Over The Fence with Greg Brown

Come-N-Go on Freeport Gets a Makeover
The Come-n-Go is back! It even has that new convenience store smell. The convenience store on the corner of Meer and Freeport had fallen on hard times the past several years. The outside of the store looked almost abandoned. Dry weeds and litter encircled the parking lot. The unsightly gas pumps have been Out Of Order for years. The flickering, intermittently working, fluorescent lights gave the front of the building a creepy horror movie vibe. The Come-n-Go was a neighborhood eyesore.
A convenience store that wasn’t very convenient.
New owner Pat Mulhall standing proud in front of the new and improved Come-n-Go Market in Land Park. / Photo by Greg Brown
Inside the store was much worse. Expired everything! Don’t even bother picking out some ketchup. The Icee machine was Out Of Order. The list of bad things goes on and on. The only thing safe to buy there were the Tic Tacs.
The former owner, Daniel Sun, got in trouble with the law a few times last year for selling alcohol to minors. He was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and selling alcoholic beverages to a minor according to a story last October in The Sacramento Bee.
The Feds suspended his license for good. He wasn’t selling gas or alcohol at the Come-n-Go.
That’s when he came and went.
Pat Mulhall is the new owner and he’s come to the rescue. He’s really spruced up the place. They’ve installed a clean crisp new sign out front. The previous sign was yellowy and worn. It also had the 24 hours sign cut to say 21 hours.
It definitely brought janky to Freeport Boulevard in Land Park. And we don’t want janky in Land Park.
The one thing I noticed above all else is the big windows. Lots of natural light filtering into the store. Most liquor or convenient stores have all the cheap advertising covering up the windows. Tacky.
No pricing on the front of the building windows, nothing above the rail. It’s a very clean look. “We don’t want it to look like an average convenience store, we also want to be more of a neighborhood market,” Pat said.
The interior of the store has been cleaned up too. Where it used to have red disintegrating Formica above the register is now wood interior with neon beer signs of craft and import beers. Sorry Budweiser and Coors.
“I want to tell people more about our imports and craft beers,” Pat said.
They installed granite countertops, marble back-splashes, and brand new flooring. It’s really an impressive transformation. Convenience store crashers…On HGTV!
Pat’s already heard positive things from the neighbors. They’re “very happy to have the store back,” Pat said. A place they can walk to and buy milk, bread, or Doritos.
They’re going to have coffee and donut specials every morning. Pat said they’re going to offer Yum Yum donuts along with Boyd’s coffee.
The new Come-n-Go will also be a good place to grab local craft beer bombers, like Knee Deep Brewing, Drake’s Brewery, and Sacramento favorites, The Rubicon and Track 7.
And a convenience store staple…they will have a roller grill for hot dogs! Along with corn dogs, taquitos, egg rolls and food items like that.
They’ll also offer some healthy options like sandwiches and high end fruit drinks.
Bigger brighter and less dreary liquor store feel. “Everything we’ve done with this building is energy efficient,” Pat said.
Come-n-Go was like that dilapidated house on your street everybody hates. Now it’s the shiny new convenience store the neighborhood can enjoy.
Ford’s Real Hamburgers gets renovated
Another building that was a bit dilapidated and in desperate need of TLC is the old Ford’s Real Hamburgers building on Sutterville behind the former Blockbuster video store.
One of the men working on restoring the building said, “It used to look like a jailhouse café.” He was right. With the spiked metal fence to the scabbed on plastic yellowy awnings, this place was another black eye for the neighborhood.
Somebody had literally screwed sliding glass doors side by side and made a wall out of it.
All that spiked fencing and sliding glass door walls were not up to code. The tiny 3-foot by 5-foot bathroom was not ADA compliant. It actually wasn’t suitable for anybody to use. The building had been just sitting there vacant waiting for somebody to give it some renovation love.
Adair Construction was hired to bring the building back to life. They did a masterful job. Once they tore away all the unsightly scabbed-on additions you could tell there was a cool retro-looking building
I spoke with the contractor, Ryan Adair, of Adair Construction, on the final day of the restoration and he said, “Nobody would design and build this today, but look at it, it’s fantastic!”
It’s also nice to see a see a cool little building NOT torn down.
The original 1970s rock veneer and inverted roof-line give the building character. Adair said, “The original rock veneer? We decided to keep it. Why pull that away? It looks good.”
On the day the building restoration project was complete, a woman drove by, glanced over, and did a double take, like, “Oh wow, what a cool little building!”
There’s also plenty of space for outdoor dining. Lots of curb appeal to the space, too.
While I was at the site, Ryan Adair was busy pulling the last bit of stray Bermuda grass from the property when he said, “There’s a huge benefit to re-using an existing structure. It pulls a little bit of the past into the future.”
Now that the building restoration is complete what will be going into that spot? Another burger place? Ice cream shop? Barbecue joint? Whatever it becomes, I hope it’s not another Goodwill Express.
Summer of Service At Cal Middle School
There was a bake sale outside Cal Middle School, courtesy of the kids from Summer of Service, a summer school program at Cal Middle School. They were doing a project to serve the neighborhood of Land Park.
The bake sale was to fund an idea from 8th graders at the school.
The 8th graders have been having difficulties at physical education due to the dog waste scattered all over the field. It’s an ongoing problem for the children. Soccer and dog poop do not mix!
So they’re raising money to build a doggie cleanup station at the school hoping it will be utilized by nearby dog owners who don’t feel the need to clean up after their pooch.
They had some homemade cookies, cupcakes, apple turnovers, and all sorts of goodies at the one day bake sale. They actually raised more than $200 in a few hours. Sounds like a summer of success.
New Ride Named
And the new ride at Funderland has been named. Drum roll, please….They’re calling it the Squirrelly Whirl! Catchy. I like it. The ride is now open.
Got an item for Over The Fence? Greg@valcomnews.com

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