Ronnie's Midway Market in Pinedale comes down

It was an end of an era for the owners of Ronnie's Midway Market in Pinedale.
February 5, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
It was an end of an era for the owners of Ronnie's Midway Market in Pinedale. The neon sign, which has shined bright for years, finally came down.

Ronnie's Midway Market neon sign has shined bright on Blackstone for decades. But with the business closed, Wednesday marked its last day standing tall over one of Fresno's busiest roadways.

"It's very emotional," said Jon Asadoor. "A lot of memories. I'm going to miss all the faithful customers."

Brothers Jon and Steve Asadoor were there with their family and former employees, as they watched a crew take down the historic sign. Their father started Ronnie's in 1953, and the sign went up in 1957.

"Years past, there used to be a clock on it so people could tell the time," said Steve. "It's seen a lot of history. In '68 the store burned down, so it survived the fire. The whole store burned down. And then in the 90s there was a funnel cloud that passed over and tore the roof off."

The sign survived those disasters, but it couldn't survive the current conditions. The business closed January 30th due to the economy and competition.

Although Ronnie's Midway Market sign is no longer on Blackstone, it has a new home at CNI Signmakers where it will join dozens of other historic displays.

The neon museum of sorts is filled with 25 neon signs from local and state businesses. Everything from Coney Island restaurant to the Outpost, outside, there is also an impressive collection.

Vice President Arlen Tanelian says it is all about preserving the past, something his father, who recently passed, taught him about.

Tanelia said, "We were always joking about how we didn't have a sign of this nature. It's a porcelain sign which is kind of rare and so to have one like this is pretty cool."

And now a piece of Fresno history will be forever treasured. The neon displays are lit up for private events at the business.

CNI Signmakers says it is always accepting vintage neon signs.

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