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 Post subject: Mayfair: 1970 San Francisco Bay Area Locations
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2007 5:19 am 
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The July 29, 1970 edition of the Oakland Tribune had a Mayfair ad. It touted the availability of "Sesamie (sic) Street coloring books" and Blue Chip Stamps.

The following store addresses were in the ad:
Oakland - Park & E. 18th Street
Oakland - Telegraph & 58th Street
Oakland - MacArthur Blvd. & Broadway (M/B Center)
Hayward - Nimitz Freeway at Jackson
El Cerrito - San Pablo at Cutting
San Lorenzo - Paseo Grande at Hesperian Blvd.
Pleasant Hill - Monument Blvd. at Freeway 680
Concord - 1401 Willow Pass (Park & Shop)

Are any of these still grocery stores?

The MacArthur/Broadway Center (no longer a full retail center as of mid-2000s) in Oakland was built in the mid-1960s by Edmond E. Herrscher, a Mayfair supermarket chain board member.

One of the first supermarkets in California (called Andrew Williams) was built at MacArthur & Broadway in Oakland circa 1937. It is said to have been the first supermarket with a parking lot in the nation. Its 60-foot tower was a landmark. The store front and sign tower contained one mile of neon. The grocery store became a Mayfair in the 1950s. That building was demolished circa 1964.

The MacArthur/Broadway Center contained a new Mayfair (26,000 square feet), which opened in September 1964. The grand opening grand prize was a trip to the 1964 World's Fair in New York. After the old Mayfair/Andrew Williams store was demolished, the remainder of the shopping center was built on its site. The MacArthur/Broadway Center opened in September 1965. The new Mayfair building is said to have been a "Coop" supermarket by the 1980s.


Last edited by Jason B. on Mon 28 Oct 2013 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mayfair: 1970 San Francisco Bay Area Locations
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2007 10:32 am 
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Jason B. wrote:
Oakland - Park & E. 18th Street
Oakland - Telegraph & 58th Street


As I recall, Park Boulevard is a Kragen auto parts store, and Telegraph is an Alta Bates medical office of some sort.

Jason B. wrote:
One of the first supermarkets in California (called Arthur Williams) was built at MacArthur & Broadway in Oakland circa 1937. It is said to have been the first supermarket with a parking lot in the nation.


I have to question the parking lot claim based on the date. Safeway was building stores (in Oakland even) with parking lots in the early 1930s, and I'm pretty sure even the 1920s SoCal markets had parking, as did the first King Kullen and Big Bear stores in the northeast. Could it maybe have been 1927 instead of 1937?

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 Post subject: Re: Mayfair: 1970 San Francisco Bay Area Locations
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2007 9:51 pm 
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Jason B. wrote:
After the old Mayfair/Andrew Williams store was demolished, the remainder of the shopping center was built on its site.

San Mateo had an Andrew Williams that became a Mayfair in the 1950s also, and during that time it was expanded. This was around the time Hillsdale Shopping Center was first built. It was demolished around 1980 to build a parking garage on the site.


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 Post subject: Pleasant Hill Mayfair
PostPosted: Tue 08 May 2007 11:28 pm 
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I can't picture a Mayfair at the Monument/680 intersection, unless it was in the shopping center with the Montgomery Ward and the Century Theater (on the east side of 680.) On the west side of 680 there used to be an Albertson's/PayLess combo, both now long gone.


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 Post subject: Re: Pleasant Hill Mayfair
PostPosted: Wed 09 May 2007 10:49 am 
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J-Man wrote:
I can't picture a Mayfair at the Monument/680 intersection, unless it was in the shopping center with the Montgomery Ward and the Century Theater.

I'd say that was a pretty good guess. There's a Dollar Tree at the rear of that center I have my suspicions about.

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 Post subject: Pleasant Hill Mayfair
PostPosted: Wed 09 May 2007 7:50 pm 
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The Mayfair market in Pleasant Hill was located where Bally Fitness Club is today. The Dollar Tree store used to be a Thrifty Drug.

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 Post subject: Re: Pleasant Hill Mayfair
PostPosted: Sun 13 May 2007 10:53 pm 
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romleys wrote:
The Mayfair market in Pleasant Hill was located where Bally Fitness Club is today. The Dollar Tree store used to be a Thrifty Drug.

Right. I'd forgotten about Bally; it's in an appendage south of the theaters, right?

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 Post subject: Mayfair Pleasant Hill
PostPosted: Mon 14 May 2007 9:10 pm 
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Yep, that's the former Mayfair Market. I went into that "dead mall" on Saturday and took some exterior photos. When I get around to it I will post them on my website PURE GROCERY STORES or my new flickr account under the name ROMLEYS.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun 2007 3:11 am 
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The former Mayfair location listed as "San Lorenzo - Paseo Grande at Hesperian Blvd." is most likely the abandoned-looking building right on that corner, it has a rounded roof like many older supermarkets. However, there is a large parking lot right in front of it that is faced by a liquor/convenience store on the other side of the lot. I suspect that the liquor store was once a supermarket, though I am not sure if two different chains would have faced each other so close. That store is across the street from the old Lorenzo theater. I have long wondered if one of these stores was once the original Mervyn's, which began in San Lorenzo. It's not a very big town, but I can't find anything online which would nail down where this store once was. There is a Mervin Morris Park (named for the chain's founder) down Paseo Grande a little ways, and the park plot is about big enough for a medium-sized 1940's/50's dept. store. Anyone know for sure about the Mayfair or Mervyn's?

On a side note, it sounds like the area where the Mayfair and Lorenzo Theater were located is slated for some kind of "renewal" project. There were a couple references to this in other threads on this board, but the news story link was dead. Can anyone confirm that this is the part of town that is up for renewal?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun 2007 10:28 am 
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TheQuestioner wrote:
The former Mayfair location listed as "San Lorenzo - Paseo Grande at Hesperian Blvd." is most likely the abandoned-looking building right on that corner, it has a rounded roof like many older supermarkets.

I'm familiar with that building, and you're probably right. The Mayfair's address in 1970 was 515 Paseo Grande, which points right to the big building on the corner on Google Maps. In fact, I think someone once pointed that out to me as a former Mayfair.

My suspicion, though, is that the adjacent liquor store was probably always just a liquor store.

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 Post subject: San Lorenzo Mayfair
PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun 2007 12:02 pm 
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The adress 515 Paseo Grande was a Mayfair based on my notes. However, in 1973 the corresponding address was that of a Romley's market. This was most likely a result of the 1973 Mayfair closures.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun 2007 12:08 am 
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TheQuestioner wrote:
I have long wondered if one of these stores was once the original Mervyn's, which began in San Lorenzo. It's not a very big town, but I can't find anything online which would nail down where this store once was. There is a Mervin Morris Park (named for the chain's founder) down Paseo Grande a little ways, and the park plot is about big enough for a medium-sized 1940's/50's dept. store. Anyone know for sure about the Mayfair or Mervyn's?

Just so you know, the Mervyn's closed in the mid-1990s when the one in Southland mall opened, and was demolished later. This webpage briefly touches up upon the history of that store;
http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:Ldg ... cd=6&gl=us


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed 25 Jul 2007 4:12 pm 
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I believe San Francisco had 2 Mayfair Stores around 1970...

The Northpoint Shopping Center at Bay and Mason...it became a CO-OP store in the late 1970s and a Safeway Store in the mid to late 1980s to present.

Geary Blvd and Webster St...the physical location is now an Apartment tower and a Blockbuster Video location. A Safeway Store and parking lot are on the same property.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed 25 Jul 2007 5:08 pm 
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There was a location at 355 Ocean (at San Jose) as well. It's now a church. I think it may have been a Thrifty Drug at some point as well.

artysf wrote:
I believe San Francisco had 2 Mayfair Stores around 1970...

The Northpoint Shopping Center at Bay and Mason...it became a CO-OP store in the late 1970s and a Safeway Store in the mid to late 1980s to present.

Geary Blvd and Webster St...the physical location is now an Apartment tower and a Blockbuster Video location. A Safeway Store and parking lot are on the same property.

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 Post subject: Re: Mayfair: 1970 San Francisco Bay Area Locations
PostPosted: Sun 19 Oct 2008 1:27 am 
I know the San Lorenzo Mayfair and Mervyns very well as I grew up there. In fact, I could probably draw a map of the store, from my memories as a little girl.

So here's the layout of the area (circa 1960-68 or so): The stores were contained in somewhat of a "U" shape, with the top being the main drag, Hesperian Blvd, the left Paseo Grande, the bottom Via Arriba, and the right Via Mercado. On the other side of Hesperian was (is?) the Lorenzo Theatre, which was the only theatre in the immediate area and a popular place, showing daytime movies for kids during the summer. The middle was a large parking lot, in which Santa arrived via helicopter every Christmas season!

The original Mervyns took up almost an entire block of the street on Via Arriba. And this WAS the original Mervyns, opened by Mervyn Morris (not Mr. Mervyn!) This building has since been demolished due, I believe, to structural issues. It had a second story with merchandise (linens and fabrics). At the end of Via Arriiba (to the left, as you're facing the Mervyns) was a 10 lane bowling alley, below street level, and extending below the Mervyns store. Yes, this is where I learned to bowl! I think it was called Lorenzo Lanes. I don't recall when that closed. Above this was a dentist's office.

When they demolished the Mervyns building, they were surprised to find the remnants of the bowling alley.

On Paseo Grande, far left end of the strips of stores, was the Mervyn's toy store, which also carried phonograph records. This was separate from the main Mervyns building. To the right of that was the Western 5 and Dime, which carried absolutely everything under the sun, including hamsters, fish, books, toys, crafts, candy, and most likely lots of other things that a kid wouldn't pay attention to.

Next to the Western 5 and Dime was a bakery, barber shop, and a jewelry store (not sure which order they were laid out).

Oh yes and to the left of the Mervyn's toy store (corner of Paseo Grande and Paseo Largavista) was a gas station, and an ice cream store (separate building, bigger than a kiosk but not much) - I think it was called Lois' Ice Cream.

And on that block was the Mayfair Market. Entrance was to the far right, and also an entrance from the back. Inside the store, to the left was the separated liquor area, also selling magazines and candy. This had a separate register. Staight inside was the produce, and the meat area was far back, with the actual meat packaging visible behind glass. You could see them grinding and cutting and packaging the meat! Yes, they gave out green stamps (or blue stamps, one of those). Everything else I remember probably isn't of interest to anyone.

And at the corner of Paseo Grande and Hesperian (Mayfair didn't extend all the way to Hesperian), was a shoe store. Thom McCann's, perhaps? It had a lovely large display curved around the corner - remember those large displays?

This entire area was the central shopping for San Lorenzo Village. There was a second area elsewhere in the village (Bockman and Via Chiquita), but looking at Google Maps, that too has been demolished. San Lorenzo was post-war housing, basic cookie-cutter homes, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1 car garage, all one story, with a sycamore tree in front. Moms were home, often the dad had the only car. 100% white, I'd say 90% households had kids. The Mervyns and Mayfair supplied most of the households. They were also closed on Sundays! Hard to imagine now, isn't it?


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