Coates sheds its name

Coates Cyclery closed in February, an end to a shop that began in downtown Pomona in 1934 and moved to 760 Foothill Blvd., just west of Towne Avenue, in 1965. There was talk that a bike shop would take over the storefront, but that was not to be. A pet hotel has moved in and altered the sign, formerly neon, while retaining its basic structure.

Reader Dwight Seibert was there to take photos for posterity, as seen above and below.

Was the old one a landmark sign? It’s in Charles Phoenix’s “Cruising the Pomona Valley” guidebook, which called it “one of the last classic neon signs on Foothill Boulevard.”

But the Museum of Neon Art’s executive director, Kim Koga, told me on my recent visit that she didn’t find the sign visually interesting enough for the museum. Context is everything.

Below is a closer view posted by Grace Verhoeven on the Eye on Pomona Facebook page.

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  • DebB

    The people opening the pet hotel have been cat-sitting for me occasionally over the past couple years. I’m hoping they’ll be able to board my diabetic cat once in awhile, so I can have some relief from regular shots and blood sugar monitoring! It’s really nice that they kept the sign the same style!

    The Coates guy used to live on my block – I’d see his van every day. Do you know if they went out of business or just moved?

    • davidallen909

      Went out of business. It’s tough being a retailer in the internet age…

  • SAWZ

    I still have the bicycle I bought at Coates when we were getting work credits for using alternate transportation. I had called the shop a few days prior to the purchase and the proprietor had a ten-speed bike he had already chosen for me. It has been so long ago that I do not even remember the price tag. I rode it to and from work every day and to the day-old bread store on the weekends. Now it sits there looking a little forlorn–and reading now that the business has gone out of business makes me feel forlorn.

    • davidallen909

      There, there.