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Paul wrote:

I don't drive down Miller Ave very often but about a month ago I noticed a for sale sign at Russel and Gooch Funeral Parlor. Not the most lively business in M.V. but definately provided some local jobs that are gone. I wonder who will buy the building and what kind of business will be there ? Maybe the developers will simply demolish the building and slap up some cheaply built cardboard condo/apartments that will be sold to uninformed newcommers who enjoy living in high density apartments on very noisy and busy main streets, and never really own anything at all.


 

who would've guessed that the answer to your questions is: a preschool!



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SteveC wrote:

Bennet's Variety owned by Mr. Peters with the bowtie, father of Rick and Rob.

I can't remember if they bought it or Bennet was a family member they took over from.

Locust Variety was the only name I remember for the other one.

I used to go to Bortfeld DDS upstairs, no comment there.

My mom used to work for Bortfeld. The store was called Amelias Variety



-- Edited by SteveC at 23:45, 2008-06-25


 



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Bingo ! That's it. The mudhole is the back parking lot of Tam High. I guess it wasn't paved then.

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Steve C, I remember Kathy , she was gorgeous back then, she was friends with Jessica Millar, who was my friend, they were both gymnasts at Tam. Amazing bodys on those babes !

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Yes Paul and if not '69, then '70. Hamby's would have been perfect for a visit after what you were doing. Heck, you could have handled Taco Town and all that quacamolito sauce.

All I remember is Kathy Quinlan hanging out at that corner every day.

I'm picturing an empty lot before it but it's really my mind that's empty.

The Canteen is what I just missed. It was there behind Tam but not open.

I think "closed campus" closed it. We changed that though.
We marched off campus as giant a group lead by Stanley Jackson or Matthew White or who knows who. What happened to people actually making changes and righting wrongs ?

We don't do that anymore for some reason.



-- Edited by SteveC at 03:22, 2008-07-02

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Steve, actually it was Meadowsweet Rich who reminded me about Taco Boat, I had completely forgot about it, but after he mentioned it, I remembered.Do you remember when Hamby's was built? Im pretty sure it was around 1969 when I lived in Stinson Beach and was in 7th grade. I used to cut Bolinas school and go over the hill and hang out in Mead theater and puff potsticks with my friends who were freshmen at Tam.

-- Edited by Paul at 02:59, 2008-07-02

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Paul, When you say Taco Boat, are sure you don't mean Taco Town.

I'm pretty clear on Mill Valley and that's all I remember

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Hola Estevan, yes Gibralter Savings was the same building as Hamby's. I remember scraping the beautiful gold leaf rock of Gibralter off of the door for Lorainne.
If I remember correctly, Hamby's was the first occupant of that building.
And santarosie, thank you for refreshing my memory about Mr. Fix It. I went to Marin Terrace school, and met Jackie on a trip to 6th grade camp in Santa Cruz, I remember she went to Homestead. I liked her, she was nice. Welcome to the true Marin forums, and we are glad you still live near us.

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Strawbridge's was always a stationary store as I recall. I remember going there with Mother and a visiting friend in the early 1940s (yes, I must be the oldest one on this list). We took an outing on the Greyhound Bus and changed at Marin City for the Mill Valley bus. I don't remember anything about the rest of the outing, but our stop at Strawbridge's. (I think it was called that back then.) The outside looked then exactly as it does now. Inside my brother and I were allowed to choose one item as a gift from Mother's friend. I chose a multi-purpose pen/pencil. It was red and purple plastic. The tip reversed so you could change from a mechanical pencil to a dip-in-the-ink pen. The top had a compass on it. And inside, there were two tiny dice. I had that for years, until the plastic began to break up. Never have seen another like it.

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Rosemary


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Strawbridge's is still there.

-- Edited by SteveC at 02:30, 2008-06-26

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Wasn't the other variety store in Mill Valley you are thinking of called Strawbridges? For some reason that name just came to mind.

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Bennet's Variety owned by Mr. Peters with the bowtie, father of Rick and Rob.

I can't remember if they bought it or Bennet was a family member they took over from.

Locust Variety was the only name I remember for the other one.

I used to go to Bortfeld DDS upstairs, no comment there.



-- Edited by SteveC at 23:45, 2008-06-25

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There were two variety stores in MV during the 1960s. One was on Locust across from The Brothers, right off Miller. The other was uptown, right by the Sequoia theater. What were their names? For the life of me, I can't remember. You'd think with all the time (and money) I spent there, I'd remember!

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Mr. Fix-it was Jack Chung, his daughter Jackie was a friend of mine and her parents were friends of my family's. They lived up above the shop on Miller by Tam HS. He was the only "Mr. Fix-it" I knew of in Mill Valley.

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Paul, yes Yon was spelled Jan but how did this Taco Boat slip me by. Unthinkable

I don't even remember Gibraltor, were they where Hamby's was at the corner of Gomez ?

Hamby's was a new building and now I can't think what was there before it.

I know I was in line the day they opened and thought the burgers were a thousand times better than C's Drive In.

Was there another Mr. Fix-It besides the one farther down the block with a different owner ?

I do remember the fish & chips place in the funky old collection of buildings where 100 Shoreline Office complex is now. Does that help restore my cred ?

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A couple more businesses in the area of Taco Boat, actually at the same address after Gibralter Savings (own a piece of the rock) was Lorainne Slocum and associates, physical thearepists with Marin biofeedback in a back office. I know because I painted the signs on the door for Lorainne and Peter Behel. Also Marin cell-u-phone run by fireman Gareth Harris, Motorola's trunked digital radio system for MERA put them out of business. And Mr. Fix It. , run by a chinese man , last name was Chin I think. He would fix just about anything in the day, and also bought and sold many small home appliances, I knew his daughter Jackie.
Yes Lane , that was Larry Brink's son on the team, his name was Yon, not sure about the spelling though.

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Hey Steve, I worked at the Gazette too! In the early 90's I was a production coordinator. Pat Craig, the keyboardist from the Tazmanian Devils worked there too. I would have kept that job forever had the money been better.

Riley was a great guy, but my memories of the Walshes aren't so fond.

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Great story, Lane! Thanks.

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LH


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I haven't thought about Larry Brink, and the Brink car dealership, for eons! We must have moved to Mill Valley from San Francisco about 1960 or maybe '61. I started out in 3rd grade at Old Mill School and it seems to me not long after that I joined the MV Peewee League. Mr. Brink was one of the coaches, and I'm pretty sure that one of his sons was on the team, too. Jan Brink? Anyway, I kept busy with that for a couple of years. We used to "Play Ball" out there in Boyle Park.

As for old MV businesses that have come and gone, here's one for you. This goes back a bit, so maybe the details are wrong; if so, you can set me straight. The business I have in mind was called "Tad's" = a TV and radio repair shop on Miller Avenue. As I remember it, Tad's was located in a little storefront set back from the street. It was either next to the old Brown's Hall, or it was one or two blocks down from there on the same side of the street.

Tad must have been a Japanese American. The reason I say this is that my dad had the funniest story about Tad. For some reason, right around the time he was planning to buy our house (up on the hill, way up behind the present-day MV public library), my pop found "Tad's" and went in to chit chat. My father had been in a camp for JAs during World War II, gone through some incidents in San Francisco trying to rent/buy, and so I think he must have been worried about the state of "race relations" in late 1950-era MV. (I guess I should mention here that my mom is white, and that mixed marriages weren't exactly popular in the 1950s either, so there was that plus two hapa kids to worry about too.)

So my dad eventually asked Tad in kind of a roundabout-Nisei-way, "How's things in terms of the reception we might expect here in Mill Valley?" = meaning the reception that he and our family might expect in Marin. Tad kinda shook his head and told my dad, "Well, you know, up where you're buying, the reception isn't too good." My dad got all worried about that because he thought we were going to get rousted right away by the neighbors. Or, worse yet, that there might be some kind of a protest to keep him from buying.

Well, after we moved in, my dad tried to set up the TV. Then he realized that Tad had actually been talking about the *TV* reception up in the Mill Valley hills. Back in those days you couldn't get squat on the TV because of all the
valleys and trees etc. The towers weren't powerful enough to broadcast very far up the mountain or something. So my dad was plenty relieved after he figured that out, and we laughed and laughed about that one for a long time. And actually, it turned out our neighborhood was integrated already--there were definitely other Asian Americans down the street, as well as down the hill, and a Black-White couple with kids lived right next door to us.

Was there; now it's gone. But I've never forgotten "Tad's TV and Radio," and that's why.

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Talking with fellow forum contributor Paul last evening over a few cold ones, we both remembered a place in Mill Valley near Tam High called 'Taco Boat' that served Taco Bell style food, later it became Gibraltar Savings.Taco Boat was there in the early 70's, I remember a girl in one of my classes at Redwood saying she worked there.

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My memory quite clearly (yeah right) remembers the left half of that building being built first as a liquor store and then he built the right half onto it to import those two cylinder Subaru vans and pickups and out of the packed full lot of them, I don't think he sold one.

And that would be a perfect reason have his memory put Ramblers on that lot !!! Instead of in the new building he put up (Perry's Deli now) to hold Ramblers at E.Blithe and Syc. at his L/M dealership.

1969 Subaru 360 like those at E.Blithe/Lomita




-- Edited by SteveC at 05:22, 2008-06-10

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I was just visiting Kevin Brink up in Arcata last week, we were talking about his fathers Rambler dealership in M.V.. He told that Larry Brink still owns the property where Sloat garden center and Urban Farmer is at E. Blithedale and Lomita, and also that the dealership used to be located at that address. I don't remember that, does anyone else ?

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I remember 'Doug Dicker' also, I think it was a Chrysler/Plymouth dealership located across Conow St. from the old Bianco Cadillac just north of Marin Joes.

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I think it it was Jolley market; but Top hat does ring a bell.

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Andy M, Tam '70


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SteveC wrote:


If no one has seen the following, check out the many pics.

Mill Valley Historical Society




In the interests of historical authenticity, someone should point out to them that, even at the time the photo was taken, I imagine that those were probably still Christmas lights rather than "holiday" lights on the MV City Hall. Of course, I could be wrong, could be some other holiday; was it Mill Valley's custom to celebrate St. Swithin's Day?

Nevertheless, a wonderful collection of photos. Be sure to backtrack there and see all the earlier ones.

-- Edited by Paul Penna at 15:41, 2008-04-16

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Scott, I worked for Frank Hickman. He told me stories like how they had to move cars when they heard the train coming.
When I was there Ted Victorino did all the mechanical work and Carl Faircloth took all the credit. Carl could come in without changing his work clothes, no shower, shave, or brushing his teeth and still sell you mech. work and tires you didn't need. It's now the overflow lot for Whole Foods.

Doug Dicker rings a huge bell but I'm completely blank. Hopefully someone will add something.

R & R Motors 25 Corte Madera Ave. would have been that large bldg. you face when you come out of the City Hall/Mill Valley Mkt parking lot. It was later the Slot Car Track and the Post Office sorting facility.

It think the confusion about 4 & E is that it was both sides of the street.

The north side was the showroom and service dept. for Wisnes, Isi-Wisnes Pontiac/Honda before that and I don't know what it was built as. George Dexter just sold Giorgio's Restaurant so he might have time to answer your questions.

As noted Bananas At Large Music is in the showroom surrounded by Bordenave retail on 4th and baking/wholesale behind it and off E St.

When Bordenave's says "since 1908" or whatever, it was originaly farther down, somewhere across from the liquor store. The owner of Marin Bagel Co. knows which spot.

The south side, I think was the new/used car lot (where West America Bank is)
I think it originaly used to be the playground for the school that is closed but still there next door on E at 3rd St

Edit, I just noticed Rob's post said '59 which is 5 years before my earliest memories which probably don't include San Rafael. There may have been another full dealership on the south side of 4th/E.

Herb's Chevrolet burned down, it was where the Small World Travel, now The Loop by 24 Fitness is and included that area over to where Mama's Cafe is next to where (don't cook tonight, call) Chicken Delight was and the whole block down La Goma to the creek. Quality Auto Body and the other shops being the Service dept. It's shown in the MV 1950's pics

Tamalpais Motors at E. Blithedale & Sycamore I believe became J & B Ford and when they moved to Corte Madera (there are pics on this site somewhere), then Larry Brink Lincoln-Mercury took it over and built a new showroom out front just for Rambler which is now Perry's Deli.

Pierotti Buick, 505 Miller Ave. was the address where the Convalescent Hospital was for about 40 years next to Wells Fargo (Crocker Citizens) where there were two gas stations next to Safeway.

They tore the rest home down last year and want to build resid./retail.

De Beaubien Pontiac, 374 Miller Ave. That's a good one. I saw a great pic of it and it was great art deco if I remember, but I can't recall where I saw it. Probably MV Historical Society website or hanging in the MV Library.

If no one has seen the following, check out the many pics.

Mill Valley Historical Society


Here is more. It covers Homestead Valley and the Sunnyside neighborhood in more depth.


-- Edited by SteveC at 22:48, 2008-04-16

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Howdy- As noted in prior post, my folks bought, in 1959, a new Rambler wagon from Dexter. As I recall, the showroom was on the SW corner of 4th and E, in San Rafael. I was 3 yr.s old in '59, so my memory stems from my mom always noting, as we perambulated down 4th, "That's where we bought the car!" The bear(s) are burned into my brain forever...ferociously guarding Mr. Dexter's rolling stock. Seven foot tall bears aren't something that a six year old boy forgets about, ya know?

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Here are some more Mill Valley car dealers I found listed in a 1958 "Classified Business Directory and Buyers Guide," in size something between an overgrown pamphlet and a small magazine, published by an outfit called Marin Directory Publishers in San Rafael. We had it hanging by a string on the kitchen wall for years.

De Beaubien Pontiac, 374 Miller Ave. A very familiar name that's come back to me now after all these years.

Pierotti Buick, 505 Miller Ave.

R & R Motors (Dodge-Volvo), 25 Corte Madera Ave. & 352 Miller Ave.

Tamalpais Motor Sales (Ford) E. Blithedale at Sycamore

Herb's Chevrolet "Marin's Oldest Chevrolet Dealer" 383 Miller Ave.

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rob miller wrote:

I guess this guy, Dexter, must have had a long and fruitful career. Bluegoat, you mention a Pontiac dealership, I remember his Rambler dealership and he ran the Toyota place in Larkspur, after Hil Probert. (Calling Paul Penna- Do I remember correctly?) So Doug Dicker Chevrolet was where Mayfair/Yardbirds is? I'm confused. Also, does anyone know the history of the building where Bananas at Large is now? All I remember, car dealer wise, is Stan Wisnes Honda in the 70's.






I know Dexter owned the ex-Probert Toyota dealership for some years; in fact, I'm pretty sure he's the one who bought it from Probert. I've been in contact recently with Probert's grandson; I'll ask him.

Doug Dicker is a familiar name among Marin car dealers, of course, but right now I can't place his location or the make he sold.

Where on 4th was the Dexter showroom with the stuffed bears, and what was the time period they were around? I'm trying to figure out why I have such a strong memory of them. I couldn't have seen them all that often, unless they were on a major access route to San Rafael and I couldn't help but spot them when I happened to go there. They were, of course, right up in the front window.

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I guess this guy, Dexter, must have had a long and fruitful career. Bluegoat, you mention a Pontiac dealership, I remember his Rambler dealership and he ran the Toyota place in Larkspur, after Hil Probert. (Calling Paul Penna- Do I remember correctly?) So Doug Dicker Chevrolet was where Mayfair/Yardbirds is? I'm confused. Also, does anyone know the history of the building where Bananas at Large is now? All I remember, car dealer wise, is Stan Wisnes Honda in the 70's.

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Blackie wrote:

I think the stuffed bears, a polar and a kodiak, were across the street and later, west, where Mayfair Market and Yardbirds were later. At Doug Dicker's dealership. They were huge, stuffed standing up, and very interesting to a kid walking home from school.






I think your talking about Dexter Pontiac on 4th street in san Rafael. That's where the stuffed bears were

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I think the stuffed bears, a polar and a kodiak, were across the street and later, west, where Mayfair Market and Yardbirds were later. At Doug Dicker's dealership. They were huge, stuffed standing up, and very interesting to a kid walking home from school.

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My folks traded in our '50 Chevy Deluxe sedan for a brand new 1959 Rambler Cross-Country wagon. Green two tone. Dad tricked it out with a voltage inverter and 110v. outlet on the dashboard. We'd take it out to the coast every weekend for skin diving excursions, and a few times, Dad would wrap a just-speared fish in foil, and wire it to the exhaust manifold. We'd have baked fish ready to eat by the time we got home.
Bought the car from Dexter's on 4th st., San Rafael. 4th and E, I believe. Bank of Marin is on that lot now. I remember they had a huge, upright standing, stuffed bear in the showroom.

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Hello Paul, I had a mid 60's Rambler American wagon I inherited from my grandparents, who sadly traded in a 2 door '56 Chevy Bel Air to have a newer car. The Rambler was a very reliable car that served me well in the early days of my landscaping biz until I realized I needed a pick-up truck, I sold the Rambler & bought a 1948 Willys 4 wheel drive which served me well for many years, I wish I had kept the Rambler also but I needed the money for my truck.As I recall the Rambler was purchased from Larry Brink when grandma & grandpa were down visiting from Lake County.

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Blackie wrote:

I'd like to have a little wagon like that, right now. Simple, clean compact design. How was the mileage?





I can't remember any numbers, but I know that Ramblers in general were known for their good mileage, and my father was always satisfied. Ramblers were classed as compacts, though by this time in the mid-sixties our model, the Rambler Classic, would have been a mid-compact. The smaller Rambler was the American, like the one right behind our wagon in the picture.

A wagon was pretty much a necessity for my father, who was constantly involved in various projects for our house and yard. I couldn't estimate how many board feet of lumber or sacks of steer manure that thing hauled. After it aired out, it hauled us around on many a vacation camping trip, to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Tahoe, Mt. Lassen and Shasta, up in the redwoods, Crater Lake, etc.

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anyone remember Hickmans gas station on Evergreen and Miller Ave. Also Bells children shop downtown. My mother worked there for many years.

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I'd like to have a little wagon like that, right now. Simple, clean compact design. How was the mileage?

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I know Larry Brink and his son Kevin, Kevin and his family live up in Arcata and Kevin is an anesthesiologist at the local hospital. Larry sold their family home on Summit in MV and retired to Redding, but still rents a place in Strawberry because he misses his friends here, and Redding is hotter than a pistol in the summer.

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Larry Brink Motors was located at 433 Miller Ave. Not surprisingly (for us), we still have the paperwork about the purchase in our archives. Total cash price for the '66 Rambler, including sales tax ($110.12) and DMV fees ($39.00) was $2902.12. He gave us $50 for our old '56 Rambler.

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Paul, that looks like Miller Ave near Reed St (and now an office blg.) The Shell Station being I & M Shell, later Barry Iver's and now a Chevron.

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It was Larry Brink Motors, and that's where we bought our 1966 Rambler station wagon. As a matter of fact, here it is on June 27, 1966, when I went along with my father to pick it up:


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Was Larry Fink later called 'Beaver Motors' ? I have a license plate frame from Mill Valley that says Beaver Motors on it.

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Queen TV in Tam Junction was run by Bob Queen and his wife... Larry Fink Car Dealership (he sold Ramblers) was near the vet hospital which I understand is now gone. The Purity Store was also very close to that spot.


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Tamalpais Motors on East Blithedale between Millwood and Sycamore. Ernie Rianda Dodge at the corner of Corte Madera and Lovell. Herbs Cheverolet on Miller across from the where the 2am Club was. The Donut Shop and Springets Sports Shop on Blithedale between Sunnyside and Forrest. The Penny Candy Store on Blithedale between Grove and Millwood. Espositi's Ice Cream on Throckmorton. Meyers on the corner of Throckmorton and Miller Montgomery Wards ( Close to the cleaners that stradles the creek on Miller. Eberharts Shell Station corner of Sunnyside and Blithedale. Suy Kee market about where Varnys hardware was on Throckmorton. Elroy Garage at Camino Alto and Sycamore
There's a few to keep you going

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Paul wrote:

I don't drive down Miller Ave very often but about a month ago I noticed a for sale sign at Russel and Gooch Funeral Parlor. Not the most lively business in M.V. but definately provided some local jobs that are gone. I wonder who will buy the building and what kind of business will be there ? Maybe the developers will simply demolish the building and slap up some cheaply built cardboard condo/apartments that will be sold to uninformed newcommers who enjoy living in high density apartments on very noisy and busy main streets, and never really own anything at all.





Look on the bright side; given the location, they'll probably all turn into zombies.

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I don't drive down Miller Ave very often but about a month ago I noticed a for sale sign at Russel and Gooch Funeral Parlor. Not the most lively business in M.V. but definately provided some local jobs that are gone. I wonder who will buy the building and what kind of business will be there ? Maybe the developers will simply demolish the building and slap up some cheaply built cardboard condo/apartments that will be sold to uninformed newcommers who enjoy living in high density apartments on very noisy and busy main streets, and never really own anything at all.

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The Buckeye is now the the hip place in southern Marin to meet women. The place is packed with
devorcees and young women too. The food is still great , but it's the valet parking that I don't
like , it's a joke to have somebody park my car in such a tiny parking lot , and I have never let
anybody else drive my car even 2 feet. I hate door bangs ! There is plenty of free parking in
the lot across the street , and it is probably safer than letting a stranger into my car.
I knew a person who used to be a valet for the Trident restaurant , he told me the first thing
he would do is pop open the glove box , often times finding a white sack of blow , which he would
confiscate and use immediately. Then he would burn rubber all the way up Princess St. to their
lot. A lot of those customers had Ferraris and Porches. He had a lot of fun and made good tips
too.

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I like the current Buckeye but it is not the same place at all and can be a madhouse.

I recall the old owner coming by each table to chat and make sure everything was fine.

And at lunch we ate at the bar where Gary was the host.

I enjoyed El Rebozo food too but don't think I ever dined there.
I always ate it at the Fireside Bar. I did bus my dishes back next door like a good boy!

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I wish El Rebozo was still there, along with the Fireside Bar that occupied the other downstairs part of the building. After the Buckeye was turned into a yuppie magnet the old woman whose family first owned the Buckeye used to go to the Fireside to have a drink in the evening, couldn't relate to the new crowd at the Buckeye I guess, remember the 2 German Shepards that used to hang out in the parking lot at the old Buckeye ?, Heidi & Pretzel were their names.

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How about El Rebozo, the Mexican restaurant right off the Mill Valley exit of 101

Al;so, who can forget the original Buckeye, serving great German food. The family that ran it lived upstairs

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