiana, married, and bought a lil condo. Whenever I ask my husband to take me to the 'fancy market on Middlefield' he says something about Brentwood:)
When I want to go to Target, he reminds me that it used to be Gemco:) When I craved a burger, he took me to Clarke's. I've spent my lunch hour - and beyond - catching up on the memories and history of the city I now call home. Very special indeed! Thanks again:)
Posted by Frances, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Sep 17, 2008 at 6:40 pm
VB, I think the diner at Mayfield Mall was called Kelly's. My mom used to take me there and I remember always ordering the grilled cheese sandwich and jello for dessert. There was also a Kelly's at Stanford Shopping Center before it went so upscale.
And I remember the candy store at the Old Mill. We used to go to the Mexican Restaurant there that was in the middle of the mall (La Posada???) and it was a treat to go to the candy store afterwards.
Posted by Michael T, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Nov 6, 2008 at 3:49 pm
I worked at GTE Government Systems (formerly GTE Sylvania, formerly Electronic Defense Laboratories) from 1983 to 1990. It once comprised 7 buildings, of which only two still stand. The others were demolished in the 1990s for the present-day Whisman Station development. GTE's greatly reduced operation was moved to Santa Clara a few years ago. I don't know who occupies the site now. Across the street on Evelyn (which was a dirt road in places) was Ferry-Morse, but HP more recently occupied the site.
I think Rotten Robbie's is still on the corner of Whisman and Middlefield, maybe even the Wagon Wheel restaurant next to it.
I lived in a complex of yellow apartment builings on Montecito Ave. That street seems relatively unchanged. My wife was on-call as a dietitian at the nursing home there in the early 80s. You could still find "cowboys" in the Rengstorff-Rock St-Middlefield area 20 years ago but they are long gone.
The Camino Medical Group building at El Camino and 85 is on the site of the defunct Emporium-Capwell store.
A Palo Alto Co-op store was on the corner of San Antonio and El Camino. This was a hippie/environmentalist type of grocery store. It's was a PayLess the last time I noticed.
There was actually a gun shop (Eddy's) on Castro and El Camino which first moved across the street then finally went out of business about 6 or 7 years ago. When I lived on Park Dr I used to walk over on Saturday mornings. Try to find a gun shop in Mountain View today.
Posted by Charlie Welch, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Nov 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm
Greetings.. Nothing here to do about old places in Mtn. View.. This is about the old originals of Mountain View.
Today, my Aunt, Betty Todd (deCurtoni) passed away at the age of 84. She was married to Cpt. James F. Todd (Navy), who was aboard the USS Macon when it went down off the coast of Monterey (Hanger 1, was it's home back then). She was a long time Sunnyvale resident with roots back to old Mountain View.
Betty is the last of a generation of the deCurtoni family who settled in Mountain View from San Francisco in 1906, on what was the family ranch along Church Street (35 Church Street, still in family) belonging to her Grandfather and Grandmother, Frank and Mattie.
Her father, Frank and his wife Sara brought into the world, her brother, Charles (1913), and sisters, Doris (Laurie/1912), Elva (Kankel/1917) and Barbara (Welch/1920) all preceeded her in death and all graduated from Mtn. View, either the Old Highway School or the newly completed (back then) Mountain View High.
The old days of a quiet little town with orchards and farms and friendships that lasted a lifetime... John Puppo, Don Lawson, Ed Mylrea, Lorena Mylrea, Maggie Mylrea, Charles Moore, Lawrence Anderson, Pete Stahor, Stan Anderson, Marty Spangler, Doris Awalt, Irv Carter, Alan Cranston, Peppy Martinez, Pete Janovich, Jack Randall, Bob Mastin, Helen Shearer, Jean Mockbee, Andy Janovich... too many to recall and too many departed... Maybe they are all now gathered together at my Grandmother's old Creamary that sat next to the old Mountain View Theater. The place where my mother, Barbara met my father, Jim as she worked behind the counter and he would stop in after a day of teaching at the old Highway School and the old timers used to come in for a treat... The originals from back in a day we can only imagine and who so few are still around to shed light on how truly special Mountain View was back before Silly-con Valley erupted. As a community, Moutain View is far better off having had such people as molders of what we have today.
Posted by BF, a resident of another community, on Jan 15, 2009 at 12:20 pm
This is a great thread. I have another memory I haven't seen mentioned yet: a restaurant called Woody's that was on Middlefield (or Old Middlefield?) not too far from San Antonio. That's the closest address my childhood brain can come up with.
Woody's was a real old-school place, with all the breakfast dishes or sandwiches available for ordering written on tiny chalkboards behind the counter. My dad and I used to go there for breakfast, back around 1980 or so.
As a kid I lived mostly in extreme south Palo Alto, but I was oriented more toward Mountain View than anything to the north: Mayfield Mall with its music store and Consumers Distributing catalog store; the San Antonio Center with the Menu Tree, the Time Zone arcade, and the Sears with the candy counter.
I also remember the 50s holdout restaurant Linda's, farther down El Camino (at Escuela, evidently). Someone mentioned it closed in about 1980, but I say it hung on a few years longer than that, maybe till about 1985. I remember the big white-and-red sign very well.
I also remember the spooky old house standing alone somewhere along Shoreline, even after the golf course was set up. It's not still there, is it?
Posted by Matt R, a resident of another community, on May 5, 2009 at 9:31 am
I worked at the Sav-Mor food store on Calderon an Church for about 5 years, along with my Brother. My Family knew the people who owed the big spooky looking house across the street. I graduated from Mtn. View High in 78 and remember all the places mentioned. One was missed ( or was not that important) The Akron store on El Camino and San Antonio, the Wherehouse replaced it. Also the Time Zone Arcade. I spent many a quarter there playing air hockey and the Night Driver video game.
Posted by Bathsheba Malsheen, a resident of another community, on May 5, 2009 at 3:55 pm
I moved to the Bay Area in 1983 from NJ, and started a new job in a technology company on No. Bernardo in Mountain View near Middlefield. My co-workers and I would go to lunch on Castro St. every day--we loved Florentine (great pizza bread), Mekong (run by a former Vietnamese diplomat), and the Blue Sky Cafe, where I believe I had my first tofu sandwich. We also went to Country Gourmet on El Camino (I think it's still there), and of course the food court in the Old Mill. Castro St. was quite run down in the early '80s--it seemed like the poor man's Palo Alto...what a transformation!
Posted by memories, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on May 6, 2009 at 10:01 am
I remember Payless on Grant next to that was Albertsons that had the bus depot where kids would take the bus to San Francisco during the Flower Power days. Albertson's bakery had the best brownies i've ever tasted.
Qui Hing Low and Andy's best chinese food ever!
Thrifty for 5, 10 and 15 cent ice creams in the San Antonio Shopping center and right next to it was Woolworth with the restaurant where you could sit at the counter or the booths while everyone else was shopping around you.
Moffett Food Center owned by Sam Leong and his family.
The little store on Rengstorff and old Middlefield where La Costena
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2009 at 8:59 pm
Nice thread full of great memories! Didn't see any mention of Monte Vista, or Moonlight Drive-In theatres. As for the slot car racing place in Mt View, it was called D&S Hobby, in Carlotta Shopping Center, which used to be across from Franciscan Glass, off the west bound loop of the San Antonio Rd overpass. A family run business- all their first names started with "D" Dean, Don, Dale, Dennis, etc ...their last name was Steinke. The hobby shop was really packed on weekends from 1966-1968. In 1967, one of the boys got killed in an accident, and the business went down hill after that. In the 70's, the shopping center went belly-up, stood vacant for years ...I recall a Frye's market and Cost Plus in there. The first job I ever had was scooping ice cream in THAT Thrifty's Drugs, when cones were 5, 10, & 15 cents.
Posted by Al Figone, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Sep 12, 2009 at 9:59 pm
Blossom Valley Shopping Center was an orchard; as was most of the surrounding land.
Bubb Elementary School opened without asphalt pavement.
The only hardware/nursery store was on the north side of the tracks, on Castro Street.
Downtown Mtn View was a vital business district for everyone.
Miramonte Avenue had NO traffic after 5:30 PM, at Sladkey (later Questa Drive).
Spivey's resturant never closed their doors; the Monte Vista Drive-in was right behind it; the Chevron station (across Grant Road) was there, but a whole lot smaller; and an old barn closed off the t-intersection of El Camino & Grant Road, it was an auto repair shop.
High Way Elementary School on El Camino; it was closed and became the temporary Foothill College; closed and left empty; later developed into a mixed use project; there was a pedestrian tunnel crossing under El Camino there.
Dana Elementary School, at Dana and Bailey; closed and demolished.
A man named Chester F. Awalt donated 40 acres of orchard land to MVLA High School District for a much needed third high school; they named the school ... Chester F. Awalt HS.
Navy jets flew overhead constantly, then it was the Orion P-3 submarine chasers.
Foothill College, the new campus in Los Altos Hills was talked about thruout California, for its inovative architectural style; this topic was an English class required paper for the first couple of years.
The water tower at Questa and Grant Road was routinely vandalized with painting by person(s) unknown (before tagging was a term).
The only electric signal lights were on El Camino Real.
Bayshore highway was a 4 lane undivided road.
Tidal lands existed along the bay.
Linda's drive-in had the BEST hamburgers (Parisian burger) and fries in town.
Posted by MJ Feeney, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:30 pm
My apartment($125/month) at 515 Central looked out over onion fields in 1966. A&W near the corner with Castro. Central Expressway stopped at Castro. Had to go to liquor store near Safeway to get a Sunday Mercury or Chronicle. Great town to start a career in Semiconductors. Echos of Don Sherwood and Superfrog live on in Maine.
Posted by Dennis Philpott, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Oct 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm
The Variety Store at Blossom Valley had a great big neon sign (at least I think it was neon.)
My parents owned the store with my father's cousin and wife. I remember delivering flyers announcing store-opening specials (and being paid the handsome wage of 35 cents!
Every Sunday night we would go to the store after dinner and my father would work on the books. Boy, talk about kids in a candy store. Being able to walk the store aisles when the store was closed and no one else was there :)
Posted by cathy d, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 6, 2010 at 3:44 am
remember hanging out at rengstorff park alot, swimming every summer the vampire movies they would show every Ithink wednesday or friday after school (mvhs) for free in the auditorium. The school dances and alot of fights in the year 1970. The park behind the high school were we cut classes all the time. It was sooo easy to cut classes back then some of my friends volunteered there and always signed anyone sick. I remember the funnn cinco day mayo parties there everyone had fun, not all the politicle chaos its become. There was ateen center hangout for awhile downtown in 70 but I dont recall were it was exactly. I remember the clinic on castro where alot of my friends got counceling and pills the cool thrift shop the gun shop lindas in 70s mvh alot of fun but also a bit of the wild west going on back then alot of fist fights not gangs and guns like nowdays and walkinggggg everywhere bein safe good old days.
Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm
There was a fancy hotel with a big fountain in the front. It was across the street from a bowling alley. I don't remember if it was in Mountain View or Palo Alto. Does anyone remember the name of this place?
I always loved Frankie Johnnie and Luigi too. Loved the tater tots at Linda's. Went to MVHS when it was on Castro St.
Posted by Pierce, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:26 am
I grew up next to Therekauf/Stevenson school.
Remembering that when our family drove to First Baptist Los Altos we went up Castro St. to many times and saw Doberman Pincher dogs inside as guard dogs at the newly built High Rise down town, dog poop on the vacant expance of concrete floors when you look into the windows here BoofA is currently standing .... as it was completely VACANT. Somebody sprayed on the windows of "DOG CITY" and those buildings have always been Dog City in my mind........ only a moment in time.
I remember walking through the construction site where the new Mtn View Police Department is now standing, picked up spent shell casings in the basement level, before it had a roof over it.
Dropping eggs over the now CAL TRAIN main engine trying to get them into the big fans blowing off the top of the locomotive, I think I was about 16.
There was a Pet Store I worked at for one weekend helping put hay in the attic area on Evelyn and feeding the mice for sale.
Walking the underground runoff tunnels that go next to now "Shoreline" my friend and I started at Stevenson School culvert...... up to almost el camino avenue under ground. Pretty spooky and not for the weak. NO Flashlights!!!
Posted by Dan Marquez, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Nov 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm
1. The old Highway school on the corner of El Camino and Calderon. There was an underpass that allowed children to go beneath the busy road to get to school. The school was later used as the temporary site for Foothill College until it opened in 1961. The Foothill Owl mascot used to reside in the highway school tower. This used to be my playgournd.
2. The jet that crashed into the Salmi house in downtown Mtn View in 1956. That was
the second crash in as many years.
3. Cruising between Johnny Macs and Spiveys drive Inns on the El
Camino. Played Little League for Johnny Macs the first year of the league -- 1955?
4. El Zarape, Qui Hing Low, Fosters hamburgers, the original "Big Mac" at Johnny Macs, Lindas, The Red Barn, the Sylvania pit, . . . thanks for the memories. Go Eagles!
Posted by Liz L, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Nov 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm
I was part of the last graduating class of old Mtn. View High. We'd go to Bee Foods (formerly Lucky) sometimes and grab something for lunch (where Kaiser is now) and there was Palm Variety in that shopping center too. We'd also get lunch at Weinerschniztel (at the corner of Castro and California). I've lived in the neighborhood since 1967. I remember when Edelweiss Dairy was on 237 and it was all farmland to Milpitas. I used to ride my bike down El Camino when it was 4 lane, no center divider and no sidewalks. Andys and Qui Hing Lo were the two best restaurants. I used to ride my bike on the dirt trails where the old Highway school used to be. A huge pepper tree was like a secret room. Fosters Freeze and Linda's were a treat. I once got to see the inside of the Mancini house because a friend of a friend lived there. The inside was as cool as the outside. Pioneer Park behind the library was named that because there were once graves of pioneers there. Loved that park. Is the waterfall still there? Oh one last thing... the phone prefix for Mtn. View was 'Yorkshire' and all numbers began YO7-xxxx. I remember that Yorkshire was written on the side of the Palm Variety shopping center. Palo Alto was 'Davenport'.
Posted by Deusa, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 12, 2012 at 10:49 am
Does any one have the shortbread cookie recipe made by Baders' in Mountain View. I read someone's mother and relatives used to work at that bakery and I was wondering if they remember and would like to share and bring a little of joy to others.
Posted by Wes, a resident of another community, on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm
I lived in Sunnyvale and San Jose for quite a few years. I have just returned to Sunnyvale after ten years in L.A. I also briefly had a place in your fair city.
Mountain View (and the rest of the Peninsula seems quite different now).
My favorite place, of course, was Chuck's Cellar. Saw John Stewart (formerly of the Kingstion Trio) there several times. But the best night was seeing the original Limelighters (Lou Gottlieb, Alex Hassilev, Glenn Yarbrough). What a great time!
Their downstairs cellar was a nice and intimate showroom and upstairs they had good steaks. Chucks also once had a place in Tustin (Orange County), with no entertainment, and I quess two or three are still going in Hawaii.
The Tower Records in Mountain View is the only one I have been to that had an actual bookstore. It was a good one, too. And I have seen quite a few Tower Records; in the Bay Area, L.A., Orange County and even London.
The San Antonio Shopping Center had that church single's group that met every Sunday morning in the upper floor of the Menu Tree. And the center's hobby shop was a fun place to browse.
The Old Mill had that Upstart Crow Bookstore and (I think) the "Jumping Frog," a dance place where I saw a full sized 1940s style dance band one night. The place was on the eastern end of the complex.
I don't think there are as many night spots in the whole penisula area as there were when I first came here in 1972. I think with the aging of the baby boomer generation, the place has gentrified into a lot of expensive condos. It just doesn't seem as fun anymore…
But then maybe younger people know where all the new nightspots are.
Posted by Carlos S, a resident of another community, on Jun 16, 2012 at 3:33 am
Born 1978 @ the El Camino hospital. I might be the youngest and recent entry here. Thank You all for your shared memories. It has helped me bridge the gap of what Mountain View used to be. I moved to San Jose, CA in June of 1984. And regrettably been here ever since. Whenever the free time I always like to revisit entire areas and scenes. During the early years I lived on Leong Dr. My home had a 3 foot chain link fence; green with white trim; and was directly across the street from the 76 gas station; and next to That service station was the Denny's restaurant. I remember seeing military officer's/personal around the community (the base was on the other side of the free way overpass) felt like the norm. I went to school with their children "military brats". I Do remember the Blue Angel fleet air performances during summer. My uncle had a Moped (gas powered scooter) club. At the time was a 4 year student at the relocated MVHS class of '85. (Jason Williams) I remember the Weinerschnitzel on Castro St. I remember the A&W chain next to the Social Service Agency. The mobile home park community; I went to Theuerkauf elementary. There was a playground facing the parking lot where now the front gate and front office is. My kindergarden classroom was the 1st near the entrance, I remember feeling excited and part of an elite school that invested in Apple computers. Did lots of educational games of learning on the 2e ! Then a fire had destroyed a class room module/building (in fragments i remembered either it was used as a science lab or it was actually the computer lab). I seen the fire dept. arrive, but school was being led out at the same time, i remember seating to face the damage. There was a curve loop for students to be picked up. That's Gone. Change has made the campus unrecognizable. My parents work for the Government Telecommunication Co. GTE. Michael T is right, there were 7 buildings. I remember the fun Easter egg hunt; company picnics; dept. baseball league teams and games. We lived across the street from the Whisman Fire dept. And GTE @ the Central Park Apts. My dad was laid off in '90 my step mom is still with the company under new name General Dynamics. I remember the Old Mill theaters and seeing Return Of The Jedi. That night I learned people yelled "Where's The Beef!" But can anyone please help me remember the name of the pre-school on San Ramon Ave. where The Fountains retirement community is built. There was so much land there before, and it devastates me to only have fragments of memory..
Posted by Elena, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Aug 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm
Wow, it great to read about MV in the 60's and 70's..I was born and raise in MV. In the mid 80's is when everything started to change..I have a little memory of downtown, I'm a Castro City resident, so I remember San Antonio and the Old Mill more. I'm trying to remember where the beauty college was located at, fond memories of downtown. It's such a great town still, very expensive but it holds my childhood memories, love MV!!
Posted by John, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm
The Bowling alley was/is called El Camino bowl ( I hung out there a lot from age 10 to 19)
Frankie Johnnies & Luigi's on El Camino was/is the best place for a pizza
There was a Red Barn Hamburger place on El Camino @ Rengstorff
Linda's was great ( I know the recipe for their sauce!)
The gas station where Jack in the Box is on Shoreline (sterlin rd)
was a Union 76 (I worked there when I was 16)
I took my first date to the movies @ San Antonio center and for a burger at the Menu Tree after. (my first kiss too!)
Where Sterlin meets Moffet blvd there was an auto repair place where you could bu a Coke in a 6 1/2 oz bottle for a dime. The bottle was refundable for a nickle at the store where you could buy a candy bar for five cents!
Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of the Whisman Station neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm
There was a fancy hotel with a big fountain in the front. It was across the street from a bowling alley. I don't remember if it was in Mountain View or Palo Alto. Does anyone remember the name of this place?
Fiesta Bowl in Palo Alto/The Hotel was the Cabana Hyatt house where the Beatles stayed (now the Crowne Plaza)
Posted by Dnini, a resident of another community, on Jan 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm
Does anyone remember Johnny Macs drive-in? What a place to hang-out in the 40's. Best hamburgers in the south bay. Waitresses in shorts; orders placed in car windows, fantastic. I went to Fremont Hi, but met lots of students from Mt. View high. It was THE place to go on Friday and Saturday nights.......not to mention the other hangout was "The Shack" for dancing and meeting 'guys'.
Posted by Dan , a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2013 at 8:18 pm
I remember going to both Fargo's (Old Mill Sh. Ctr) and St. James Infirmary (Moffett Blvd) with my friends back in the late 70's to mid 80's era. Fargo's was considered the classier place. I frankly had more fun at St. James and spent more time there. It was more laid back and had more friendly and fewer conceited image conscious people. It was also easier on the pocketbook. I then moved out of the area, but then moved back to an apartment in nearby Sunnyvale and worked for someone I knew for awhile from 1999 to 2001. He moved his business and family out of state in 2001. Then I moved to the Monterey area working for an educational publishing company, but try to enjoy Mountain View on occasion when I visit friends and family in the area. By then, St. James and Fargo's had both closed, but Mountain View had really developed an impressive downtown that I have enjoyed (especially considering it is a suburb of Silicon Valley). Los Gatos and Mountain View have SV's best downtowns IMO. There are still some very good bookstores in DT Mountain View. Another place I have enjoyed is Tony and Alba's Pizza. The original Mountain View location has always been better than the recent chain locations IMO. I went to Two Guys From Italy back in the 80's which was also good but is now a Burger King. I got Frankie, Johnny and Luigi's Pizza to go once and it was good. The wait to eat inside is a little much, though. The Boardwalk is a good burger and beer place on the El Camino with a friendly vibe. I also enjoyed a great Steely Dan concert in the late 90's at Shoreline Ampitheater. I have enjoyed the Shoreline Century 16 movie theater and The Sports Page Bar and Grill, too. I have also taken several nice walks in Shoreline and Cuesta Parks. Mountain View has provided some good times and good memories.
Posted by Karen, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm
i worked at rhodes and lunched at the menu tree. i remember mayfield mall, with jc penneys and world mart. old mill had the jumping frog and then there was st. james, moffit drive-in and handyman. my friends worked at foster freeze, red barn chicken (SJ), payless donuts, mcdonalds and arby;s in sunnyvale when i was in my high school fast food phase. My sister made one big donut with the leftover dough at the end of the shift and would bring it to the parties in a big pink box. We went wild over it. miss those days.
Posted by Mtn ViewMJ, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 19, 2013 at 7:25 am
Wow, I read every response. Like to give a shout out to all the families that participated in making Mtn View such a fun place to grow up. The recreation department was second to none. Did anyone mention Holy Cross High School next to St Josephs School. I think it closed around 1971 and that's when St Francis High School was allowed to enroll girls. D.V., when you mentioned Baeders cookies I knew it was you cuz. Did they really stop the church bells from ringing though. I remember Father Moss walking the streets alone late at night. Hello Father, we would say...Hello boys..his response..Keep the memories coming .
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 6, 2013 at 7:39 pm
Does anyone remember the Old Plantation restaurant, just off El Camino, on the Los Altos side of San Antonio Rd? Songroth Brothers (gravel & cement) next to the railroad tracks near Alma & San Antonio? Star & Bar gas station? Carlotta Shopping Center?
Posted by John, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm
I lived in Mtn. View since I was about 6, went to Slater elementry, then Graham jr. High and graduated Mtn. View High in 87. It was the best place to grow up, My first job was at the Best store in the San Antonio center, then at Rogers deli on middle field and whisman. Its been a long time since ive been though there. Me and my friends rode our bikes all over Mtn. View and Sunnyvale at all times day and night and never had a worry. Alot of great memories, thank for the thread.
Posted by Karen, a resident of another community, on May 2, 2013 at 6:57 pm
Oh Mountain View... and how I miss it. I live on the East Coast now, 35yrs. later and let me tell you, Mountain View was fantastic in the 1ate 1970's and early 80's when I resided in the area. There are a lot of restaurants that I remember. Uncle Otto's Cheescake where I went nearly every day for lunch takeout, and they were the best!Mountain Mikes Pizza..I believe it is still there. We would order the largest pie,and all the drinks refilled over and over again. Bob's Big Boy and Denny's... There was The old Mill Mall, had nice shops inside and I remember a little coffee and cake shop that you could sit and read in while eating. Casa Maria also and there was a nice steak and ale type restaurant on the corner of El Camino and Castro St., but I cannot remember the name of it.It did have great steaks and baked potatoes with all the salad you could eat, and wine carafes. A&W Root Beer, Also a great soup and salad shop on the corner of Moffett and Central or West Evelyn, maybe California St.... can't remember this. Togo's was great, but I am not sure if it was toward Palo Alto or not. El Chico's Italian was on El Camino to the south.
There were a lot of Country Stores throughout the bay area, little shops. Bay Meadows was fantastic right next door in San Mateo; won 21 to 1 odds on Bridgetwister!!! I remember that well. St. James Infirmary just outside of Moffett Field Naval Air Station was a frequent place as well as The Country Store, but that was south past Sunnyvale on El Camino. The mall was great off of, I believe Covington Rd. Had a Sears, JCPenney, other nice shops inside and out.
One of the things I really liked about the area was that there were small artisan shops, whether they were small restaurants with health food items on the menu, sprouts and tofu, or if they were jewelry and clothing shops, privately owned. They were just fantastic. Lots of small apartments everywhere and all very kept up. Winery Restaurants and shops were popping up around the area, some were really good to lunch and dine at. Many mini motels, and lots to do. Halloween was a must every year. There were contests at all the night spots and tons of costume shops in and around the areas. We frequented Bourbon Street night club in the Old Mill Mall which had ...again... great food and night life.
Mountain View in the vintage 70's and 80's years was a haven. There are many more places I can talk about while I lived in the area. I do not know what the atmosphere is now. I attended some classes at Foothill College..remember their "new" lazer light shows for the time!It seems that it was just that perfect place with so many things to do and so many people starting businesses. It was comfortable. Oh, if anyone can remember a few other night spots in Mountain View, one by the Old Mill Mall and another I believe was Froggers or a name similar. No one can remember them, but they were great for the time when I was young. Bullfarbers ? was in San Jose, I think.... It was a nice time and if I could, I would go back; maybe in the near future!