Remembering downtown Menlo Park “back in the day”

by Laura Pitchford on September 15, 2012

Recently, I was lying awake in the middle of the night trying to remember the name of the record store in downtown Menlo Park I went to with my younger sister Shell to buy Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (the 1978 movie version featuring The BeeGees and Peter Frampton). I could remember the day like it was yesterday, down to the name of the guy (Johnny Ransahoff) who sold me the record (yes, record) and how much I paid for it, but I could not for the life of me remember the name of the store.

The next morning I sent an email to my siblings and several of our lifelong friends who also grew up in either Menlo or Atherton to ask if anyone could remember the store’s name. With over 500 years of memories between us, we were able to come up with it — Joe Prein’s Music Store. [Joe Prein is right in photo circa 60s; anyone know who the other man and woman are?]

My one question was the beginning of a chain of emails filled with long forgotten Menlo Park trivia. Our 50-year-old memories began to wake up. We all remembered certain things: That life was simpler then.  That we rode our bikes everywhere in search of the best candy, toy, beloved pet, music and fun.

We remembered getting pixie sticks, red ropes, gum balls and chewable wax teeth, lips and mustaches from the Little Store, dipping into the pickle jar at Duca and Hanley, buying cinnamon sticks at Toy and Party, and sitting on Santa’s lap in this little holiday house in front of Menlo Camera. We all seemed to remember certain stores: Mary’s Stork to Teen, Stevens Fabrics, Derry’s Feed and Fuel. 

Charline reminded us of the over abundance of Palm Readers in Menlo Park. We counted at least three. We recalled charge accounts at Draeger’s and Preuss. We could even remember several of the shop owners and employees who fitted us for school shoes and restrung our tennis rackets.

Almost all of us remember Edy’s Ice Cream [on Encinal, now the Carriage Stop portion of Roger Reynolds Nursery.]. LeeLee said that she can still hear the little bell ring as the screen door opened, the smell of the refrigerating ice cream, and having to climb on a step on tip toes to see over the counter. Lisa loved the Swedish Raspberry and Bayomints. Pat remembers puking there when Rooney and Seamus took Mark’s and Pat’s Little League team there post-game.

Some of the fun was trumping others as the emails crossed paths. Lisa came up with Gindell’s Pet Shop, a name that escaped the rest of us, although we all could remember exactly where the pet store was located on Santa Cruz, and that Mrs. Gindell had a blonde beehive hairdo. Lauren remembered getting her hamster there, while Rooney remembered buying his box turtle and riding home with it on his handle bars.

We also remembered that there were two bike shops but we only went to one, Menlo Bike and Key… that the Pink Pastry was a particular favorite and that Oxford’s Delicatessen had the best roast beef sandwiches. And, of course, George and Bob [who owned a Chevron station] actually filled your car’s tank with gas at a fraction of what it costs to self serve today!

All in all, we came up with a close to a hundred businesses but even more wonderful memories!  What started as a forgotten store name on my part turned into lots of laughs.

Do you have memories and photos from some time “back in the day” whether that’s the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s in Menlo Park? Let us know: tips[at]

Photo courtesy of Menlo Park Historical Association



Mary Askins September 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm

The Little Store was a weekly stop for a candy treat after school! Good memories. I also remember Alec shopping center (where Safeway stands now), The Children’s Bootery, Ann’s Coffee shop (still there!), The Velvet Turtle in Sharon Park, Shaw’s Ice Cream (where the tanning salon is now on the corner of El Camino and Menlo Ave.), The Menlo Theater on Santa Cruz Ave., and who can forget Round Table Pizza, Mc and Bud’s Ice Cream on the Alameda de las Pulgas? Can anyone recall the name of the pharmacy on the Alameda, Mc…something, I think.

Cherry Jones June 01, 2013 at 3:27 pm

McQuarries Pharmacy on the Alameda

Bill Wohler September 15, 2012 at 7:41 pm

McQuarries. Used to go there for candy after school when I was going to La Entrada.

I found this:

Joe September 16, 2012 at 9:29 am

It was McQuarries Pharmacy.

Joe September 16, 2012 at 9:38 am

And let’s not forget the two previous locations of Kepler’s.

[Note to moderator, please combine with previously submitted comment]

Glenn July 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm

The first Kepler’s with all the Fillmore posters was an excellent hangout. It also had all the necessary Cliff Notes when needed.

SusieDW October 01, 2013 at 11:40 am

Kepler’s was my second home. Remember the Free University?

patricia powell November 04, 2018 at 3:53 pm

I remember Keplers in the early 50s when the beatniks used to hang out in the back. Amazing place. East West Books too. Bought a crystal ball there in about 1965.

James Lathe September 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I believe the name of the Pharmacy on the Alameda was McQuarrie’s.
I lived in Menlo Park, on Oak Avenue across from Oak Knoll School from 1957 to 1966, First grade through Freshman year at Menlo Atherton.
I remember Purity Foods at Stanford Shopping Center, Norney’s Toys also at Stanford.
I remember Kepler’s Books in their original location as one of the first places to buy paperback books. I did not quite understand what Beats were (Herb Caen coined the term Beat-nik, a takeoff on Sputnik) but they were at Kepler’s for poetry readings
I remember the listening booths at Prein’s where you could take a test listen to a new 33rpm single record.

Erica February 17, 2014 at 2:54 am

You people are literally stimulating my brain cells! I remember Norney’s at Stanford, the Little Store, Ann’s, Stevens (I still remember vividly the lady who always helped my mother there, a lady with a tall white/blue bouffant, and the locked case with all the wedding hats). McFarland’s Candies’ huge icebergs of real white chocolate, and a thousand flavors of fudge. Now I have a Palo Alto question: does anybody remember the high-end ethnic dress shop by the Varsity Theater on University Ave. during the 70’s called FOLKLORICO? Obviously it’s gone. Where? Why? When? It seems all the amazing things about the area (Ramona’s Pizza in P.A., Ken’s House of Pancakes in Menlo (the only place a teen from M-A could stretch a cup of coffee into a three-hr visit) have gone, and all that’s left is a Yuppie all-night sameness, all of it costing far too much. I remember using the johns at the old Kepler’s and reading the manifestos on the stall walls. I once ran away to Keplers–I figured it was sure to be better than home. Miss it all.

Sidney September 16, 2014 at 8:28 am

James, do you have sister named Lisa? She was a friend of mine at Oak Knoll

James Lathe October 02, 2015 at 7:41 pm

Sidney, Lisa Lathe was my baby sister. Sadly she passed away in 2001 after knee surgery. She went to Hiram College in Ohio and was a teacher for Special Needs children until her death. My older brother Jack Lathe, My younger brother Jeffrey and I all attended Oak Knoll. Jack spent 8th Grade at Menlo Boys School and then to Menlo Atherton. I attended MA for Freshman year, then we moved to Ohio.
Thanks to everyone for these memories, even with Google and it is hard to find some of these memories.

Lydia Cooper September 16, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I grew up in Menlo in the ’50’s and have fond memories of a very simple downtown. Need flowers? Menlo Florist. Uniform brown shoes for St. Joesph’s? Anderson’s Shoe Store. Needed a religious gift? The Angelus. Pencils, pens, etc.? Sprouse-Reitz Five and Dime. Along with Kepler’s, there was the Guild Book Shop and nearby Menlo Toy and Party Shop. And how can one forget Menlo Park Hardware which carried everything in between.

Take a trip down memory lane and visit the Menlo Park Historical Association office located in the Menlo Library. One can spend hours looking through old fotos, clippings, books, etc. And while there, talk to Frank. He knows everything about Menlo.

Dan L. September 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Don’s Hobby shop
Guitars Unlimited
Discount Records
Children’s Bootery
Mini bus
The Recorder (Wednesday weekly paper)
Johnny’s Smoke Shop
Jeff’s Jeans
Shepperd Cadillac
Eddie’s Arco
Village Host
H. Salt Fish and Chips
Fox and Carskadon

Marilyn September 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Jiffy Burgers (19 cent hamburgers) located where Barones is. Also the old big yellow Cement Factory on El Camino across from Cook’s Sea Food. And, my favorite, next to Cook’s was the Bib and Tucker that had great roast beef sandwiches. oh yes, and The Hippo restaurant (now Mattress Discounters) that had hundreds of different types of hamburgers.

cathy September 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I still remeber those Jiffy Burgers with the thousand island type sauce and served in a yellow wrapper

Jan Davis January 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I worked at Jiffy Burgers when they were $0.34 each. The burgers wrapped in yellow were cheese burgers.

Craig K September 29, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Did you live on or near Valpariso ? Did you drive a Model A roadster?

Barbara February 02, 2015 at 3:32 pm

I TOTALLY loved (and miss) Jiffy Burgers!!!! (I still live here)….. So many memories… Working for my dad and the reward being a hamburger and fry lunch. On the not so respectable side (?), my sis and I did not like attending Holy Trinity and would cut and spend our 25 cent offering at Jiffy Burger’s instead. Actually, I have no regrets! (I remember a famous kid (no names) was in my Sunday School class there, but not for long). From Holy Trinity, other than that famous kid fainting once in church, I mainly remember having to kneel and my nose would be too near the fur coats of the women. Too much hypocrisy and wealth displays for my taste.

cathy September 25, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I grew up in Menlo park from 1964 – 1985, wish now I had taken pictures of the town before I left. It has changed so much in 27 yrs. There was a store for everything (no walmart) the old Draegers, Toy n Party, Pruess and Cliffords pharmacies, Menlo Camera in the old pink house, Stork to Teen, Menlo Hardware, Stevens fabric, Congdon and Crome (sp?). Fremont elem. school – now Jack Lyle park (went to school with Donna, but I didn’t know about her dad) How could I get old pictures of the downtown area and Fremont school.

cathy September 25, 2012 at 9:23 pm

oh! and who could forget the old Keplers, I loved that place it was like a labyrinth of book shelves.

Lydia October 01, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Cathy, you can find old pictures of the downtown at the Menlo Park Historical Association located on the lower level of the Library.

Stephen Lussier October 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Thank you for sharing your memories. I remember riding our bikes to Derry’s Feed and Fuel at Easter time to pick up free baby chicks. We must have made five or six trips because we ended up with about 30 chicks. Dad built a chicken coop to house the new comers. Thanks Dad.

Diane December 14, 2012 at 12:00 am

Does anyone remember the name of the restaurant which was next to Marche and Flegels on Santa Cruz Ave? It closed sometime in the ’90s or 2000?
It has changed hands a few times. A friend and I were at dinner going down memory lane and can’t remember it.

gerard July 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Diane, it was called Del Baffo

John December 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Lot’s of good memories here – a few more for ya . . .
From the 50s:
Howabout the best burgers and shakes on the mid-peninsula (along with carhops and juke box machines at each table): Marquad’s on the SW corner of El Camino and Cambridge. Got our St. Joseph’s uniforms at Van de Sande, also Dudley’s Delicatessen, Duca and Hanley Market, Franes, Hoot-n-Toot Cleaners – all on Santa Cruz Ave. Bank of America (now BBC), SE corner of El Camino and Santa Cruz Ave. Rappy’s Richfield on east side of El Camino between Oak Grove and Valpariso. Shreve and Price Sport Shop on Oak Grove. Janes Swim School and Golden State/Foremost Dairy on Willow Road. And, yes, Prein’s (along with Melody Lane in Palo Alto) was the place to go for the latest 78 or 45 rpm record. Joe’s daughter, Janice, was in my class at St. Joseph’s and graduated in 1960. Don’t recall the name of the lady standing next to Joe, but I remember her well. She rang up all the record sales and made sure you weren’t over-spending your time in the listening booths! And does anyone remember the daily 12:00noon horn that used to blare out from the old city yard next to the old Burgess Park (just to the south of the library)? It could be heard all throughout MP when tree foilage was much less in the early 50s.

Audrie January 05, 2013 at 5:11 am

Living in Menlo about Shaws Icecream where ‘Just Add Water’ is or use to be..and good ole Swensons Icecream on El Camino!! What about POP’s Baseball card shop!!!

I recall many of the ones mentioned. Those were the simpler days..its too high end now. Thank you Draegers, Su Hong and the infamouse Dutch Goose for at least still being there.

Andy E. October 21, 2020 at 8:47 pm

John: Glad you mentioned Janes (Add Janes) Swim School which was next to the Foremost Dairy on the south side of Willow Road. We took swim lessons there when we were in jr. high, then I had the opportunity to work there part-time while getting my college degree, commuting from Menlo Park to SJSU.

Scott January 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm

There were two “Ann” businesses along Santa Cruz Avenue. The aforementioned “Ann’s Coffee Shop”, but there was also a retailer selling women’s undergarments also named “Anne’s” back in the 1960’s.

There was also a laundermat along Santa Cruz Avenue, and next door a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream place.

There was also a movie theater on Santa Cruz Avenue. Can’t remember the name, but I do remember the “tag line” for the theater ” . . . A Walter Reade Theater”.

What replaced that movie theater was a Chinese restaurant, named “Yuen Yueng(?)” The food was good and was great for carry-out up to the early 1990’s when it closed.

Competing with the Menlo Camera shop in downtown Menlo Park was “Gompert’s Camera” (or was it “Gompart’s?”). For some reason my parents preferred Gompert’s over Menlo Camera.

Paul F October 14, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Somehow I remember Magoo’s Pizza Parlor was there before Yuen Yung.

Tom Osborne September 24, 2015 at 9:41 pm

I remember Yuen Yung started out being just a small take-out place with maybe three tables–we’d get food from there all the time. Then they expanded into a large restaurant, taking over what had once been a movie theater (does anyone remember the name of that theater?).

Hearing these names was making me think of the kids I knew whose parents owned these places. I took an accounting class with the son of the family that owned Yuen Yung, and then he took over running the restaurant. Somebody mentioned Congdon & Crome, which was a stationery story, right? Sally Congdon, their daughter, was in my class at Menlo-Atherton (and I think also at Encinal Elementary School). Remember when Mustangs (the car) first came out–what year was that, 1965, maybe? The son of the Swenson’s who owned the ice cream shop, my age, got a Mustang, the first one I ever saw (his father collected Rolls Royces). There was a grocery store over near Ad James Swim School (I think somewhere near there), I don’t remember the name of it, but the son of the man who owned it, Joey Moreing, was also in my class. Oh, and there was Fletcher’s furniture store on Santa Cruz Avenue, and, again, the son, somebody Fletcher, was in my class. I suppose I could go on and mention that Stevie Nicks was in my class at M-A. and I was on the swim team with Lindsey Buckingham, one year younger. Dick Roth, ultimately a gold-medal winning swimmer in the Olympics, was also on that team. That guy would do about twenty laps of the M-A swimming pool while I was completing one of them!

Foster’s Freeze was the huge hang-out, but the family went there, too. No matter where we went out to eat, we always would skip desert and get dime cones at Foster’s Freeze, except when we’d go to Edy’s instead. I remember for a brief time that there was a trampoline place across the street from Foster’s Freeze, with in-ground trampolines. That was great fun, but then they went out business, so my parents bought one of the trampolines and had it put into the ground at our house. Next to Fosters Freeze, Johnny’s Smoke Shop, that was where we’re get cigar boxes for pinning in insects for our science class insect collections. (We were not allowed to go in the back to look at the magazines.)

Gale’s Coffee shop was our family’sstandard ritualized “Christmas Eve” dinner restaurant. I can’t think how many meals had at Ken’s House of Pancakes. Another restaurant we as a family frequented a lot of Stickney’s Hik’ry House at Town & Country Village in Palo Alto. Does anyone remember the amusement park that used to be there right near the underpass? For many years, that was my birthday party place. My two sisters and my brother all were born in the summer, so their birthday parties were always pool parties (diving for pennies!), but since I was a winter baby, we got to have my parties at that amusement park. I loved the cars you drive yourself…or at least it FELT like you could drive them yourself.

Oh, what was the name of that place where you could go fishing? Kind of out near Woodside, maybe? Starts with a “S” I think. Searsville Lake, by golly, that was it.

I remember one of the hottest dates I ever had was taking my girlfriend to see the movie, “Romeo and Juliet” (the one with Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey) and there was a storm raging outside and it seemed that the roof of the Menlo Theater would fly right off. Everything felt all cozy and very intimate. My girlfriend reached her hand between the buttons of my shirt and began to rub the bare skin of my chest and stomach–whoa for the young man that I was at that time, that was very heavy and extremely exciting.

My mother loved landscaping our property and for years we spent countless Saturday hours at Roger Reynold’s nursery. She’d always bring me along to push the cart so that she could grab potted plant after potted plant. As we’d walk along and she’d expertly scope out the exact tree or bush she wanted, I would get mesmerized by the light/dark flickers from the wooden slats overhead, like it was a stroboscope.

Somebody here mentioned the discount store Alec, but there was also Maximart, but I forget exactly where that was…Palo Alto or Mountain View, maybe. I was in JSA (Junior Statesmen of America) at M-A and made friends with a girl from Woodside who was also in it; we’d get together at the Fall and Spring States (state-wide conventions). Her parents owned Maximart, but then both her parents were killed in their private plane (they flew into a mountain) so she moved away to lived with a relative. I wish I could think of her name, she was a wonderful girl and suffered a horrible tragedy. Linda Mittleman, I think that was it.

There was a tropical fish place at Town & Country Village; my parents had a huge aquarium and they were always restocking it with fish. I don’t remember the name of the store, but the owner’s name was something like “Cogie”. He watched all of us grow up and for quite a long time kept abreast of all of doings until each of us eventually moved away from the Bay Area.

The freedom we had in those days! Every once in a while on a Saturday, my mother would put some money in my shirt pocket and say that I needed to get a haircut, to ride my bike up to the barber shop on El Camino Real and afterwards she said, there would a good movie playing at the movie theater next door (The Guild Theater, perhaps?) that I should go see. All by myself, I would ride my bike, get my haircut, and then go see movies like South Pacific, Lawrence of Arabia, andWest Side Story. What kid could do stuff like that, now?

In our family, we weren’t allowed to read comic books, but guess what, that barber shop had a whole mess of them so while I waited for my turn in the barber chair, I was catching up on Batman, Superboy, Silver Surfer, and the like. When my brother was old enough to be able to come with me, we each would catch up on the comics while the other was getting his haircut. Well, I guess worse than that was my best friend always had the latest Playboy. His father sold advertising for Playboy and several other magazines, so he had subscriptions on tap.

Okay, I feel like I’ve run off at the mouth enough, now (unless I think of some other things later!), but this think back to the past was very fun. And it all started with that music store, now very important that was to me back then. Buying those 45 rpm records was so precious, and then getting entire 33 1/3 long playing albums…I’d have a wish list a mile long and I loved it when my father would stop in there around Christmas time, because he would always get me some great music that I was dying to have. And to think that little kids nowadays don’t even know what a cassette is. In fact, I think they don’t even quite know what a CD is, even. My how times have change, but I wouldn’t trade away my childhood for anything in the world.

Gen X March 28, 2013 at 12:17 am

I believe the man on the left is one of the great jazz pianists Meade Lux Lewis who wrote the song for his close friend and supporter Joe Prein titled “Joe Prein’s Boogie”. Joe passed away in the mid eighties but his wife at 92 can remember the times as if it were yesterday. I will have to ask her who the girl in the middle of the picture is….

Donna Collins Cook March 31, 2013 at 2:52 pm

The Pharmacy was McQuarrie’s, the owner was blonde but now his name escapes me. My Dad worked at The Alameda Food Center and was the meat cutter there for many years. Then he opened his own shop across the street. Louie’s Hardware was in that block and Lynham Jone and I used to roller skate on the cement slab when they started building it.
The girl in the photo looks like one from our Menlo Atherton High School year book, could have been Betsy Prein. I bought all my fabric at Steven’s and made my own clothes from babysitting money. Joel’s Hamburgers on El Camino made the best hamburgers! Rose Ann had a dance studio and I took ballet lessons there. Saw many a money at the Guild
Theatre after I started dating. Given time I remember a lot more!

Donna Collins Cook April 01, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Anyone remember sneaking into the huge Sharon Estate? We did it often, no homes only one grand old mansion. The gatekeeper was Jenkins and we would let us wander around but never took us in the house. Now the whole Sharon Estate is built out. What a fantastic playground that was! I used to sneak in with Diane Johansen and Marlene Brown. It was right up behind my house on Ashton just off the Alameda. The 50’s were so different. We lived in South Palo Alto and moved to Menlo in 1951. I was there until graduating from Menlo Atherton from 1957. Loved school then, all the home ec classes and sewing with Lorraine Bradley teaching. Older sister of Phyllis Butler. When we had our nursing portion of the Home ec series, we were instructed on bathing a patient in bed. We were to wash up as far as possible, then down as far as possible and finally was possible! Who can forget Don McClean and his speeches? He loved talking about the “lunatic fringe”! Used to crack us all up.
More memories to come…

Jan Claire November 17, 2013 at 11:14 am

Loved your comments about the Sharon Estate. Friends, the Jankords, lived just down Ashton Ave. (in fact they might have had the first house east of the Alamada de las Pulgas) They had lived across the street from us near Bayshore prior to moving up there and Bill Sr. relocated his barbershop up in that area, as well.
I graduated from Menlo-Atherton in 1958 so probably knew of you or knew you.

Jan Claire
Orland, California

Shannon August 20, 2017 at 4:43 pm

That would be Duncan McQuarrie. I worked there right after high school (1967). Ron Palm was the other pharmacist and Jim (can’t remember his last name) was another. I remember John DiMarco worked at the gas station on the other side of the street. Good times.

Carol Collins Gartz March 31, 2013 at 3:52 pm

grew up in Menlo Park. First job at Roy’s Bike & Toy on the Alameda. I was 10 yrs old earning a whopping 10 cents an hr. Painted old bikes to sell. Next job at Duncan McQuarries Pharmacy. I was 16. This was in the 50’s. Anyone remember Don’s Fine Meats and Art Gallery? That was my pops shop. Working at Menlo Toy ans Party, remember I was at the register when the announcement came over the radio that JFK had been shot! Many memories of that beautiful little town and the simpler life. My backyard was the Stanford Golf Course and Stanford stables. I was a lucky kid indeed!

Carol Collins Gartz March 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Anyone hang out at the “jewel Box” ice cream parlor on the Alameda in the 50’s? They put in a ping pong table and juke box. A “Rock n Rollers” dream come true!

Donna Collins Cook June 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm

I am the above Carol Collins big sister by 15 months! Good for you Carol for remembering Duncan Mcquarrie’s first name. Anyone else go to Dr Kenneth Romanoff above McQuarrie’s? I baby sat for his kids 35 cents an hour. All day and did ironing, cookine and dishes. Such a deal! Raised my rates to 50 cents when I was asked so many times to stay all day. Then he hired me to work in his Hayward office for the summer after I graduated from Menlo Atherton. Menlo Park was such a quaint little down in the 50’s. I can still see the bus driver that would pick up on the Alameda in the green bus and take us downtown. Ah, freedom, take the bus to Palo Alto train station and hop the train to Redwood City.

Tom Osborne September 24, 2015 at 9:57 pm

You were working for a doctor? There used to be the best podiatrist in the world, Dr. Shoenfeld, at a clinic in Menlo Park, one of my grandmothers would fly out from North Carolina at least once a year to go to him to help her with her foot troubles. Remember the horrible story of the Chowchilla kidnapping when the schoolbus with the kids was buried and held for ransom? The kids ended up getting out and the three perpetrators were captured. Two of the kidnappers were sons of Dr. Shoenfeld! But he, himself, was a wonderful man.

You mentioned taking the train to Redwood City. You reminded me of another “freedom” we had when were high school age. We kids could grab the train at the Menlo Park or Atherton train station and take it to San Francisco! We’d do much of of Christmas shopping that way. We’d go see the gigantic Christmas tree in the City of Paris department store on Union Square. I’d buy my mother presents from Gumps!

Craig K March 08, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Tom Osborne-
I recall the Chowchilla kidnappings…..I was working for the SMCO Sheriff’s office at the time, 1972. I believe the good doctor and his son’s lived off of Portola Valley Rd. They had many a broken down vehicles etc., on the property. The two son’s, Richard and James. In 2015, James was paroled, his brother unknown. The third suspect was a Fred Woods was also arrested…don’t know about him either. That case was huge for the time…..the father Dr. Schoenfeld was not aware or a party to the kidnappings.

Nels Winkless May 07, 2013 at 9:17 am

I had just sent this to a granddaughter, when it occurred to me to Google Joe Prein’s Music Center…astonished to find you.

“…article speaks of Arthur Fiedler, who was conductor of the Boston Pops
for fifty years, THE pops conductor of all time, probably. I was at Joe Prein’s Music Center, a record shop in Menlo Park, California one time when Fiedler (who was conducting the San Francisco Pops that summer… must have been 1953) was being interviewed there on the radio. It was a promotion both for the pops season and for the store …anyway…Fiedler was a very cranky, testy man, quite rude to the interviewer.

Friend Bill Agee, an announcer for a couple of classical music stations
in the Bay Area…KSMO and KSFR…had a dismissive attitude toward
Fiedler. I remember his saying ‘Yep, Art shakes his stick, and the boys play.'”

Who’d have thought?

Dave July 02, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Holy cats! The memories are flooding back I’m amazed at how many of these stores, etc. I remember.

First, a few I think y’all missed:

– The Red Cottage restaurant on El Camino, across from Menlo College. The late, great Vince Guaraldi (“Peanuts” T.V. music) used to hold court there.

– Magoo’s Pizza Parlor (my first taste of pizza!) on Santa Cruz, which became The Menlo Theater, and then the 2nd location for Yuen Yung. The Grateful Dead Played their first gig there after changing their name from The Warlocks. They had a fantastic jukebox (I remember hearing Hendrix and The Rolling Stones for the first time there at a very young age). There was also an upstairs area with pool tables and, quite often, Hell’s Angels.

– Blum’s Ice Cream – Stanford Shopping Center. Pink exterior, wrought iron furniture, and gaslights outside.

– Discount Records – El Camino, next to The Guild Theatre. If you look at the bottom of old Fillmore and Winterland posters you’ll see: “… tickets available at Discount Records, Kepler’s… “.

– Howwit’s Burgers – Middlefield Rd., just south of the fire station. The line to order passed literally within a foot of the massive charcoal grill. The heat was sometimes overwhelming.

– The huge tire swing at Peninsula School – My best buddy Mike Goletta lived on Berkeley Ave. and we’d hike down the block (along the way passing by the house of the beautiful Laurie Glenn, on whom we both confessed a furtive crush), hop the fence, and terrify each other swinging from the oak tree.

– Willie Mays’ house – He lived in Atherton and on halloween would pass out full-size Hershey bars ($.05 cents!).

– The soda machine at Motel 6, just over the fence from the small play field at James Flood School. We figured out how to tap it for free Cokes.

– Foster’s Freeze – Used to go there after Little League games over at Burgess field (I played on “Kiwanis”. “Menlo Automotive”, “Lions”, “Hare, Brewer & Kelley”, “Board of Realtors”, “Rotary”, and “Alec’s” were other teams)

Other memories…

– Kepler’s – When located next to The Guild, had a batik, African print bedsheet (with occasional bead strands) as a door during business hours. They always had the latest Zap comics and never gave me or my buddies any grief when we thumbed through them (or Playboy, if we were feeling saucy!). They also kept Abbie Hoffman’s, “Steal This Book!” right by the register. Always felt like a dare to us, though we never tempted fate.

– Round Table Pizza – El Camino location is the FIRST Round Table Pizza, BTW.

– Edy’s Ice Cream Parlor – Ahhh, Edy’s. That was kind of a magical place. Tucked away from any other real business (save for the nursery) between El Camino and Middlefield, nestled in the trees… it felt like another world. As I got older I eventually noticed that they always had the cutest girls working behind the counter. A great place for a stop on high school dates after the movies.

– Jiffy Burgers – “Double burger with mustard and pickle only”, was my standard order as a kid.

– Don’s Hobby Shop – Bought my first slot car there.

– Guitars Unlimited – Bought my first guitar there ($350.00 for a used ’68 Fender Telecaster. It’s now worth about 6g’s… Gulp!)

– James Flood – After school I would sometimes act as Bat Boy for Menlo Atherton High’s baseball team at the park right across from the school. This was before M.A. had their own field. The inimitable coach Bettencourt was the manager and was bigger-than-life to me. And very kind.

Thanks for blowing my mind, folks! If anything else bubbles up you’ll be the first to know.

SusieDW October 15, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Shared a joint with Vince Guaraldi in the back of his VW Mini Bus at the back of In You Ear on University in Palo Alto. 🙂

Johnny July 05, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Hey all! I started a Facebook page for the old Menlo Park. Please check it out and share the love!

Pat Maughan July 05, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I am in deep admiration at everyone else’s fabulous memories. I would never have remembered any of this, but once I see it in writing, my memory is jogged. I’m not sure if anyone mentioned the following Menlo establishments from the 50’s, so I will add them here: Lum Toy’s (florist) on El Camino and The Stone Celler, also on El Camino.

Dave July 06, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I used to deliver flowers for Lum Toy Flowers back in high school. The Lums were part of an extended “second family” to me. Rod Lum was a good buddy and we’d make the delivery runs together. Got to meet Shirley Temple Black and “Tennessee” Ernie Ford.

Rod Lum February 11, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Hey DB
Nice surprise to hear from you (from L.A.?) Last I recall we were viewing your spot on “Nash Bridges”. Anyway, you were the round eye “extra” son
for my Mom and late dad “Charlie”. I recall Tennessee’s “Thank ya kindly” and thinking Shirley Temple sure doesn’t have curly hair anymore. Good memories, take care and God Bless You from Lumley.

audrie July 05, 2013 at 6:03 pm

How about Swensons Ice Cream on El Camino and thank goodness the Dutch Goose is still there on the Alameda.

Preuss Pharmacy and the Pink Pastery were on Santa Cruz along with Dona’s Hallmark shop; my favorite.”Mr. J’s hair dresser too.
Who remembers Add Janes Swim Club? Late for the Train was always there for us to grab a bite to eat and of course Fosters Freeze.

Thanks for the memories..they are wonderful.

Pat white July 06, 2013 at 9:25 am

what about the original Menlo Hardware, Phelps Turkel, Menlo French Laundry, Menlo Square Market, Peninsula Building Materials, Bill’s Shoeshine in Johnny’s Smoke Shop or Little Johnny’s

Tom Osborne September 24, 2015 at 10:05 pm

Menlo French Laundry (and weren’t the owners Chinese?)! I remember as a kid, thinking that when I grew up, I was going to have all my shirts done that way, coming back to me all wrapped up in a paper package like they did at the Menlo French Laundry. Well, oops, THAT never happened! Reality inserted myself and all my life I have done my own laundry (who did I think I was going to be, The Great Gatsby?). But thank you for reminding me of a good memory!

Laura Pitchford July 06, 2013 at 1:20 pm

So many great memories. I have compiled a list of all the shops that my siblings and friends came up with when I originally wrote the article. Add the additional spots from the comments and we are doing pretty well!

A & W
All American Market on the alameda
Alpine Delicatessen
Anderson’s Shoes
The Angelus
Ann’s Coffee Shop
Bank of America
Baskins and Robbins
Bead shop
Book Store where Mrs. Calendar worked
The Black Elephant
Blums at Stanford
Boucher’s Appliances
California Savings and Loan
Children’s Bootery
Chuck Thompson’s Swim School
Ciardella’s Meats
Clifford’s Drug Store
Crocker Bank
Degnan Printers
Derry’s Feed and Fuel
Discount Records
Don’s Hobby Shop
Double Rainbow
Duca and Hanley
Dudley’s Deli
Dutch Goose
Eber Hi Fi
Eddie’s Arco
Edie’s ice cream parlor
European Jeanery
Formost Dairy
Foster’s Freeze
Fox and Carskadon
The French Laundry
George and Bob’s Chevron
Gindells Pet Shop
The Golden Acorn
Golden Shears
Gray’s Paints
The Guild Theatre
Guitars Unlimited
Guy Plumbing
H. Salt Esquire Fish and Chips
Hair Mill
Harry’s Juvenile
The Hippo
Hoot & Toot Cleaners
Jane’s Swim School
Jan’s deli
Jeff’s Jeans
J&M Market on the Alameda now called Country Corner
Jiffy Burger
Johnny’s Smoke Shop
Joslin’s Bike Shop
Ken’s House of Pancakes
Kepler’s – although is has moved three times!
La Luna!!!!!!!!
Ludcke’s Paints
Mary’s Stork to Teen
McLaughlin’s Shoe Repair
Menlo Atherton Glass
Menlo Bike and Key
Menlo Camera
Menlo Hardware
Menlo House
Menlo Square Market
The Menlo Recorder – Newspaper
The Menlo Theatre
Menlo Vacuum
Morey’s cement plant
Norney’s toy store
Oxford Delicatessen
Palm Reader
Palm Reader
Palm Reader
The Park Theatre
Phelps Turkel
The Pink Pastry
Pot au Feu
Joe Preins
Preuss Pharmacy
Rappy’s Richfield
Rats(where Fred Stamey worked
Rayburg Lumber
Roseann’s Dance Studio
Scherba’s Auto Store
Shepherd Cadillac
Shreve’s Sport Shop
Sproutz Reitz, otherwise known as the Dime Store!
Stanford Ice Cream
Steven’s Fabrics TLC
Sugden and Lynch
Swenson’s Ice Cream
Toy and Party
Dr. Twohig’s animal hospital
Van de Sandes
Velvet Turtle
Village Host Pizza
The Waterbed store – next to Don’s – can’t remember the name – next to Chelsea Shop
Weingarten’s Stereo
Wells Fargo
Woolworths at Stanford
Yuen Yeng Chinese Restaurant

Tom Osborne September 24, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Wow, in alphabetical order, even!

One of my sisters worked for a time at A & W, delivering food to the cars. I loved those trays that hung on the doors. Another of my sisters would work at Beltramo’s during Christmas season, gift-wrapping liquor gifts, which amused my parents no end (who always bought liquor by the case from Beltramo’s), because my sister was still a minor. It was from the Beltramo’s parking lot that a drunk man smashed right into the right side of my parent’s car that I was driving on my very first date in which I picked up my date in a car; we were on our way to dinner before the Junior Prom (yikes!).

I had forgotten Scherba’s Auto Store, but I really liked that place, my first of such stores. The Velvet Turtle, I remember the one in Sharon Heights (that may be the one you meant). My first job out of college, I was hired by a company whose offices were on Sand Hill Road. During our initial two-week training period, our boss took us newbies to lunch every day at The Velvet Turtle and we were almost REQUIRED to have a cocktail with our lunch!

My mother always enjoyed taking us shopping at the Stanford Shopping Center (there was a very serious German man there, Curt, who owned a very serious health food store where my mother always bought a lot of stuff) but we always then had lunch at the counter at Woolworth’s. Also, there was a Sears on San Antonio Boulevard that sold popcorn in the middle of the store and I defy anyone to have gone into that store and NOT end up buying some popcorn. Anyway, my mother shopped at Sears a lot and we loved it because we always got the popcorn!

Pat white July 08, 2013 at 9:05 am

You forgot Marquards(I did too, until now)

Donna Collins Cook June 17, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I thought everyone missed Marquards too but I see it in her list. Many cokes with date after movies there. Jim Stanford used to take me there.

Peter Pitsker May 14, 2018 at 5:19 pm

First place I thought of was Marquard’s. As a student at Paly High in the late 40s it was a favorite hangout after school or after a movie date in late evening. Then, as went on to Stanford, it continued to be a favorite, just across San Fracisquito Creek. Lots of great memories!

Gary W July 09, 2013 at 6:22 pm

I Lived in Menlo Park from 1957-1997….My first job was at Vic Budnik Cleaners (One Hour Martinizing) on Santa Cruz Avenue. Next job was working for Ray Hudson at Santa Cruz Avenue Shell where the Mc Donalds is now. There was a Phillips 66 station on the next corner owned by Emile “Frenchie” Pommes and opposite that was the Mobil Station first run by Rich Linehan, then by Willi Bering. I worked the Mobil station for both of them. The Mobil is now the Chevron, owned by John Conway who used to work for Frenchie Those were good days!

There was also another drug store on the corner of Avy and the Alameda, as well as the Alameda Food Center and earlier than that the All American Market I don’t remember the name of the little toy store between the All American and the Shell station… We had an Arco across from the All American (Richfield originally). There was a barber shop and dry cleaners in the strip of stores with the drug store and a TV repair on the other Avy side. Of course, there was always the Dutch Goose and the Rats…What about the hardware store? We had EVERYTHING up there along the Alameda!

Audrie N. July 27, 2013 at 4:53 am

What about Mr J’s….hairdresser on Santa Cruz down from where Pete’s Coffee..

Pappa’s Baseball Cards on El Camino
Menlo Travel on Oak Grove

Dona’s Hallmark Cards on Santa Cruz

Payless on El Camino – everyone shopped there!!

What was the name of the store on Santa had a Xmas Tree in the window I think with little white lights on it and inside sold all kinds of cute gifts, ornaments. It was located in the block where Pete’s Coffee is I think.??

Kat September 01, 2013 at 1:42 am

I lived with my family in Menlo on an old estate off of Middlefield Rd. from 1962 until 1976. Does anyone remember that Sommer & Kaufman shoes at Stanford had live monkey’s in a window cage?? A free balloon tied onto a striped plastic stick and a free monkey show to every kid buying new school-shoes. Please tell me I did not imagine this. Alec super-store was a favorite with it’s weird under-ground parking-lot and automatic shopping cart conveyer system. Draeger’s triple-decker rye sandwiches were the best surprise delivery at school when Mom didn’t have time to make sandwiches for 5 school-kids :D. Always got a a nickel Coke at Rodger Reynolds nursery on muggy after-school nursery runs as I trundled along gravel paths sitting amongst geraniums in an old metal wagon cart. Chicken Delight was Mom’s fall-back dinner delivery..a blueberry muffin with every chicken dinner. Played a lot of tennis with my Dad at Burgess Park courts. Got picked on by kids from Hillview school during the big school transfer for attending “Freakmont” grammar school, but Mrs. Barbara Felix was the most wonderful Kindergarten teacher in the world. Nak’s Sukiyaki and grocers held wonderful weird products to try sushi and dried cuttle-fish snacks..quite progressive chow for 1973! Gal pal Paisley Feldenheimer’s mother owned the Lounge Lizard women’s fashions. Visited Stevens Fabrics a lot. Baskin & Robins Ice Cream was always good..especially if you had a postcard for a free Birthday cone. The 5 and dime was great for all sorts of rubbery fake frogs that hopped with the help of a squeeze-bulb and many many cheap dolls to choose from. Allied Arts was a visual feast for the creative spirit. Ate a lot of green jello cubes and egg salad at Ann’s diner at luncheons with Mom and Aunties. The fake-meat(textured vegetable protein) Jiffy Burgers weren’t bad either. All in all a wonderful place to grow-up. Love you Menlo.

SusieDW October 01, 2013 at 11:53 am

Menlo Cleaners. Owner was Eleanor???? She knew everything going down in Menlo Park. *heart* Nak’s next door… and ooooh I got in so much trouble at the Rat’s. All that taxidermy on the walls. I lived in the little red two story house on the Alameda just a few houses south from Flea Street Cafe (still there) on Avy. Grew up at 1735 Santa Cruz Ave. Duncan is my last name. My next door neighbor father played poker with Willie Mays. Friend was tasked with buying the players beer from the Little Store. Under age. Eldridge Cleaver running down Santa Cruz Ave in his overalls. Cracked my up!

Paul F October 13, 2013 at 11:26 pm

I remember The Little Store selling larger than life Milky Way Bars and Snickers for 5 cents! I lived a few blocks from there on Valparaiso with my sister Julie while at MA from ’72-’76. I worked at The Park and The Guild movie theaters from ’75-’77, A&W, and at Jerry’s clothing store.

My brother Roger would post all his record receipts from McDaniel’s record store on his bedroom wall and hang mobiles and posters that came in LP sleeves, like The Moody Blues, John Mayhall, Jefferson Airplane, Jimmy Hendrix Experience, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Doors. My Uncle proposed to his wife at The Village Host pizza parlor and was their favorite hang out for years until it closed.

Anyone from Oak Knoll school take ballroom dancing lessons at the Masonic Lodge in sixth grade followed by an Arby’s sandwich? One of the songs they played was Primrose Lane, and I couldn’t stand that song. Well now I sing it in the Doo Wop group I’m in! Go figure.

Great memories and reminders of those special years. Thanks for this site.

SusieDW October 15, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Anyone remember Michael Angelo? Lived in an older home on Santa Cruz West of Elder? A neighbor denizen?

gary February 28, 2014 at 10:06 am

I do , saw him at the smoke shop several times in 67

Rick Westlund February 04, 2015 at 8:44 pm

Michael Angelo also had a sister. Pauline was her name. They lived on Orange Avenue near the end of Santa Cruz Ave.

Craig K February 25, 2015 at 10:24 pm

Yes, I do recall Michael Angelo, the Turrets master. He always showed up at the Sat. movies at the MP theater. He also showed up at the little league games. I think he stayed at the St. Raymonds halfway house in MP….not positive though.

Hal Williams February 26, 2015 at 10:27 am

Nothing more fun from Michael Angelo then Nabits and Whoop Whoop!

SusieDW October 14, 2013 at 7:53 pm

In the mid-70’s there was a very good French restaurant on El Camino called Le Pot au Feu, as I remember. Very good. It was near the dance studio between Santa Cruz and Valparaiso. My dentist’s wife taught at the dance studio.

SusieDW October 14, 2013 at 7:55 pm

The Hippo for burgers.

SusieDW October 15, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Anyone remember Michael Angelo? Lived in an older home on Santa Cruz West of Elder? A neighbor denizen?

Shannon August 11, 2017 at 8:34 pm

He was Monsignor Kennedy’s nephew

SusieDW October 15, 2013 at 10:05 pm

The creche at the park at University and Santa Cruz… do they still do that?

Joni November 17, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Does anyone remember “Little Tikes Preschool” in Menlo Park? Circa 1958/9. I’m hoping someone can find old photos, my memory is somewhat vague on my year there – though everything remembered = wonderful !

Jim Harvey January 01, 2014 at 7:06 am

I used to buy hi-fi gear at McDaniel’s Hi-Fi on El Camino, near the Guild Theater.

Hal Williams February 22, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Whatever happened to Michael Angelo with his turret syndrome ?

Donna Collins Cook June 17, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Wow! I knew the name sounded familiar and that he had a problem, yes I do remember him.

gary February 28, 2014 at 10:11 am

My brother was born in the old stanford hospital , before the shopping center was built, any one remember tom kennedy ?

JAMES BOEDDIKER July 07, 2014 at 9:06 am

MA Class of ’67.
The last I heard about Tom Kennedy, is that he is leaving near my brother, Bob Boeddiker, in the Cook City area on Kona, Hi.. Also there is/was Tom Rosenbaum.
And yes, I remember Michael Angelo from Saint Raymond school (class of ’63,) on Santa Cruz Ave. and San Mateo Dr. No idea of his later life, but he was a real character and entertainer. Jim

madeline July 07, 2014 at 9:19 am

Good Morning…….I’m hoping you remember my dad, Ed Terry?? He owned the bakery on El Camino in Menlo. My dad used to supply the donuts for St Raymond’s School…….on Mass Day?? Michael Angelo spent MANY hours in my dad’s shop…….nobody seems to know what happened or where he is/was living. I’m in my 60’s so he would have to be at least 80 years old…….maybe older than that??
My sister still lives on Santa Cruz Ave……..she keeps me in the loop!! Hope all are well….

C raig K September 26, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Jim, your brother Bob….did he play on Derry’s Feed and Fuel little league team???

gary jennings September 29, 2015 at 5:30 am

Hi just jumped in here , tom married my older sister Jackie Jennings , I also had a sister named Mary at ma two years ahead of Jackie . I grad in 1969

gary Jennings

Munchkin April 28, 2014 at 3:56 pm

The Hippo had a $50 hamburger on their menu back in around 1970. IIRC, it was called the “Texas Burger”? I always thought it was B.S….

I’m pretty sure Peet’s Coffee was there when I got here in 1968.

Madeline June 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

OMG…..I was born at what used to be called Palo Alto Hospital!! Kindergarten at Fremont School in the early ’50’s…..1954? 1955? I attended elementary school at St. Raymond School……..the first house I remember was 1001 University Dr across from Draeger’s Market…..I remember the grand opening of Draeger’s….they had pony rides in the parking lot but it was a dog…not a pony?? My very first job was at Ann’s Coffee Shop as a cashier……then on to Clifford’s Pharmacy……..then hostess at a restaurant on the corner of Santa Cruz and El Camino….can’t remember the name?? The owner was Mr Jeffrey……I worked there until I went off to college~~My Dad owned Menlo Bake Shop on El Camino………YIKES I love Memory Lane!!! I’m looking for anyone from St Raymonds Class of 1964….50 year Reunion…..Are you out there?? Contact me

Pat Maughan Lakos June 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Why, you must be Madeline Terry! F.Y.I. I have a copy of a photograph taken of you and me in the infamous Drager’s parking lot dog cart.

Madeline June 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Patty………..we were in that dog cart together…….remember!! It’s so good to hear from you….how are you?? Lynne Laney and I are putting together a reunion….are you in??

Pat Maughan June 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm

I could be, Madeline, depending on the date.

Emily July 02, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Does anyone remember Chealsy shop over where the new Keplers is and the Black Elephant ?

Tina October 02, 2014 at 8:40 am

I think this is an Atherton question: does anyone remember the name of the cafe/tea room which was located in an old white Victorian house in the early 1970s? There was an American flag hanging outside on the porch. They served salads, sandwiches, tea, etc. Not sure if the house was in Atherton or Menlo Park.

Emily October 02, 2014 at 9:39 am

Think you might be referring the The Bright Eagle. It was an antique store called Rafferty Antiques and then a tea room and then I think offices. This was and hopefully still is on Noel drive off Oak Knoll.

Tina October 02, 2014 at 10:57 am

Yes, that’s it! Thanks, Emily.

Rick Westlund February 04, 2015 at 8:55 pm

Noel Drive is in Menlo Park. It curves around from Ravenswood to Laurel.

Mary Jeanne Oliva October 13, 2014 at 8:56 am

My sister Louise just found this blog because she and her husband John were wondering about Edy’s ice cream. We grew up I’m Menlo and mom lived there until 4 years ago. After kindergarten at Fremont school, I went to St Raymond. We played in Nealon Park all the time in the summer. My first job was at Alec department store where Safeway is now. Madeline, I would love to attend a 50th year reunion if it’s still in the works!

Kris Angelo October 19, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Such great memories…
Does anyone remember the name of the coffee shop that was on the corner
of El Camino and Santa Cruz where Stacks is now? Used to be able to go there late at night for breakfast.
Also, Michael Angelo was my ex husbands first cousin. He ended up living near Sonora and died at the age of 60 in 2002. He had Tourette’s before anyone really knew what it was, and was finally able to somewhat control it with medication. He certainly was a character that everyone in Menlo knew
of, and usually had a story to tell about him!

Rick Westlund February 04, 2015 at 8:58 pm

I always remember Michael riding around on his motor bike. He used to come by Encinal School once in a while. His sister Pauline was in the same High School Class as my wife.

Tom Osborne September 24, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Kris, I think the restaurant you are thinking of was Gale’s.

Emily Boltz September 30, 2015 at 10:51 am

Yes it was Gales.

Ken Mazawa November 20, 2014 at 11:55 pm

I didn’t see the Mexican restaurant, Caleta, mentioned. We went there often during the 70’s and 80’s. It was on Crain or Chestnut, half a block from Santa Cruz. The proprietor was named Nick and he usually greeted customers and seated them. One we saw Joan Baez in a nearby booth.

Doug Lennon January 21, 2015 at 8:05 pm

I was born in Paly Hospital in 1939, spent my first 10 years in Redwood City and moved to Menlo in 1949. Graduated MA in 1957. I had big crush on Donna Collins, Kathy Farnsworth and Marlene Brown. Spent a lot of time at Foster’s Freeze, Johnny’s smoke shop, Edy’s, ‘Quads (cruisin’ Sat nights), Jiffy’s, Park Theatre and later at that Menlo Park instution The Oasis (best burgers ever anywhere). Anyone remember Renato King of the Pizza? First pizza I ever had. No one has mentioned the Cracked Pot, birthplace of the Kingston Trio who played at our grad night. There were no better times or places to grow up.

Tom Osborne September 24, 2015 at 10:36 pm

The Oasis…was that the place that had sawdust on the floor?

Dennis Anderson March 25, 2019 at 10:25 am

Yes. Oasis had sawdust on floor. Good hamburgers and beer pitchers.

Barbara February 02, 2015 at 3:33 pm

PS: I STILL miss McFarland’s Candies on El Camino where the tanning salon is…. especially at Christmas.

Barbara February 02, 2015 at 3:35 pm

PPS Each time I walk by, I lament Johnny’s Smoke Shop…. even it was such a ‘guy’ hangout.

Craig K February 26, 2015 at 2:54 pm

How about Jerry’s store for men? what was the dance studio called…next to the barber shop on ECR? I played Little League and Babe Ruth baseball in Menlo. Bud Hill was may coach assistant was Rod ???. The first team was sponsored by Judd and Wright Realtors and then Derry Feed and Fuel took over the sponsorship. Jensen’s was the first Babe Ruth team…played on several others as well.
Loved Shreve’s sporting goods as well as J and F Market on the Alameda…..Oh those were the best days to grow up. I was glad to have had the opportunity to be part of it.

Jim Boeddiker February 26, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Remembering J and F Market, I grew up with Johnny’s kids. Jonny Zafferano was part owner. Does anyone know if any of the Zafferano’s (David, Doug or Dennis) are still around? Thanks

Craig Kerwin February 27, 2015 at 9:55 am

Jim, I knew Johnny Z as well…..he always took good care of his local customers. Did you play ball in the Menlo League? How about the Morningstars….did you know any of them?

JIM BOEDDIKER February 27, 2015 at 8:23 pm

No, to baseball. Yes, twins Berry and Bruce.

Craig February 27, 2015 at 10:44 pm

Was there a relitive of yours that was involved in baseball in Menlo? As for the twins, they are Doug and Barry…Bruce was the older brother. I see Barry and Doug at our HS reunions. So, Jim, Did you go to MA? Which grade school…Encinal, Hillview, Las Lomitas?

gerard February 28, 2015 at 8:13 am

Barry and Doug are the twins, Bruce was older brother

Craig K February 28, 2015 at 3:32 pm

OK, how about the gas station on the corner of ECR and I believe Oak Grove….maybe it was a Mobil station owned and operated by Frenchy Pomes. His son was Rod, and we played little league and babe ruth together. He later moved to the Half Moon Bay coast and owned the Miramar Beach Inn. Anyone recall?

Madeline February 28, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Yup……my dad owned Menlo Bake Shop on ECR and had his trucks serviced at Frenchies gas station. I think Frenchy retired at some point and sold the gas station to a guy named John?? Wasn’t the station next to A&W??

Craig February 28, 2015 at 10:41 pm

I thought it was kiddy corner to Fosters Freeze….I recall some in ground trampolines that you could rent during the late fifties and early sixties time period……as for the A&W…not sure.

Madeline March 01, 2015 at 10:58 am

There were 2 gas stations… on each corner. I believe on one side was Rappy Raposo’s station……….next to what was once a trampoline center. Frenchie’s station was across the street next to Foster’s Freeze. A&W was next to the gas station…….across the street from Round Table Pizza. My dad’s shop was on ECR near Rose Ann’s Dance Studio and the Menlo Cobbler Shop…….I’m trying to remember the restaurant on the corner of Santa Cruz Ave and ECR??? I worked there as a hostess in the ’70s…..Mr. Jeffrey was my boss?? BUT I can’t remember the name of the restaurant…HELP

Susie D. W. March 01, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Was it Gale’s Coffee Shop. North corner of ECR and Santa Cruz Ave? I had early breakfast there nearly everyday when I worked at Irving Lundborg brokerage for Bill Halford, Hank Needham Sr., Dave Skuce.

Craig K March 01, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Madeline- Didn’t the dance studio have a different name prior to Rose Ann’s? I know I was forced to go to dance lesson by my parents…..I could have died then if my friends knew I was taking dance lessons!!! The restaurant you are talking about escapes me, but I do recall it was like a cafeteria style food service, is that right?
My dad had a business down behind ECR and between Oak Grove and Santa Cruz Ave….it was a group of businesses one of which was a leather shop that did horse tac etc., and my dad’s business was a Independent Insurance broker for years. He was active in Kiwanis, The chamber of commerce and Babe Ruth baseball. His office was not too far from Shreve’s Sporting goods. As a kid he took me to the Barber Shop right next door to the dance studio and Derry’s Feed and Fuel sponsered my little league team!

Madeline March 01, 2015 at 2:24 pm

You might be thinking of The Riley’s……..they were husband and wife and taught ballroom dancing to school age kids?? My sister took dance lessons from them ……..most of the kids were in elementary school. NONE of the kids in thoses dance classes wanted to be there……… was TORTURE!!
OMG…… dad went to that barber shop until the guy retired….I think his name was Tony?? I worked at Clifford’s Pharmacy…..Ann’s Coffee Shop and my best friend’s dad owned the kids shoe store on Santa Cruz and University Dr.

Craig K March 02, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Could it have been called “Arthur Murray” dance studio?

Madeline March 02, 2015 at 4:35 pm

I went to St. Raymond’s Elementary School……Notre Dame High School in Belmont. Our house4 was directly across the street from Draeger’s……I loved that house!!
YESSSSS…..I think it was Arthur Murray’s Dance Studio….

Mary Jeanne Oliva March 02, 2015 at 9:51 pm

I remember the donuts and hot chocolate after first Friday mass at St Raymond. Weren’t the donut fro you dad’s bakery, Madeline? Cost was 5 cents 🙂

Madeline March 03, 2015 at 5:56 pm

Yesssss………that was my Dad~~ He loved bringing the donuts to the kids on First Friday!! Miss my Dad and his donuts :=}

Craig K March 03, 2015 at 11:51 am

I did not go to St. Raymond’s school although I did attend church there and was familiar with Monsenior Kennedy as he did most of my catechism classes and my first holy communion. The church and grounds were beautiful. I liked the Church of the Nativity as well.
How about the Menlo Circus Club for 4th of July fireworks…..great times!

Madeline March 03, 2015 at 5:45 pm

OMG…..Monsignor Kennedy!!! He was a real piece of work…..I made my first holy communion in St. Rays……around 1957 or 1958?? I know I was in the second grade when I made my first communion………we must know many of the same people???
Our house on Santa Cruz Ave was so close to the Circus Club that we could see the fireworks from our front porch……

Craig K March 04, 2015 at 12:17 pm

I am sure our paths crossed, probably more than once even though we went to different schools/high schools. Our home was located in Atherton, near Las Lomitas school, although the boundaries were messed up and I spent Kindergarten at Hillview Elementary, then Ist grade at Las Lomitas…go figure! Woodside HS was were I attended.
Since my dad had his business in MP, I spent many a days downtown, riding my bike everywhere, without a worry one! I was always playing sports, so I was involved with Little League and Babe Ruth baseball. So was my dad, he was always either on the board or involved in Kiwanis or in the community some how.

Hal Williams March 04, 2015 at 3:34 pm

I went to St Raymond’s same time you received First Communion. Marc Elmo, Elgin Juri, Tom Callahan, Patrick Williams, Barry Lenahan…ok who are you?
Hal Williams

Rod March 04, 2015 at 4:07 pm

He’s a former San Mateo Co. sheriff, and a great guy, last I heard moved up to Sacto to be a CHP officer, that’s circa 1981. We were both fortunate to have very great fathers! Also to grow up in Menlo, in those days. Anyone remember Chief Cleland of the M>P>Fire Dept, also Capt. Jim Ackerman, more great men.

Craig K March 04, 2015 at 10:38 pm

Whom are you talking about that was a former SMSO? I too worked there from ’69-80….moved to Placerville and worked in the same field there. I knew a Mark Ackerman…related to Jim?

Craig K March 05, 2015 at 9:28 am

I either played baseball (little league or Babe Ruth) with Mark…not sure if we were on the same team or played against one another. Are you Rod Pomes? Anyway, I knew alot of guys from Oak Knoll/Encinal/Hillview because of baseball. Good memories for sure!

Craig K March 08, 2015 at 11:38 pm

Are your Rod Pommes?

Rod March 09, 2015 at 6:06 pm

Craig, si yo soy Rod Pommes, living on La Ropa Beach Zihuatanejo for 5 months, then NOB to Ariz, Utah, Half Moon Bay, visiting with our son Paul, our best friends Mark and Debbie Ackerman. Hard to leave here, but we must. Miss Zots, the O, Goose, but not 101, or 280. Are you Craig Kerwin?

Craig K March 09, 2015 at 11:23 pm

Yes, it is the not so famous, Craig Kerwin. Talked with Barry Morningstar just yesterday. Would love to reminisce with you upon your return to the USA, drop me a e-mail and we can connect without using this blog! should work. Looking forward to hearing from you.

gerard pommes March 09, 2015 at 9:02 pm

Craig, Are you Craig Kerwin?

gary March 10, 2015 at 10:53 am

Does any remember Gary Jennings or Dirk or gary seeley all lived near bay road M P

Craig K March 10, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Gary, sorry I am not familiar with either.

Garen September 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

I’m guessing you guys are all about 5 years older than me, but I learned at Add Janes, too, and swam on the team. Spent a lot of time in MP, though I grew up in RWC. Can anybody tell me about a big gray victorian I remember, on El Camino, approximately across from the current entrance to Menlo College? I remember going there with my mom to buy Christmas ornaments.

Susie D. W. September 21, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Maybe you’re thinking of The Carriage House. Roger Reynolds Nursery and later, Edy’s Ice Cream.

Nels Winkless September 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Would that have been a few doors from Beltramo’s Liquours, which was on El Camino just across from Menlo school? I used to get the Greyhound bus…or start hitchhiking home to San Mateo…there when I
was a student at Menlo School, from which I graduated in 1952.
Different times.

Ann C. June 05, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Chief Cleland was my Dad,knew Jim Ackerman very well. Enjoyed. The trip down memory lane very much.

Craig K March 04, 2015 at 10:40 pm

Hal….whom were you talking about @ St. Raymonds?

Shannon August 08, 2017 at 1:04 pm

I was in your class, Hal. Jack Daly, Nancy & Sue Cattaneo, Peter Murphy (aka Skipper) Charles Tschanz, Jeannie Carberry and many more.

Does anyone remember Ruth Girard? I often wonder what became of her. I think she left St Raymond’s around third or fourth grade to live with her grandmother.

And we cannot forget Fran Lawler’s lingerie shop!

John Mercer August 08, 2017 at 6:58 pm

Guess I was a cuple of years ahead of you??? St. Rays . . Sure was great at the time . . .no???????? I was with Dave Hovey, Tom Kennedy, Mike Brown ,etc.!!
Sorrry not to include all the many others!!! Time does that!!!
Temember Msgr. Kennedy and the ever present Michael Angelo!!!!
A Great Grammer School!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Barrett March 13, 2018 at 5:57 pm

Ruth Girard? Did she have brothers and live in West Menlo on Sterling Ave.

Shannon August 26, 2018 at 8:24 pm

Mary, yes she did. I believe her mom died and and Ruthie eventually went to live with her grandmother. At last that is the memory I have of her. We were friends back then. I wish I knew what happened to her.

Patrick williams June 09, 2017 at 12:06 am


Fully paid by parish and tuition we forked over

Gail Alberti August 15, 2020 at 8:35 pm

Monsignor Kennedy used to scare the heck out of me when I was young but I grew to appreciate him and grew very fond of him as I got older. I did not go to St. Raymond’s. (went to the Convent as it was called back then) but my family were Parishioners at St Raymond’s dating back to before the big church on Santa Cruz Avenue was built. Monsignor Kennedy became a great friend to my parents, the Hughmanicks,

I don’t know about those allergies but Monsignor would stay at my parents’ place on Kauai every summer, free of charge of course. Perhaps your tuition paid for his flights but rest assured that he was not gouging the parish for anything beyond that. He’d stay for about three weeks, maybe a month, as I recall, and this went on for decades. He was so close to my parents that they bought plots next to each other at Holy Cross, where all three of them now rest. Fun to see all these memories, which I am viewing for the first time. A great place to grow up and I still live here.

Dennis October 06, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Yes I too remember Monsignor Kennedy, and too made my first holy communion at St. Raymonds, around that same time. Maybe we knew each other!

patricia powell November 04, 2018 at 3:48 pm

I grew up in Menlo Park from 1951 to 1957 and moved back in 1961 to 1969 so I have tons of memories about that place. I always thought the Arthur Murrey sign looked like a man killing a ghost.

Madeline March 01, 2015 at 2:25 pm

You might be thinking of The Riley’s……..they were husband and wife and taught ballroom dancing to school age kids?? My sister took dance lessons from them ……..most of the kids were in elementary school. NONE of the kids in those dance classes wanted to be there……… was TORTURE!!
OMG…… dad went to that barber shop until the guy retired….I think his name was Tony?? I worked at Clifford’s Pharmacy…..Ann’s Coffee Shop and my best friend’s dad owned the kids shoe store on Santa Cruz and University Dr.

Craig K March 01, 2015 at 2:41 pm

I recall the shoe store bought many pair of Keds high tops there as well as some Buster Brown dress shoes, it was right around when the Menlo Clinic was….my pediatrician worked there, Dr. Barthold…what a great guy, he even made house calls back in the day!
Yes, Tony was the man for haircuts…..always cut it to short for my liking but dad was paying so it was cut the way dad wanted it. I do recall Cliffords and Ann’s……do you recall Jerry’s store for men…I still have a couple of wooden hangers around from his store…..still in use! Recycling before its time!

Madeline March 01, 2015 at 2:56 pm

It was called Children’s Bootery… all my school shoes there!! OMG….Dr. Barthold was my mother’s doctor for a really long time…..until he retired. My sister and I saw Dr. Doherty at Menlo Clinic…….when the clinic was so small it was in a group of stores??
My dad and brother bought ALL their clothes at Jerry’s Store for Men… was next to a dime store…..Sprouse-Reitz?? Back then, Stanford Shopping Center was just beginning…….everybody bought clothes and shoes from local merchants. My sister still lives in the house we grew up in on Santa Cruz Ave…….our first house was across the street from Draeger’s Market. My friend and I were at the GRAND OPENING of Draeger’s!!

Craig K March 01, 2015 at 11:22 pm

It appears that our families may have crossed one another at times in the Menlo Park area….Draeger’s was one of my mothers favorite places to buy meat, she loved the butcher there. So, did you got to MA? Woodside? What year did you graduate?
Sprouse-Ritz, what a great store….you could always find a nickle or dime toy or candy bar….great fun. My first savings account set up by my parents was at the Wells Fargo…not far from my Dad’s office… was such a great time to grow up and to experience Menlo. As a young person….my summer jobs were with the MP Rec. Dept., where I work at certain playgrounds and help to supervise kids that came for summer activities…mostly to goof off. It was fun for me and keep some $$$ in my pocket.

Cathy January 03, 2020 at 7:15 am

Jerry Jacobs- my dad!!! I grew up with Jerry’s Store for Men. I also have a couple wooden hangers!

Marilyn M. June 05, 2017 at 10:07 pm

When Mr. Jeffery owned the restaurant it was called the Walnut Tree.

Marilyn Amaya March 14, 2018 at 9:15 pm

When the jeffery’s owned it it was the Walnut Tree. It’s weird I would just read this today. Yesterday I was looking in the “junk” drawer for matches and found a book of matches from the Walnut Tree.

Chuck Harvie March 22, 2019 at 11:26 pm

The in-the-ground trampoline place was across from Foster Freeze and Johnny’s Smoke Shop. Next to Johnny’s wast the Menlo Park post office which was next to a French Laundry where they would wash and press my dad’s shirts. Behind Johnny’s and that laundry was a auto towing and body shop. I am going to guess it was Bill Mumford’s business may be I am wrong on the name On that alley way if you drove to the back entrance to the A&W you passed another laundry place.
Back to the subject of gas stations along El Camino Real I think it was on the corner of Robles and El Camino I had my first real job at the Flying A station which was eventually taken over by Phillips 66. The gas station was next to Keplers Book store. The owner of the gas station was Erv Strick. I may be wrong on the spelling of his last name.
My dad was a good friend of Joe Prein’s Record store. Do you remember there we’re record booths along the wall where you could listen to the 45 or LP album before you bought it.
The other bicycle store was on Santa Cruz Ave. It was called Joslyn’s Bike shop. Sid Joslyn was his name. His son Tony was a year maybe two years ahead of my class also worked at the shop. I believe it was in the same block as The record shop and Toy and Party.
All for now.

Barry Anderson March 23, 2019 at 8:33 pm


The laundry behind Johnnys Smoke shop was Wo Sing…years ago they were in the building next to the Guild theatre…the Menlo clock shop is there now….The Menlo Clock shop used to be in the same building as the Sunshine Market on he corner of Santa Cruz ave and Chestnut st.

Remember the Western Auto store across the street from the Menlo Medical Clinic on the corner of Santa Cruz avenue and University.
The Alpine Deli replaced Dudley’s Delicatessen where the Posh Bagel is now. And Shreves Sport shop, before moving to Live Oak was on Santa Cruz ave. The Pink Pastry moved in after Shreves moved out.

Susie D. W. March 01, 2015 at 12:53 pm

The Mobile gas station. Is this the one that John Conway bought and owned for a number of years. Later bore the BP logo.

Craig K March 01, 2015 at 11:27 pm

Suzie…not sure how old Bill Halford and Hank Needham Sr. are or were…but both names are very familiar. Were either involved in the Chamber/Kiwanis or the Menlo baseball programs?

Susie D. W. March 02, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Both gents have passed on but would be in late 70 to mid 80 age. Bill may have been involved with Kiwanis. I doubt he was involved with baseball. Horses, tennis. Hank may have been involved with baseball. I think his son, Hank Jr played ball at some point.

Jeannie C March 21, 2016 at 5:03 pm

I think the 2nd owners were named Ayers. We went there all the time. The son, Kenny, was friends with my first serious boyfriend.

Emily March 22, 2016 at 9:26 am

Frency’s gas station was at the corner of ECR and middlefield. My dad had a TV store and Frency and his wife Irene lived accross the sreet from us. They were the kindest neighbors.

Jeannie C March 22, 2016 at 11:33 am

The Ayers, werfe there brothers..Kenny and? I do believe I played Little League and or Babe Ruth with someone named Ayers.
Craig K

Jeannie C March 22, 2016 at 4:40 pm

Gosh, I don’t remember if Kenny had a brother. It was he & his dad that owned/ran it and, then, I think, it became just Kenny’s. I spent a lot of time there, hanging out, trying to meet Kenny’s friend and who ending up being the father of my son! Guess I’d say I was successful in meeting him …

Madeline March 04, 2015 at 4:30 pm

My dad supplied the donuts on First Friday……Menlo Bake Shop……Ed Terry??? My maiden name is Terry……your brother Pat was in my class at St. Raymond’s. Elgin Juri’s sister, Madeline, was in our class, too. I remember all you guys…………

Barbara September 12, 2015 at 11:15 am

I remember those heavenly glazed donuts Mr Terry would deliver to St Raymonds on First Friday. I was in your class also Madeline, my maiden name was Lamb.

Mary Jeanne Oliva September 13, 2015 at 10:39 am

Hi Barbara,
I remember you! We were in that same class with Madeline and I think our moms were friends, too.

Barbara Price March 22, 2016 at 9:40 am

Hi Mary Jeanne
Yes, we were in the same class at St. Raymond. I live near Sacramento now and have been in touch with Madelaine Juri. Our Moms were all friends, I remember Mrs Juri was our Girl Scout troop leader. Great memories growing up in Menlo Park, every kid should be so lucky!

ajnevin March 04, 2015 at 5:08 pm

We use to go to Swensons..always recalled how wonderful it smelled in there of the ‘chocolate’ and loved the old fashion atmosphere.

Who recalls the fire at Flegles Furniture? We were in Baskin Robbins and could feel the heat inside!!!

Rod March 05, 2015 at 6:29 am

Craig, Mark is his son, and to this day, my best buddy.

Kristin March 05, 2015 at 9:52 am

I was on Willow the other day and had a powerful flashback of Add Janes Swim School where I learned to swim in the ’60’s. Was it in that neighborhood? Where was it?!

Craig K March 05, 2015 at 10:53 am

Kristin, yes it was on Willow Rd between Middlefield Rd and where the Veterans Hospital was. I too, took Add Janes swim lessons and participated some on their swim team. I used to play some of our Babe Ruth baseball games at the Vet field where WWII and Korea Vets would come out to watch……don’t forget Sunset Magazine was not too far from there on the other side of Middlefield Rd.

Kristin March 08, 2015 at 6:06 am

Thanks Craig K. I thought so. I drove around looking, but what is now on the site where Add Janes used to be? Homes?

Erica April 21, 2015 at 1:12 am

Yes, Add Janes is long gone and houses now. We kids practically lived there, and my mother kippered herself daily in baby oil and sunshine there. Can still feel the sting of chlorine up my nose! I remember seeing Mr. Janes often–he was quite elderly by the 70’s, but you’d never know it. He too was kippered–very darkly tanned, and he used to do laps in his own pool, blowing off the old ladies and kids in his way. I adored that place—it was so patently a poor man’s outfit for those who couldn’t afford the Circus Club yet still couldn’t face the hoi polloi in Burgess Park.

Erica April 21, 2015 at 1:17 am

And the “hoi polloi” was us!

Adrian March 08, 2017 at 8:23 am

I learned to swim in the warm indoor “kiddie” pool at Add Janes … later I was on their swim team and spent all of my time in and around the larger outdoor pool.

Houses were never built on the Add Janes site at 570 Willow. The site is currently occupied by Menlo Park Surgical Hospital operated by Palo Alto Medical Foundation … before that it was “Recovery Inn”. It’s right across from the always sort of run-down seeming Menlo BBQ. As I recall, the adjacent Valero gas station had a different name & owner back then. And the “Pacific Parc” townhome cluster on the other side of the Add Janes site was the site of Foremost Dairy.

Brian F March 20, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Wow. What a throwback. My dad was a Menlo fireman, we grew up near the creek. We frequented Menalto Market, swam for years on the Add Janes swim team, and also learned to waltz at Riley’s dance studio. Had a band, the lead guitarist lived at the “Palmistry” place on ECR just North of Oak Grove. Recently met Riley’s daughter, and currently live next to a Draeger. What a truckload of fantastic memories. Wouldn’t trade my Menlo Park childhood for any other.

Jeannie C March 21, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Brian ~ when was your dad a M.P. fireman? My brother was a Captain in the M.P. fire department. I wonder if they worked together…

gary jennings September 08, 2016 at 3:48 pm

I remember riding my bike in the field that is now stanford shopping center

Went to menlo oaks jr H school

riding the bike in the creek when it was dry

Harry Angus March 21, 2015 at 10:01 am

Does anyone remember who owned Guitars Unlimited, 1039 El Camino Real, Menlo Park?
Please email me at

Brian F March 22, 2015 at 10:05 pm

Just caught this blog while doing a search for Add Janes Swim School. What a great thread of memories. My father was a MP fireman, so I grew up in MP near the creek and Palo Alto. Schools, downtown MP hangouts, throwing water balloons on Willow, ECR, swimming, Riley’s dance…did it all. What a great time and great town to have been raised in. Cherish the memories. Wouldn’t trade my MP childhood for anything.

Rod Lum April 25, 2015 at 10:04 am

Growing up above my dad’s Lum Toy Flowers I remember walking to Edy’s for ice cream. Linoleum floors, lots of jars of goodies and wonderful cones, as long as we didn’t drop them (and when we did, the nice folks inside always replaced them for free). A bit older I was big into model airplanes so of course Don’s Hobby Shop was my shrine of desire. Downtown there was Jeff’s Jeans where they had you lie down to pull on the supertight jeans that were the rage in the seventies. Awed by the first of the megabox stores Alec with its massive facade and canopied entrance. One of the only places my brother and I could “get lost” in and panic our parents. But back then it was a seemingly more benign world and some adult would help us find our folks

Nancy Van Roy January 17, 2016 at 11:27 am

Hi Rod,
Was the Alec store you are speaking about on El Camino Real a little North of Middle in Menlo Park? I remember during the late 60’s and early 70’s a huge store there with some underground parking. You could have your groceries delivered down to the parking area with a ticket attached, by the time you got down to your car the groceries were there waiting for you on a conveyor. That was so helpful for a young mom with kids. There also was parking outside in front, but you would need to walk up a long ramp from that outside parking area, the kids always loved walking up that ramp. Rod is this at all familiar to you? I’d love a picture of this memory.

Thanks for any help you other readers can provide!
Nancy Van Roy

Rod January 18, 2016 at 10:27 am

Yes, that was ALEC where the Safeway center now sits on El Camino.

No photo but check out this neat drawing

Steven Smith January 18, 2016 at 3:06 pm

I remember when Alec opened – guessing it was around 1961-62. It was on the west side of El Camino, between Roble and Middle. Nancy’s memory is spot on: the store sat on pylons so there was parking beneath, and the main store entrance was a ramp from the street level parking lot. If I recall right, their logo had a squirrel in it?

Jan July 29, 2020 at 4:53 pm

Nancy – I am wondering about Alec too. It sounds familiar, but I just ⏰don’t see it anywhere in my mind. But I believe the parking area you are describing here is below Safeway and what one day was a Payless store. There is also a large parking area on the surface area. Back then there was indeed a long ramp to access the store’s entrance, at least, before they tore down the original stores to build a new store replacement for Safeway. Everything changed with that retail area as well.

There was parking at an angle as the driveway led to the downstairs parking area. I remember it well. When I picked up my son from Hillview later (He was in 6th grade) he asked what had happened to my (new!) car? I got out to view a bashed in side door, much to my chagrin! No note, of course. The insurance adjustor guessed that someone had lost control of their shopping cart and it gained plenty of speed as it traveled down the driveway on its own only being stopped by my car. It was a Mazda mini-van. I never bought another Mazda!!!! I learned that the metal was so soft that it would only take a stare to cause it to dent. Probably more than you wanted to know!

Jan Detlor Scripps

Linda Post June 05, 2017 at 10:10 pm

Hi Rod
My father worked for your family back in the 50’s. We lived on Watkins and I used to walk over to the shop to see my dad. His name was Joe Post. I still remember the smell of flowers as I walked into the shop.

Rod June 06, 2017 at 10:32 am

Thanks Linda for your nice comments. The 50s were before my time so I don’t recall your dad, but maybe you knew John, Chuck, Eppie, Molly, etc. who all worked there. Yes, memories are still strong of the fragrance of all the different flowers; wasn’t it great? Thanks again for reminding me. Rod Lum

Darcy September 21, 2015 at 5:26 pm

I worked at Shreve’s Sport Shop for several years before it closed. That place was the last one that had store accounts so the kids could come in a charge things to their parents accounts. I loved the family feel of downtown Menlo Park. The Post Office, the corner Health Food Store, the fabulous hardware store that sole everything anyone could want! The good old days….

I am trying to remember the name of my favorite pediatrician from Menlo Clinic. He was a former football player from Stanford, I think. Wonderful, lovely man. Help me!

Craig K September 21, 2015 at 11:15 pm

Could the name have been Dr. Barthold?

Jim September 29, 2015 at 1:34 pm

That would be Dr. Richard “Dick” Horn. Awesome guy. A QB from Santa Monica High School and a QB/Defensive Back at Stanford – a member of the 1951 How Boys team that played in the 1952 Rose Bowl. A member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame and a well-respected physician at the Menlo Clinic after attending Stanford Medical School.

Stan Sayles June 02, 2017 at 2:06 pm

The pediatrician you are referring to was Richard Horn, I think.
Nice man.

Mary Cornell December 23, 2017 at 9:58 am

Absolutely Richard Horn. I (& my two children) lived just down the street on University Drive. My son ( now 51) would become ill very rapidly as he was born weeks early. Dr Horn would actually make “house calls” to attend to him & my then two year old daughter. Was just sharing wonderful memories of Dr Horn with my 15-year old visiting Grandson. Good to hear that others feel the same way. Stayed with him from the birth of my daughter at Stanford Hospital in 64’ to when both children aged-out. He even pierced both my daughter’s & my ears () as she had a lot of scar tissue on the back of one ear years after he sutured from a cat claw. He was amazing. Anyone know where is is now?

Tom Madson December 25, 2017 at 6:41 pm

You must be Darcy King??????? I miss all of my former employees…
Do you live in Menlo Park?? I’d love to see you, I am going to be in
Menlo Park on 1/11/18 for several days, send me an Email and we can
get together, maybe Ann’s coffee shop.
I still own the building that Shreve’s was in. Now Lindamoodbell
Learning Center rents from me.

Neil McCarty February 24, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Bud Shreve, the owner of Shreve’s Sport Shop was my stepfather. After Bud died, I remember a Tom running the store while my mom, B, prepared to sell it. Are you that Tom?

Tom Madson February 25, 2019 at 5:31 pm

Yes I am that Tom. I still own the building.

bruce adornato October 21, 2020 at 3:32 pm

dick horne md

Sabine Core October 15, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Hello, If it interesting to have come upon these comments about Menlo Park since I am in the midst of recalling as much as can about it. Although I only lived a fraction of my life there , Atherton , and in Palo Alto ( until age 14), it feels like I actually lived a majority of my life there. Perhaps those childhood experiences end up being the most vivid. I also so loved riding my bike every where, I mean everywhere starting at a young age. We loved Foster’s Freeze and A&W, and so did my Dad. My little brother and I often rode ( 70-80-‘s) our bikes over to Candy Depot to delight in candy shopping which usually consisted of choosing the best jelly bellies: Island Punch. And some of those little colored licorice candies for my Mom. Menlo Park Round Table Pizza, best pizza ever. Beltramo’s, I had forgotten about that, that’s where we’d get beer nuts. Roger reynold’s was always magical, I still love it to this day even though I have not been there in forever. Bud’s ice cream, peppermint stick, soooo good. The Hallmark Store, the amazing dollhouse store. Bob stanchovich (sp?) tailor. Peet’s coffee always smelled so good. Draeger’s had the best ambrosia, I can still taste it. It was great being a kid in Menlo Park. Safe, beautiful, clean, sophisticated yet still real. Lots of happy , friendly, smart people . Soft colors, white houses, yellow flowers and all of those amazing trees and plants in that perfect climate. That’s how I remember Menlo Park.

Judi October 30, 2015 at 8:24 pm

I can’t forget the Hippo on El Camino at Oak Grove. It had the best hamburgers and crazy ice cream desserts. They had one called the “Glub” which was a brownie, ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream. This was a favorite celebration place for Stanford students in the 60’s. Does anyone know when it closed?

Steven Smith December 25, 2015 at 6:57 pm

Here’s a link to the 1959 Polk’s City Directory for Menlo Park and Atherton. It contains detailed street-by-street, house-by-house, business-by-business listings for that year, plus lots of advertisements:

There are other years available too, go here to see the whole list:

I lived in Woodside Hills in the 50s and early 60s, but spent a lot of time in Menlo Park. Don’s Hobby Shop and Foster’s Freeze were favorites. My mom spent hours at Stevens Fabrics, which meant my sister and I spent hours there too. Loved the raisin rolls from Marcel’s bakery. Great memories.

Jeannie C March 21, 2016 at 5:05 pm

What schools did you all go to? I went to Hillview on SCA for grammar and Woodside High School. We lived on Nancy Way off Orange Avenue. Others?

Craig K March 22, 2016 at 11:26 am

Jeannie C…I went to Hillview for Kindergarten only and then back to Las Lomitas. It was really dumb on the school district part to have me go to Hillview, because I lived behind Las Lomitas in Atherton and could walk to school. After LL, went to Woodside, graduated 1964…Go Wildcats!

Jeannie C March 22, 2016 at 12:36 pm

I went to Hillview 5th thru 8th. I graduated Woodside 1966 which makes our 50th reunion this year …. however, I’m not too interested in going. Where do you live now? We live on the Central Coast between Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo. When we lived in Hayward, my husband & I used to love to cross the bridge to the Woodside Bakery. Great food! Finding your site yesterday really took me back in time to some very fond memories.

Craig K March 22, 2016 at 12:47 pm

You graduated from WHS in 1966. Did you know Brenda Badger. She was a Cheer Leader and was in your class?

Jeannie C March 22, 2016 at 4:42 pm

Sure, I remember Brenda Badger. Cute, popular girl.

Craig K March 22, 2016 at 5:14 pm

Yes, she was a popular girl. My understanding is she passed away a while back! We dated for some time 63-64 time period!

Jeannie C March 22, 2016 at 5:35 pm

OMG. I am so sorry to hear that. Did you, by any chance, own a blue Volkswagon at one time?

Craig K March 22, 2016 at 5:39 pm

Yes on the VW, but it was more of a Maroon/purple looking color! Why?

Jeannie C March 22, 2016 at 5:44 pm

Because I knew a Craig K. that had a blue Volkswagon around 1972.

Craig K March 22, 2016 at 11:04 pm

OK, I forgot, I did have a ’68 VW…first year with the larger taillights and I believe they came out with a automatic transmission.
By the way…my last name is Kerwin…if you would prefer to email you can send to

John Mercer December 25, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Joe Preins Record Store! Flklore has it, Joe (may) have had a few, goes out late at night and tosses Wooden Nickels all over town – for Free 45’s the Next Day!!! Great Guy, Joe Was!!!!

Clarke Congdon March 15, 2018 at 9:43 am

Mark Ackerman is living in Santa Clara and part time in Tempe. Just went to spring training with him. Sad news, Roddy Pommes passed away about 6 weeks ago.

You all have some great memories!

Starr Dehn February 05, 2019 at 8:34 pm

I am trying to locate a high school friend Mark Ackerman who attended Sunny Hills High School and Santa Clara. He played baseball. Is this the same Mark?

Clarke Congdon March 15, 2018 at 9:46 am

How the heck are you??
Judy and I purchased our 69 green VW from Gus Mozart in 68 and we still have it! Restored as it survived our two boys driving it thru High School.
Hope all is good with you.

Craig March 15, 2018 at 10:15 am

I was saddened to learn of Rod’s passing. It has been several years that I had been trying to rekindle communications with Rod, but he always seemed to be heading to Mexico for a long winters stay. A few months back, he wrote and odd e-mail basically asking who I was? I would guess he was not well at that point.
I met Rod during little league/Babe Ruth years. Rod went to MA and I went to Woodside, so we grew apart until I ran into him in Halfmoon Bay at the Miramar Beach Inn. My father and Rods father, “Frenchy” were close as they worked in Menlo and were involved with the Babe Ruth program.
I too bought several VW’s from Gus Mozart…..I did not keep any of the ones I bought. Great to hear from you and tell Judy hello for me.

Priscilla Galvin August 25, 2016 at 9:49 am

Does anyone recall the name of a place in the early 90s a little Swedish?café/really great quiches and hand made Chocolate truffles.
Run by a husband&wife.south end,right hand side of Santa Cruz Ave.opposite end if of the El Camino intersection.

Melanie March 14, 2017 at 7:17 pm

Village Host Pizza was the place to be on Friday nights, and does anyone remember “cruising” up and down El Camino, yelling to friends in other cars?! And is Sharon Estates where the “fake boulders” were, supposedly used in a movie filmed there? We snuck in to see those one or two times, in sort of a wooded area, not sure if same place. And one time we went to a Stanford frat party and then snuck down a path to Searsville Lake, til cops told us to go back.

Bob birchett May 18, 2017 at 1:11 pm

I remember Central School on ECR. Also Sheppard Cadillac that took that space.

Bob birchett May 18, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Thinking of Duca and Handley.
I have two items from the old days. One is a post binder from 1949 the other is a Ledger Book from 1943. I enjoy the Way Menlo Park used to be

Laurel Gooch May 19, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Thanks for the memories everybody!!! I lived in Menlo Park from 1941 t0 1990. Great to see all those familiar places mentioned.

Mollie Reingpach Edwards June 01, 2017 at 6:47 pm

Hi Laurel
Class of 59!!!
Los lomitas I think we both were there.
Reunion coming up!!!

Lynne Hills Reister June 01, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Well I remember Jiffy Burger.
And there was definitely a donut shop I don’t remember the name of it though anybody remember???? That’s the late 50s…
Thanks for the Memories everybody

Lesanne June 01, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Yes to whomever questioned the name of Rose Ann’s dance studio, it was Rose Ann’s. I was a dancer there until 1957. I also remember Johnny’s smoke shop, on Santa Cruz, almost to El Camino. Great place for candy, and for us bad kids, cigarettes. How can anyone forget Marquad’s drive-in on El Camino. It was cool to drive around and around , just to see who was there. I remember Lee Pennel was especially good at it. Marquad’s had the best burgers and shakes in my memory, especially delicious for a late night meal on date night. My last visit, shocked me. Our poor little town looks like it will sink any minute with the weight of all the new buildings that fill every single empty space. My childhood home, is a two story mansion…progress. We never dreamed of silicon valley and how that would change our childhood town.

Chuck Harvie March 22, 2019 at 11:42 pm

if You were a dancer there maybe you recall one of the instructors there, my cousin, named at that time Sandy Walker. Her dad was Jim Walker owner a nursery business on El Camino between Cooks Sea Food and Alec’s I think the back of his property was the property line to the side of the Masonic Hall behind Cooks Sea Food.
All for now.

Mike Geib June 02, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Thanks for all the great memories that have been posted. It was a great area to grow up in.

Rich Simrin June 05, 2017 at 8:00 pm

I worked at Foster’s in 1961 for 90 cents per hour. Then at Johnny’s Smoke Shop for $1.55.

Stan Sayles June 06, 2017 at 9:11 am

I think you followed me at Johnny’s Smoke Shop. That is where I learned to play gin rummy. What a great education.

John Mercer June 08, 2017 at 6:59 pm

Lucky to have Grown up in Menlo!!! Just a few names/stores: Preins Music: Joe throwing out Wooden Tokens the night before! Simpson’s Barber Shop on El Camino! Shreves Sports – HAD to go there! Alpine Deli on Santa Cruz!
McFarlands Ice Cream and Kepplers on El Camino! “Plaza Days” on Santa Cruz (when opening up a new Parking Lot! Van De Sands -Dick & Jack!
Andersons Shoes – Andy! Rileys Dance Studio by the Fish Market! Frenchy’s original Gas Station – originally diagonal from Fosters on ECR! Fosters and Johnny’s on Oak Grove! Preuss’ on Santa Cruz! Millers Bakery & Jerry’s on Santa Cruz! Bridgman Market on Santa Cruz! Edy’s (Carriage) on Felton . . Razed!!! Menlo House / ECR! Don’s Hobby Shop and Jiffy’s Oxford’s Deli on Santa Cruz! Baker’s Dozen on Santa Cruz! ETC. ETC, ETC.
Best Place in World To Have Lived in Those Years!!

CK June 09, 2017 at 5:09 pm

How about Fox & Carskadon (Foxy Coxy) Babe ruth Team?

Dennis July 24, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Yes I grew up in the fifties and I do remember Marquads drive in (in fact we lived down the street from it on Cambridge.

I also remember Bettencourts market down the street from Draegers.
Live was simpler then for sure,

Chris August 13, 2017 at 4:02 am

Luv’s Family Restraunt (owned by Vince), John’s little store on the corner of Gilbert Ave and Willow Road, Menalto Market (best 3 for a dollar pot stickers ever!), Fox and Carskadon Realty, The Oasis bar and grill with all the peanut shells on the floor, The British Bankers Club (when they still had the exclusive Ascot Club), the bridge just inside Palo Alto you never ever wanted to cross into East Palo Alto (million dollar mansion on one side and slums on the other side) and last but not least…Burgess Park and Flood Park.

Tom Madson October 05, 2017 at 11:41 pm

I was the last owner of Shreve’s Sport Shop on Oak Grove Ave.
I had many wonderful employees. We were the second oldest member of
the Chamber of Commerce right behind Ann’s Coffee Shop.
I sold my inventory in 1988 and moved to Hawaii. However I still own the

batareaboy December 25, 2017 at 10:16 am

If it hasn’t already been brought up, how about Shreve’s Sports Shop.

Also, what was the name of the little head shop in the 1970’s across from the old Arby’s restaurant. The Elephant something?

Jon lechich January 12, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Johny’s Smoke Shop!
Fosters Freeze Ice cream!
Menlo Square Market!
There was a bakery next to the Menlo Square Market and I would save up 35 cents to get a cream filled donut. Yum!
Fish and Chips on Elcamino

Jon lechich January 12, 2018 at 12:06 pm

Five and dime store on Santa Cruse Ave.

Lisa Jan Rose June 03, 2018 at 6:42 pm

I lived on Bellair Way from 1955 until 1962 when we moved down the road to Atherton where my mother, Judy Rose, still lives. My early memories are of the Alameda between Avy to Woodside Road. In the ’50s, you could bet most of what you needed between Avy and Ashton. Two supermarkets, one on each side of the Alameda, Don’s Butcher Shop, Stowe’s 5 and dime, a hardware store, McQuarries Pharmacy, the Bluebell Cafe (where Flea Street is today), a dry cleaners. I walked from Bellair way to Las Lomitas, the best school in the world as I recall. I remember there was a men’s barber shop. Above, someone mentioned Joe Prein’s Music Store on Santa Cruz Ave. where I bought my first ’45s as a small kid, probably Elvis (I still have them in a box). Joe and his family lived down the street from us on Bellair Way. His daughters attended Catholic school I think. Every so often he had a “wooden nickel day” where he’s scatter wooden coins all over (or at least that’s what I thought at the time). I can attest that he scatted plenty on Bellair Way because I’d get up early on Saturday morning to hunt for them. Then I’d exchange them for more ’45s. All of this happened before the Sharon Estate was developed. As kids we’d go up into those hills for a day of roaming, then arrive home in the evening. Yes, those were the days. My brothers and I were between 7 and 10 years of age, and we roamed anywhere we wanted fearlessly. I attended Ladera for first grade (Mrs. Sanders), Las Lomitas for 2nd through 6th (Davenport, Rhoads, Martin, Rhoads), La Entrada for 7th and 8th (the best teachers ever including Miss Jones and the amazing unforgettable Mr. Ron Rice). Then onto Woodside for high school. My 3 younger siblings (David, Mathew, and Sara) followed in my footsteps.

Craig June 04, 2018 at 12:24 pm

I shared some of the same teachers as you did at Las Lomitas. What years did you attend Woodside? I graduated in 1964.

Marlene Bumgarner July 29, 2018 at 8:41 pm

Hi – I used to frequent a wonderful natural food store on Santa Cruz Avenue. Does anyone remember the name of it, or even better, the owner/manager in 1976?

I am researching for a book and would love to get my facts straight. Thanks.

Marlene Bumgarner

Adrian Brandt July 30, 2018 at 3:40 pm

My mom was “into” natural (aka “health food”) stores in the 70s. You could buy nuts, grains and flours in bulk (as is now common in some “mainstream” stores like Safeway and Whole Foods). I don’t recall a natural food store on Santa Cruz … but I do remember my mother frequenting one in the 70s at 625 Oak Grove (a short block west of ECR on the corner with Maloney St. … about across from where Perry’s Feed & Fuel used to be before it blew up and burned). It was the first place I heard about and tasted “frozen yogurt” … which was a very new “thing” in those days. Kind of like I encountered and played my first “video game” (Pong) at the Oasis in the 70s.

Margo August 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Anyone remember Lucille’s Dress Shop, corner of Menlo Ave and ECR— also McMurray Appliances, the first TVs in Menlo. People stood outside the big windows to see what TV looked like.

barbara anderson mcneal June 28, 2019 at 8:57 pm

Yes, I remember Lucille’s Dress shop. And later a dress/lingerie shop over the Village Host. My mom shopped at both. I worked at Clifford’s Pharmacy on Santa Cruz Avenue in the late ’40s and early ’50s.

Mary Barrett June 29, 2019 at 11:34 am

Re: Lucille’s dress shop in Menlo Park, does anyone remember Lucille’s last name?

Laurel (Gooch) Tremaine June 29, 2019 at 3:40 pm

I got my prescriptions at Clifford’s after Preuss Pharmacy changed hands. Mr. Clifford was a nice guy. I came to his door one night to pick up a prescription minutes after he had closed the store, and he let me in! : )

Judith Keenan September 26, 2018 at 10:33 am

I lived in Palo Alto and went to the “Convent of the Sacred Heart in Menlo Park”. Apparently Sacred Heart annexed itself to Atherton and renamed itself when it went co-ed. Duca and Handly also had their flagship store in Palo Alto and my brother and I went to school with Reese and Laurie Duca. Reese and Chop are still great friends. Kepler’s Books changed my life. I went there while boarding at school, had no idea what I wanted to read, and was given five books by Aldous Huxley. Been going ever since even though my dad said it was a “Commie” bookstore. Don’t forget Anderson’s Shoes. They had the contract with CSH for the ugly shoes we had to wear with our ugly uniforms. Pat Anderson was in my class (’64). Last memory is the carnival they had on Santa Cruz Ave. I went on some vomit inducing ride and barfed all over the place while way up in the air. Sorry for being so graphic but I’m laughing as I type this.

CK September 26, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Kepler’s changed your life how. By selling some fictional books?

ned spieker January 07, 2019 at 12:50 pm

remember Ramar Oaks Restaurant in Atherton on EL Camino near
the old Scotty Cambells restaurant …the elegant places in the area!!!
Ramar Oaks had beautiful oak trees in the parking area!!
Scottys had very plaid finished booths…
also Rats was owned by George and Gene Sousa..George resembled a rat…!!!
these remembrances are great…
our family moved here is 1947…and am in Atherton today…71 years!!
i remember most all the places mentioned…thanks !!! ned spieker

Ellen Colin Freitas November 24, 2019 at 12:52 am

Loved reading about Menlo Park memories! I grew up on Gilbert Ave and my dad was the pharmacist at Menalto Pharmacy and later at Clifford’s on SCA.
So many familiar business names. Such a wonderful place to grow up in.

Hal Williams November 24, 2019 at 12:40 pm


Jon November 24, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Painting windows with water colors of Christmas screens on merchants windows on Santa Cruse Ave.

CHARLES WERTHEIMER January 19, 2020 at 11:47 am

I lived near Menlo Park in the 60’s There was a butcher shop on Santa Cruz Ave. Might have been called Mike’s Meats. Not sure. My mom shopped there a lot. Apparently the owners were real cards. Mom would ask, Do you have any dog bones? We had 2 big great danes. One of the counter guys would say to her, we have cow bones, lamb bones, ham bone, but no dog bones. Those were the days!

Shirley Crofts Monroe June 03, 2020 at 1:42 pm

I have very fond memories of growing up in Menlo Park. My 3 sisters and I all graduated from M.A. (1957, 58, 61, & 63). Our family moved to Linfield Oaks when it was new. We would sometimes take a shortcut through the old Stanford Village when we walked home from M.A. It was a great place to grow up. For lunch during high school, we would go to Oxford’s Delicatessen and get a great salami sandwich for 35 cents !

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