Mike Croda from the El Sobrante Historical Society, dressed up as a bartender from Ed’s, the oldest bar in El Sobrante, opened in 1938 at the dedication of streetside improvements July 8. County Supervisor John Gioia is at right, being interviewed. From the society webpage: “When Ed Banducci (Sr.) and his wife Teresa bought this place in 1938 it was already old. Legend has it that it served as a “road house” to travelers along the Dam Road (and before that, the San Pablo Creek Road). The couple quickly remodeled the structure and re-opened it as “Ed’s Tavern.” It was remodeled again in the early 1950s and has changed little since. It is located just west of the intersection at Valley View.” (Photo courtesy Sonia Bustamante)
Streetscape improvements on San Pablo Dam Road — including wider sidewalks, new bus benches and trash receptacles, landscaping and historic markers — were dedicated on July 8that businesses hope attract more visitors to the area.
The improvements cover about a 3/4-mile segment of the Dam Road between Appian Way and El Portal Drive and is the culmination of four years of planning. Four bus stops will also be relocated to improve transit access.
“The whole idea is to make downtown pedestrian friendly and encourage more people to use the downtown,” said Supervisor John Gioia.
The $2.3 million downtown walkability project was funded by Measure J, a county transportation tax approved by voters in 2004, and local county road maintenance funds. Planning for downtown’s face-lift started in 2011 and construction began a year ago.
The amenities will be shown off to a large audience when the El Sobrante Stroll is held on Sept. 20.