Wind and snow may have knocked down the iconic Donuts Delite sign. But the vintage landmark is back up after two months of detailed repairs.
On Wednesday, crews lifted the neon sign back to its original spot above the business at the corners of Culver Road and Empire Boulevard. Fixing vintage neon is a highly specialized job, said Salvatore “Soccer Sam” Fantauzzo. The sign is 25 feet long and 4 feet high, weighing almost 500 pounds.
Donuts Delite has two neon signs (in the front and in the back) that dates back to 1958.
The one in the front facing Empire at 1700 Culver Road was knocked down by the elements.
The iconic doughnut shop is in the midst of an expansion.
Coming this summer, the former Dog House at 674 W. Ridge Road will be converted into a Donuts Delite.
“With the success of our pizza pubs and saloon, we didn’t think the Dog House would work anymore as a bar,” Fantauzzo said. “It’s a perfect corner for Donuts Delite West.”
Fantauzzo purchased the doughnut shop from the Malley family with its original recipes a decade ago after it had been closed for a few years. He incorporated pizza into the doughnuts menu.
The new doughnut shop will be open by summer 2020 and Nick Semeraro, who is the franchisee for the Donuts Delite location on Culver Road, will be the franchise owner of the second location. Semeraro started working for Salvatore’s at age 8 assembling boxes. He became manager of the East Main Street store and moved on to become a franchisee.
The original owners of Donuts Delite were Jim Malley and Murray Simpson. They split up after a year and Simpson ended up opening Simpson’s Donuts at 674 W. Ridge Road, which later became Dog House bar and is now in the process of being transformed into Donuts Delite West.
Mary Chao is the retail and real estate reporter at Democrat and Chronicle. Email her at [email protected] Your subscriptions helps make work like this possible.