Dooley’s Hardware

I grew up in North Long Beach, living in a little house ($13,000.00 for a two-bedroom house in the ’60s) on Del Amo Boulevard, between Long Beach Boulevard and Atlantic Boulevard.  Del Amo is a six-lane highway, and our house was about thirty feet away from thousands of cars rushing by day and night, either on their way to or from  the Long Beach Freeway, which was about a mile away.  Besides playing catch in the driveway (or Poison, which was a game where our friend Kathy would be a baserunner, and my brother and I would try to tag her out when she would run from one base to the other),  and trying not to get hit by a car if the ball went into the street,  one of our main sources of entertainment was to go down the street to Dooley’s Hardware, where the giant lumberjack stood,  overlooking Long Beach Boulevard.  Dooley’s Hardware consisted of three buildings that were spread over three blocks – you could get anything there, from ten-cent hot dogs to eighty-nine cent 45rpm records to a new living room set. Oh, and they also sold hardware. 

We used to buy our Christmas trees in the parking lot of Dooley’s every year; my father would tie the tree to the roof of our ’66 Impala, and curse for the whole block and a half ride home, while he and my mother would hold the tree down so it wouldn’t fly off and cause any major accidents. (“A Christmas Story” is one of my favorite movies; I really think my dad may have been the inspiration for Darrin McGavin, except that he wove a tapestry of obscenity while working on the family car, instead of the furnace). 

I would also go every Saturday with my dollar allowance to buy a 45 single, making a carefully considered choice from the 93 KHJ radio playlist each time.  The playlists were free to take home, so I would have a new one each week, and track my favorite songs to see how popular they were.  I had a little square box with a handle (because you never knew when you would be invited to a slumber party, and have to bring your music) that kept my 45s safe. 

Dooley’s has been torn down, and the property is now home to  a magnet school: http://www.lbschools.net/dooley/.  Even though I know this is a great and necessary development for North Long Beach,  which has become a pretty sad place for me (more on that later), it’s hard to drive by without thinking of the giant lumberjack keeping watch over good, cheap hotdogs, and everything else you could ask for in a hardware store.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a decent picture of the store with the lumberjack in front, but this is a pretty cool website that shows a state-by-state listing, with photos, of the immense and terrifying monuments that we Americans like to erect and enjoy:

www.roadsideamerica.com/muffler/track

Enjoy!

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104 thoughts on “Dooley’s Hardware

  1. Rebecca Behar-Johnson says:

    I love reading what you write. You are a good writer, Jules. I think I try to use face book like a blog…I always have too much to say for the little box…and have to edit it down. I should get a page like this and just free flow. I miss Dooleys too. My husband and I talk about it sometimes. I used to love going there and getting the “franks and beans” – and the what kids wasn’t mesmerized by the Lumberjack?! I am born and raised here too, so love hearing your memories of the town we both grew up in.
    Love, Rebecca

    • “Dooley’s Dooley’s hardware store there’s more there’s at Dooleys”
      the commercial sang this. North long beach was so fun in the late 60s and thru the 70s Red Fox lanes, Shady Acre’s, Town and Crest theatre’s , play in the jungle at Scherer park , houghton park , bixby knolls center ,lbt no 7 bus “the streaker, went downtown on the 7 fwy before it was 710 , get to the pike and beach fast ,jump on long beach blvd inbetween del amo and market where the bus turned r to Dairy st turned l went to south st turned r to the cerritos mall then turn around back downtown.i lived at 146 e 55th st what great fun and memories

      • We would eat dime hotdogs and look at all the stamps on the walls then go play in the store get chased out one in another run upstairs dive in the bean bag pile and hide

      • my grandmother would cash her retirement check, buy grocerys.buy me a toy we walk a block to her single apartment there was a pensoil gas pump in her parking lot the next store was an antique store with a life size wood indian statue in front next door was douglas burgers

      • clyde marsh says:

        yes i work there 1979 i know all the news everyone talking about good old days

  2. Mark Nelsen says:

    I grew up on Zane st i remember eating chili dogs under the lumberjack when i was a kid i have many fond memories of Dooley’s it makes me sad that it’s gone.I don’t live out there anymore so whenever i get a chance to go out there it’s nice to see Douglas burger is still there down the street.

    • californiabean says:

      Douglas Burgers was my favorite, next to Dooley’s hot dogs, of course. It’s nice to remember such a unique place, isn’t it?

  3. Gary says:

    My first job was being a box boy at Dooley’s. It was a fun place to work and the best thing was I helped in the snack bar area and crammed my face with chili dogs and mac n cheese when I worked there.

    • californiabean says:

      I think I might have filled out an application for Dooley’s, but ended up flippinf burgers at Carl’s Jr on Atlantic and 37th Street instead. Didn’t remember about the mac and cheese, I probably would have been chowing on that if I worked there, too.

      • Jan Horton Mooney says:

        I worked at Dooley’s in the 80s. You never really know you are loving your job until it is gone. I worked all over the store and had so much fun. The Dooley gang was the best. So many people come to mind. Would love to hear and share memories.
        Jan Horton

  4. Vincent says:

    Julie,

    Thanks for the write up. I liked that store and miss it. I used to go to John Sutter Elementary and would go to Dooley’s after school. They had a neat little museum.

    Vincent

  5. californiabean says:

    Vincent,

    I went to Sutter from kindergarten through 6th grade (1966 through 1972 or so)! Loved Dooley’s – it was one of a kind. I don’t remember the museum, but I’m sure I must have gone through it – thanks!

  6. Trish M. says:

    I remember Dooleys!! I grew up in Bellflower/Lakewood/Long Beach and we would go to Dooleys frequently when we were young. We would always go at Christmas-time to get decorations, etc. My dad has a Lionel train and we would get track and train cars and accessories. We have many fond memories of Dooleys and I remember the lumberjack too! How sad it is not there anymore :( Thank goodness Douglas burger still is!! :)

    • californiabean says:

      It sounds like you have great memories of Dooley’s! Nothing else compares to it today, does it? Douglas Burger was a huge fave of mine, also -

      • Pat says:

        would you believe I was thinking about Dooleys this morning and looked it up on Google. I lived at 111 W. Delamo, Apt 11, in 1969 when my husband was in the Navy. My daughter was born 11-11-69 so that area was significant to me. I remember buying a Christmas tree and a trinket box at Dooley’s. Still have the trinket box. My husband and daughter are both gone but I remember pushing her stroller on our way to Dooley’s

      • californiabean says:

        You must have lived closer to Sutter Elementary than I did – do you remember in the ’60s, at the intersection of Del Amo and Long Beach Boulevard, there were four gas stations? I remember gas was about 37 cents a gallon during the latter part of the ’60s, and the four gas stations would have gas wars to see who could offer the cheapest gas. They also gave away stuff when you filled up your tank – and Marri’s Pizza on LB Boulevard was the place to go if you wanted to write on the walls, or on the tables. Good times…

  7. Bob Mattocks says:

    Great memories! I grew up on E. 60th (by Deforrest Park) and my father pretty much lived there. He did a bunch of handy work and got all of his suppies there. Of course, every time we went we had to stop to get a hotdog. I remember just staring at the Lumberjack. Sure wish someone would find a picture of it. Use to get our Christmas tree there every year as well! My brothers and I use to ride the river trail to Shady Acres skate park (1977 I think) and I would go down to Dooleys to get 45′s as well. Man, miss North Long Beach! Thanks Julie!

  8. lorann says:

    my Grandma live around the corner from Dooley’s and I love to go see the dolls

  9. jan horton mooney says:

    Looks like everyone remembers the hot dogs!!!! Miss them. Any other Doolyites out there?

    • Chris says:

      I worked there in 1982, I ended up in a rehab in Comptom just north of Dooley’s and after 90 days, I took the bus south and got a job in the plumbing dept. Shirley Dooley Nesbitt and her husband Rod were running the place by then, but still every once and a while old man Dooley would wander the store thanking everyone for the job they were doing. I remember so many people there like Ruben Macli, warehouse manager North building and Bill Starr , and June Ricks and Hal in sreening, but most of I remember meeting my wife there, Vicky Peters in pullman & Bath, she was amazing. Well today, April 15, 2012 I celebrate 30 years sobriety and who knows what would have happened had I never found my way to Dooley’s where I got a chance to start over. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

      • californiabean says:

        What a great story! Congratulations on your milestone; Dooley’s played a huge part in your life, and I’m sure that I must have bumped into you at some point. Thanks!

  10. johnny p says:

    I lived on del amo also about two blocks before you got to the train bridge.does anyone remember the little market in the neighborhodd called anderson market they had peeny candy and old lady and her husband they had a meat counter in the back of the store to slice meat for you..i went to sutter elm school form from about 1966 then to lindbergh jr high then grad.from Jordan high in 1975 use to hang aout at Redfox bowling lanes in front of Dooleys..got all my fishing stuff there to fish at scheer park down the street..and the 10cent hot dogs my mom would send me down there on my sting ray baike to buy 10 or 12 for dinner..man that was the days im 54 now and still remember that how about shady acres mini golf who remembers that place? wow i bet some of us knew each other.

  11. californiabean says:

    Johnny – I went to Sutter from about 1965, then Hughes, then Jordan (graduated in ’78) – you might have known my brother, he graduated in ’75. I loved Anderson’s market! I used to get my baseball cards there, and bring back my soda bottles for ten cents a piece; Shady Acres was a great place for mini golf, I had my sixth grade birthday party there. The hot dogs at Dooley’s were the best – and I remember being at Scherer Park and watching boys ride down the hill and right into the pond. I used to play caroms and do crafts at the little rec center there – and they had great swings!

    • johnny p says:

      Your right.my friend and i would sit on our skateboards (steel wheels) hook our legs to each other and go down the hill they called it (suicide hill) hit the grass at the bottom just before the pond..and yes the rec area had a bumper pool table inside we would play.and that pond had more fish in it big blue gill’s drop a line and it was hit then.we would walk over to Thriftys for a 5 cent scoop of ice cream remember that? yea mrs. Anderson was a peach of a lady my mom had a weekly credit with her she would send me to buy bread and lunch meat and peeny candy for me.and each friday i would go pay her she had a little book with how much we owed (thoose days are gone) we spent a lot of time on the railroad bridge and tracks sliding down on cardboard. man i miss those days..and last year coming from work in torrance i got off for the first time to drive by Jordan high, i thought i was looking at a prison yard a fence so high bars on windows in my days 73-75 it was open just walk in..wow that area has changed from the good old days of our times..and most dont remember this but there was a swimming pool we called scout pool it was at a boys scout area about 2 miles from dooleys would pay 50 cents to swim all day there..glad to see some of the old kids are still around and going and remember thoses days and lets not forget the pike in long beach.have a nice day < <

      • stevegrow says:

        scherer park? yeah that was a nasty hill for skaeboards..ya had to watch out for the people down below and people popping out from the left hand bushes area goin down the hill

      • robert george says:

        hey johnny, loved your post. i saw you mention the boy scout park. there was a boy scout park called will j. reed park that was about 4 or 5 blocks south of del amo and then about 3 blocks west of long beach blvd. the street was just south of the railroad tracks that were on long beach blvd. use to camp there on weekends when i was a boy scout

    • Carl says:

      Wow, I hadn’t thought of this stuff in years. I lived on 49th st against the train tracks. I went to Sutter, then Hughes. Our Boy Scout troop was sponsored by Dooley’s. We moved then and I graduated from Artesia High in 75. Nice to know other remember.

  12. Steve M. says:

    I remember Dooley’s. Love the chilli dogs, picking the Christmas trees out of the railroad car. My father always took me there in the 60′s and early 70′s. He seemed to know many employees. We would spend a few hours there on the weekends. While I know it was a large facility, it seemed so ginormous to me as a small child. Thank you for taking me back.

    • californiabean says:

      Thank you for sharing, also. Dooley’s was one of my favorite places to go as a child – I don’t know of any place that compares today.

  13. NancyinNY says:

    OMG…I still dream about Dooley’s hot dogs! Why were they so good? They had the perfect snap…

  14. Carol says:

    I was just thinking of my childhood days in Long Beach in the the 60′s, it was a great time. I remember the lumber jack at Dooly’s and my dad saying lets go to Dooly’s for whatever item he needed. Also I remember Shady Acres miniature golf which no place could compare with in my book. It’s sad to see all these places gone. Even though we moved in 1970, I’ve been back to see my old elementary school, Star King and the house I lived in on Butler Street. I would have gone to Jordan H.S. if we stayed in the area. It looked like a neat H.S. to go to at the time.

    • californiabean says:

      I loved Jordan High – and I had friends that went to Star King. We were probably at Dooley’s at the same time, picking out trees!

    • stevegrow says:

      i lived in the trailer park next to taco bell a half block from shady acres…i went there every night to play pinball..and friends and i would run around the golf course creating kid havoc and freaking out the golfers…haha..the old dude who ran shady acres would run us off

  15. Colleen says:

    I ‘ve thought off and on about Dooley’s too I remember I would go there with my dad all the time and I just love the memories of it and now I’m not surprised to find a little fan site.I remember getting our trees there and how fun it was ,there seemed to be anything you could possibly want at Dooley’s..these are a few more of many ancient and fond memories…Helms bakery coming down our street with fresh donuts every Sunday, Cals bowling alley, all the drive-in theaters,Me’n’Eds Pizza (which is still there amazingly, El Patio Restraunt best mexican food (my mom worked there for at least 15-20 yrs) Trini died several years ago and Tony died just last year..,Rosa’s Italian sandwich shop on Paramount,Cliftons smorgasbord in the May Co. shopping center.,Welch’s restraunt (I worked there for a couple years ) ,Town and Crest walk-in-theaters,We always got our milk and ice cream from Paul Lussman at Paul’s dairy (he died just a couple years ago too.Does anybody remember the cool treasure hunt that the Long Beach Press Telegram, put on with a new clue everyday in the paper..winding up with a several thousand dollar cash prize down on the beach near the Queen Mary? Concerts at the Long Beach auditorium? Oh the memories I lived in Lakewood where half my family still lives what a great place to grow up!

    • californiabean says:

      I remember Welch’s! What street was that on – was it in Lakewood or Long Beach? I remember thinking that it was a huge restaurant when I was a kid. And I used to go to Clifton’s almost every week – and there was a guy who drove a Helm’s truck who lived down the street from us on Del Amo Boulevard. Two more memories – Marri’s Pizza on Long Beach Boulevard, and the Roller Arena on Alondra. I went roller skating there all the time – thanks, Colleen, for all of the good memories.

      • Colleen says:

        Yes I was trying to remember the name of the roller arena I used to skate there too …Welches was this big green cylindrical building in Long Beach I thought it was on Atlantic and Del Amo but I’m not sure since it was about 35-40 yrs ago when I worked there our favorite pizza place were Me’n Eds, Shakeys, Fio Ritos

  16. Colleen says:

    It’s funny everybody has a different spelling for what thought was Cheer park we used to make little fishing nets out of my mom’s nylons and a coat hanger and catch pollywogs ( we also referred to it as “pollywog park” then we would take them home and keep them in a jar but didn’t know how to keep them so they died and the water got smelly quick :/

  17. stevegrow says:

    i grew up in north long beach..my mom was the telephone operator at dooley’s in the 70′s…yeah those 10cent hot dogs are what i blame for making me fat…heheh…

  18. stevegrow says:

    long beach jordan 1971
    in 3 years there we won one football game…it was against number one poly…damn were they pissed

  19. Brett McBryar says:

    Yes I can taste Doolys hot dogs now. At 10 cents they werethe best. We hit them up at lunch from Jordan when the line was not too long! Visited NLB 7-8 yrs ago, grew up there and Paramount, Lakewood, Bellflower. Miss it sometimes being close to the water. Left Jordan in 75…

    • californiabean says:

      I really miss Dooley’s – great memories of the place, and really nothing like it today, at least not around here.

  20. I must say this was a cool little topic! I lived in Long Beach from ’66 to ’76. And I remember Dooley’s too! It was a very interesting place. The first store was Hardware, the second was Groceries, toys, Lamps, Lighting, The next was Furniture, Appliances, tv, electonics, RECORDS, Pharmacy. Then just passed the pharmacy, through the doors was the hot dogs and orange julius on your right and a craft supply shop on your left. Then just passed that was a Levi store on the right. That place was an interesting conceptual store. I never seen anything like it since. I remember the Lumberjack and the big Sherman Williams sign “covering the globe” or something like that. Does anyone remember Shady Acres Miniature Golf? Share Park?

    • californiabean says:

      Great memory! You are absolutely correct, the layout was just like what you remember. I lived a block away from Scherer Park, and would go all the time. It has changed a lot – when I was a kid, I used to sit by the pond, and watch boys ride their bikes down the hill and right into it in the summer. I used to wade into it, starting at the top of the hill where the little brook would flow down into it; cut my foot once from toe to heel when I came out of it, and I didn’t even feel it. Shady Acres is now a condominium complex, I think; I used to play miniature golf there, and held quite a few birthday parties there. Fun times -

      • Yes, those were great times, and we were unaware of how great they were. I went to Scherer Park after I went to Dooley’s one time and I remember a little brook area and little bridges and there were brush trails that people made leading to little hideouts and stuff. Funny you mentioned your birthday party at Shady Acres. I attended one of my friend’s birthday parties there in ’75. I lived just north that area by Starr King Elementary School on Coolidge by Coolidge Park. I remember a Huff’s Coffee Shop on Long Beach and Artesia. I also remember a trailer park across from Shady Acres. Do you remember other places in and around Long Beach? Frank’s 5-10, Don’s Liquor, Stop’n Go, Grant’s, Houten Park, Joe’s Market, Iceland Ice rink, Roller rink, Mexico City Resturant, Chicken Delight, The May Fair, . There also was this great Italian Delicatessin near Kentucky Fried Chicken, (I can’t remember exactly what street it was on).They were called “Roma Italian” or something. They made great poorboy sandwiches. Oh and the Long Beach Pike! That place was interesting, it was there since the turn of the century and it was a like a museum to the old style amusement park like Coney Island. That stuff like “Laff in the Dark” and the “Voodoo Hut”, House of Mirrors, “The Rotor” , “The Scrambler”. And rollercoasters that took you right over the beach…I also remember some kind of ski lift ride that took you across the park to the other end. Those were some great times. Seemed like things had more of a personal human and nostalgic touch then, as opposed to now being all corporate, prefabricated and part of some impersonal national marketing scheme…

  21. Colleen says:

    Patrick I think the Italian Deli you refer to is Rosa’s we used to go there frequently to get their poorboys It was on Paramount near Downey at that time for may years and may have moved at some point in time but don’t know..they also had the greatest meatball sandwiches.We also had a Stop’N’Go at Paramount near Candlewood.In my memory it was the first of it’s kind.We also went to what we called Cheer park but I can see now it must have been spelled Scherer Park we went pollywog hunting with nylons tied to coat hangers lol that pond must have been pretty slick because one day we saw a child slip in then a brother went to get his hand to help and he slipped in and then two more family members did the same thing each one doing the same thing until it looked like cutout dolls going into the pond but they all got out went and cold.

    • Actually, I think he was indicating “Romeo’s” Itanial deli and pizza/sandwich shop. Later, when the Paccione family purchased it, the name was changed to “Romes”. It was on Atlantic a half a block from Jordan. Great poor boy sandwiches and Pizzas.

    • Debra Lea says:

      Dooley’s was the only place we had for a ‘one stop shop’. you always had a parking spot right where you wanted to go. i remember in the middle store food, fishing gear, gifts. Mrs Dooley always chose the glasswares like tea cups and saucers for the ladies collections. she’d be in there on saturdays to see that her finest wares were put out on the glass display shelves just perfectly. she’d talk with the ladies who were collecting and fine the things needed & wanted to fill their collections. her collection of dolls & tea cups were exquisite. i was always fascinated by the conveyer belt that stock came down from above on. all the wheels looked like a roller coaster fast ride. my mom bought one of the first microwave ovens from there after we seen a demonstration in the mid store. i loved christmas there. and of coarse Red Fox Bowling alley across the street. and Lucy’s for dinner and drinks, with the piano bar. the guy was always singing Don Ho’s Tiny Bubbles no matter when you went. the italian deli was Mama Rosa’s on Paramount one block south of South st. Cherri’s Can Can was on the corner S & P. next was Muldoons Saloon. and Nautigals Subs. the Battleship & the Torpedo best subs ever! across from the Blue Chip Stamp redeemable store. i lived on Market st next door to Lindbergh Jr Hi. the Lindbergh Jr. Market ran by Cecil (meat counter) & Bessie (front candy counter) Farrington ran it. across from the school was the Hi Lo soda shop ran by Bob & Francis from the early fifties to late 80′s. does anyone remember the Big A? on Cherry off Market. before K-Mart went in. the first multi dept store there was. i found this looking for pictures of Scheer Park from the 60′s when it had the water falls. thanks for letting me add my memories to yours.

  22. Colleen says:

    We went to Shady Acres frequently and also went to the horse stables to rent horses for riding for an hour, someone mentioned the name earlier but I forget.One of the things I miss from those days is the drive-in theaters…Lakewood,Circle,Los Altos,and I think there was one other we used to go to.

  23. Colleen says:

    One more memory the gas wars they used to have those were the days one station would lower their price then one across the corner would lower theirs in response and sometimes that would go on until gas got rediculously cheap ..and they would put out those huge spotlights that would rove around the sky and sometimes cross each other I remember when gas was about .40 c a gallon that must have been about the time I first started driving I think maybe why that price sticks.

  24. Dave Lamont says:

    LOL! Loved article. I actually worked for Dooley’s from ’76-78, at the Warehouse at Cherry and Artesia. I delivered appliances for them. Still one of the most fun jobs I ever had. It didn’t pay much, but some of the experiences were priceless. Made it over to the main store quite often to either pick up a floor model, or bring them an appliance from warehouse stock. The fellow in charge at the store wharehouse (“Sarge”) was a real hoot. He appeared in a few commercials.

  25. californiabean says:

    Colleen – I remember the giant lights in the sky! Also remember the gas wars on LB Blvd and Del Amo Blvd (I lived a block away from the intersection) – I wrote a bit about the drive-ins, I think I called it “Halloween at the drive-in.” There are some old photos that I found and posted as well. Was it the Long Beach Drive-In? I saw “Raging Bull” and “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” there, and it may even have been on the same night! The Long Beach Drive-In was at the 710 and 405 Freeways, I think.

  26. californiabean says:

    Dave – there will never be another Dooley’s, right? I think I might have applied for a job there, but never followed through with it.

    • Dave Lamont says:

      Nope. It was one of a kind. I was watching a Dooley’s commercial the other day on You Tube. If you ever see it, the fellow in the cowboy hat is Richard Dooley, Charles (founder) son. He and his sister Shirley pretty much ran it during the time I worked there.

  27. Colleen, I do remember a painted wall on the side of the deli, that had a big sandwich. I remember looking at it from our car when I was waiting for my dad or mom. I remember we used to look at the toys at Dooley’s (GI Joe’s, Trains, games). I think I got my first bike there too! My mom used to buy her craft supplies there and we would buy jeans, t-shirts at the Levi section.

    Julie, I doubt there will be anything like Dooley’s again. It was family owned right? There is something always kind of special about mom n’ pop (family owned) places that have a personal homey atmosphere to it. I think later, corporations caught on to the “one stop” shopping experience with Gemco, Target, Walmart.. I’m sure that was the idea behind Dooley’s. Just curious, were the owners irish?

  28. Commercial for Dooley’s 1981

    • californiabean says:

      Patrick, omigosh, I remember that commercial! “Dooley’s Family Hardware Store, there’s more, there’s more, at Dooley’s!” Thank you SO much for finding that and sharing it – what a treat to remember. Growing up on the block, Dooley’s was one of my playgrounds, along with Red Fox Lanes across the street, Scherer Park, and Shady Acres. To have all of it within blocks of my house was the best -

      • robert george says:

        i know where your coming from califorinabean, i went to jane addams, lindbergh and then jordan/ class 1967 and to have all those great places to go to growing up was fantastic. especially shady acres, remember hiding clubs and balls while in elementary school. we would start on the 3rd hole so we wouldn’t be seen. then golf till about the 16th hole and then hide the clubs and balls till next day. remember at the 18th hole, windmill the ball would return to the office after you hit it through the windmill. also my favorite games were the baseball with ball bearing balls and flappers. got where i could win quite a few games with one dime. also the “around the world” game. where you would sit in a spaceship box with a prong on the end and move it up and down and sideways and try to light up all the cities on the map with the prong before time ran out. also, love the popcorn machine. if someone put a dime in it and didn’t shake the machine popcorn was left in it and we would come up and shake it and get about 1/5 of a bag for free.

  29. I worked in the garden dept from ’65-’67. I also got to work in the Christmas tree lot during December. My next door neighbor was general manager N.B. Dehls. Steve Hampton from down the street worked in the toy dept. and Roland Meckel also from down the street was the lucky one of us. He worked in the snack bar! I used to eat 6-10 hot dogs a day and pick up a $1.99 monural record every week after pay day. One day in about 1966, the ‘Greeter’ from Laguna Beach walked all the way to Dooley’s just to get a couple of hot dogs he had heard were only 10 cents.

  30. Hollywood Harris says:

    I lived in the Four Corner Block area of North Long Beach. Where the 91 and the 710 intersected. I used to walk all the way to Dooley’s to just look around. I bought my first few skateboards from that place. I remember Shady Acres as well. I never played Golf there, but I would always play the video games they had in the arcade. I went to HS at Millikan. This is awesome. So many memories from my childhood over in that area. I lived in N LB from 1985-1990. Miss SoCal so much.

    • californiabean says:

      Very cool – so you lived on the edge of North Long Beach; a couple of friends of mine lived around that area as well. I remember that we used to walk from there to Shady Acres and back, too. Good memories!

      • Dave Williamson says:

        OMG!!! Went there with my folks every chance we got. Are there still any places like this these days?

  31. robert george says:

    i grew up in north long beach, graduated jordan 1967 and remember all those great places. scherer park where you would skateboard down the hills, one long hill and then the steeper, shorter one that was fast as heck. fishing for blue gill fish in the pond. remember you didn’t need bait, just throw your line in and wait couple seconds and yang it out and you would usually hook a fish. only one thing i found wrong on all the comments and that was on the italian deli. if the 2 comments were talking about the one on atlantic/ the 6000 or 6100 block of altantic it was called romeos and than later changed to romes. the romeo family sold it to the paccione family in mid 60′s and they dropped the o in the name so it went from romeos to romes. it was 2 blocks north of atlantic theater

  32. Hi everybody, I grew up on zane street. I played as a child in the back rooms and attic of the orginal hardware store. I am amazed with all of the customers of Dooleys and their coments about the hot dogs, christmas tree, etc. Richard

    • charles moonier says:

      Wow! I lived next door to N.B. My brother now lives on Zane.

    • californiabean says:

      Hi Richard! Thanks so much for reading, and dropping in; I have to tell you that I’ve been writing here for a couple of years now, and my post on Dooley’s Hardware has gotten the most number of comments. So many people, including myself, have fond memories of the store; it was a unique place to go to shop, and eat (hotdogs!) – today our lives are filled with a lot of places that all look alike, no matter where we go, and I am glad that I grew up with Dooley’s down the block. Cheers!

    • clyde marsh says:

      hi richard i work there and rent one of your apt it was great 1979

  33. robert george says:

    been rereading all the great post about north long beach and all the memories of those writing in. there is a great discussion group on facebook called “born and raised in long beach” it has about 3000 members and they all grew up in long beach and share stories. i think you all would enjoy it. there is a post about dooleys and it seems to get the biggest response. the lumberjack was on the 3rd most northern building. remember the middle building and on the top of it it a atlas of the world and above it was a gallon of sherman paint spilling paint all over the globe and it had floresent lights that glowed at night.

  34. George Land says:

    I recall the original Hardware store. I was a little kid & it seemed very small to me. Always crowded, full of people. My Dad hated to go there because he had to stand in line for a long time. But he went there anyway . . . was there no hardware competition in N.L.B.? I knew Shirley Dooley in grade school at Jane Addams. We were in the same class for 3 years. I hardly spoke to her because I was too scared. She was pretty . . . like an Egyptian Princess . . . & even better in high school. She was quiet, refined, & upper class. I was a lazy, do-nothing clod, far beneath her level. We were both in the 1953 class at Jordan High School. Also, does anyone remember that Charles served a term on the L.B. City Council? I think he was more successful in retail sales than he was in politics.
    George Land, Camp Meeker, CA

  35. kathy lowery says:

    my dad (bill simpson) worked in appliances at dooley’s for about 20 yrs in the 60s and 70s. i worked in the record dept. in ’68. i am now 62. i loved that place. they used to serve a free lunch to employees on sundays (i think). so good. what memories. the folks there were so nice. anyone remember the seafood grotto restaurant in the 50s on ocean blvd? a big greek guy owned the place. that was pete stathis-my grandfather.

    • californiabean says:

      YOu might have sold some 45s to me! I think I was allowed to go buy them in 1970 – they were 89 cents. I don’t remember the seafood grotto on Ocean, but it’s nice to hear from a greek reader – my grandfather and grandmother came to the States from Athens through Ellis Island, and my grandfather and great-uncle George owned two ice cream parlors (parlors! Never hear that word anymore!) in Michigan – I have a great photo of my grandfather in his apron standing behind the counter, I’ll post it when I can. I am having a blast reading all the memories of Dooley’s; it really was a treasure.

      • Dave Williamson says:

        Do you recall a store at Atlantic and Olive (now Alondra) called The Try-it Store? Bought my 45s there. I bugged out of Compton several years ago due to the takeover of the area by Crips and Bloods. One of my neighbors was killed while she was babysitting her granddaughter and a bullet came through the window during a drive-by and killed her as she sat in her rocking chair.

  36. Good post kathy lowery. I worked in the garden shop, 65-67; my brother, major appliance, 64-66 & my sister, record dept. 63-65. The sweet little ol’ lady in the upstairs would sneak me 2 hamburgers with my drink and a slice of that fantastic chocolate cream pie (with the shavings on top). Many super nice employees there, my favorite was ‘spud’. The short guy in the garden shop. His real name was Forrest.

    • californiabean says:

      There were some great employees there, Charlie! I feel lucky that I had Dooley’s to go to when I was a kid – nothing else even comes close today. Three buildings, and all heart.

  37. E Ripley says:

    I grew up in Compton. My grandmother worked for the old Douglas aircraft in Long Beach. She was always getting tools or gardening supplies from there. Whenever she said she had to go to the hardware store, I’d pretty much attach myself to her leg insisting she take me with her. Unlike my mom and sisters who would rather hit the Sears Roebuck on the other end of Long Beach Blvd, I’d rather hang out at the hardware store. Sooo, unladylike. I loved that place! I’ve told people about it for years but the name wouldn’t come back to me until this morning. All of a sudden something said Dooley’s! And here it is and here you are! I haven’t been out that way in years. Don’t know if the buildings are still there but I’m packing up the dog for a road trip. Hopefully get some pictures of a place I had so much fun shopping with my Grandmother.

    • californiabean says:

      What a lovely comment – how nice that you are going on a road trip! The lot where Dooley’s was is now a grade school (Dooley Elementary, I believe), but I think the lumberjack is still there – have fun!

      • Carolyn Cofer says:

        does Anyone remember kirks corner? Awesome fried bean and cheese burritos. My family lived on Mountain View from 72 till 83.

      • robert george says:

        remember kirk’s corner, went there for years. it was on long beach blvd and market on the south/west corner, across the street from the old band of america

      • californiabean says:

        I do remember Kirk’s Corner! Great place! I’m going to see if I can find a photo – I took ballet and tap from Dorothy Castle on Market, and we used to get burgers from the Hi-Lo on Market, across from Lindbergh Junior HIgh. A very nice lady named Frances worked there – also a great spot

  38. Mary Eischen says:

    I worked at Dooleys in the 70′s, I loved working there, my sister also worked there with me…we worked in the knick knacks and housewares dept. loved it! I wish it were still there, I moved away from Long Beach 25 years ago and I really miss it. I worked with a lady named Verlene, she was so sweet, I often wonder what happened to her? great memories there! Mary

  39. Dave says:

    I came here out of interest in Dooley’s after reading a published California Court of Appeals opinion and ruling in Dooley’s Hardware Mart v. Trigg, 03/03/1969, 270 Cal. App. 2d 337. Dooley had built a concrete block wall on what he thought was or was close to the property boundary with Trigg. Later a survey revealed the boundary line was actually 1′ away. Dooley won a Pyrrhic victory in that the boundary was found to not be established at the block wall but Trigg has an easement over her 1′ of concrete driveway which was built up to the wall.

  40. CathiZ says:

    Wow. What a lovely (and familiar to my own experience!) reminiscence. I grew up in Lakewood, in a little 3 bedroom house. My Dad would sometimes take us to Dooleys for hot dogs too. They were unbelievably affordable, which was a real consideration for my parents.
    As I grow older, I’m so thankful for those experiences, because they give me an appreciation for small, sweet events, like piling into the car–all six of us kids–with my Mom and Dad, to be treated to a hot dog at Dooleys.
    Again, thanks for sharing your memory. It really resonated with me.

  41. Michael (Mike) McLean says:

    I worked at Dooley’s (Door 4) from 1979-1981 then again from 1983-1984. Ruben was my boss. My mom Dorothy worked in the Customer Service booth for several years (1975 – 1985?). It was at Dooley’s where I met my future wife. We have been together ever since (30 Years this November). Anyhow, I ended up googling to this site and thought I would leave some comments.

  42. Veronica McLinden says:

    Wow, what a trip down memory lane! I worked at Dooley’s from 1981-1987. I started as a cashier in the north building (garden, paint, hardware) and ended up in the south building, first in the radio dept, then upstairs in the furniture dept office. Hey, Jan Horton, I certainly remember you (and your darling daughter who looked just like you). I had my own daughter in 1982 and thought of so many of my fellow employees as family. Great times that I will never forget!

  43. John Falls says:

    I remember the hot dogs the most! I grew up on Arbor st. 1977 to 1983. I used to love Douglas Burger French Dips, Pastrami sandwiches, Burgers, all that. I used to play video games at Redd Foxx Lanes. Used to go to Del’s Liqour store and get my hair cut in the same plaza. My first job was at Wells bed and sofa on L.B. Blvd. and arbor st. In 81 or 82. Johnny Rebs came later down the road. Shady Acres skate park. Get back with me. L.B. Jordan class of ‘ 83.

    • californiabean says:

      Yes! And the lake at Scherer Park – we were told a body was found in it the freezer in the front of Del’s where I would pick out my Sidewalk Sundae, and Tom would say, “That’ll be 35 dollars, please!” Red Fox lanes, where I learned how to bowl and went to league night with my parents – a great time! I was class of ’78, we just missed each other!

      • John Falls says:

        I learned how to play asteroids at Redd Fox lanes! I loved the 25 cent hotdodgs at Dooleys. Going down ” suicide hill ” at Scherer park. Fishing for crawdads in the pond. Trick or Treating in Bixby Knolls cus thats where the “rich people ” lived. Eating at The Prince of Wales on L.B. blvd. Best halibut in town. L.B. Jordan c/o ’83.

      • californiabean says:

        Asteroids at Red Fox, yeah! Hot dogs at Dooley’s – I went to Hughes Junior High, and walked home through Scherer Park every day. I lived right on Del Amo, so living on a “side” street in Bixby Knolls seemed like heaven to me. And we ate at Lucy’s for special occasions – I remember having Lobster Thermidor once, because I thought it was so grown-up, and I also remember thinking it was too much for me – I loved going to Lucy’s, though; great old-school restaurant, dark and red leather booths. And did you ever eat at Marri’s? Great spaghetti and pizza, and we could never get out of there without writing our name on the walls, like everyone else. I must have gone to the Prince of Wales, what was it near?

      • Robinson says:

        My husband said that body at the park was a lady that lived next door to him, they called her aunt Dot her husband’s name was Brownie, this site has brought back many memories for him. He lived on Sunset and Elm. I will use his email

      • Colleen Gray says:

        I believe that pond was built with concrete and bowl shaped that made it a dangerous treacherous pond when algae slime would build up in it and if you even stepped out in it for example to net some pollywogs with a (coat hanger/ nylon stocking net your mom made) ;) you could easily slide down in and have a very hard time getting out…I don’t know if that was the case with the woman you speak of……One time I saw a child start sliding in then her brother came to give her a hand and he started sliding in, then mom and before you knew it they looked like a paper doll cut- out. but dad hoisted them in. whew!

      • californiabean says:

        Do you guys remember the little brook that started at the top of the hill and fed into the river? I used to wade in it as a kid – I remember it being slimy, and also remember getting out and finding that I had cut my foot.

        I may have mentioned this – I also remember sitting next to the lake and watching boys ride down the hill and right into it…

  44. What a treat to discover this post and all the wonderful comments. As a kid I lived on Virginia Ave (’72 – ’83), one block behind Dooley’s and two blocks from Sutter Elementary. What a great place it was to be a kid. Dooley dogs, arcade games at Red Fox Lanes, dinner out at Sizzler, riding bikes in the LA River, mini golf at Shady Acres. Such a shame “you can never go home again.”

    • John Falls says:

      It is a shame we can never go home. I grew up on Arbor St. My first job was at Wells Bed and Sofa working for Mr. Don Wells. I used to go to Shady Acres later became a skate park. Douglas Burger on L.B. Blvd. Playing Asteroids at Red Fox Lanes. Sizzler was a treat. Del’s Liquors on L.B.Blvd. went to John A. Sutter, Lindbergh, and Jordan c/o ’83. Lucy’s restaurant L.B.Blvd. The list goes on. No. Long Beach ’77-’83.

  45. John Falls says:

    Does anyone out there remember the Crest and Towne theaters on Atlantic Ave.? Those walk-ins had character!

    • Dave Williamson says:

      Oh, yes!!! Saw ‘Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’ at one of them (can’t remember which) with my folks. The entire area is a sea of memories.

    • Colleen Gray says:

      oh yes ,when I was a young child I remember tickets were 50. each and I think they had double features didn’t they? I think the average movie was rarely over an hour and a half long

  46. charles moonier says:

    You guys should check out ‘Born and Raised in Long Beach’

  47. Dave Phillips says:

    I went to Sutter and graduated 6th grade in 1962; lived on Pacific Ave. maybe a block from the school. I bowled my first time at Red Fox Lanes; used to cash in pop bottles at the liquor store on LB Blvd. Love the posts on here! Loved Dooley’s; got my first baseball mitt there. Shady Acres was a blast, and little snackbar type place there to eat. Loved the summer programs at Sutter, arts and crafts and the traveling softball team that played the other elementary schools. Coach Bob (Mesa), playing caroms, learned how to braid key chains with the plastic colored braid material. Had a friend named Gary Lahna who died in Vietnam, fabulous memories, how about those Good Humor trucks that played their music as they rolled through the neighborhoods.

  48. The Lord of Misrule says:

    There is now a facebook page “Born and Raised in Long Beach” where people talk about things like this, what movie theaters you went to, which library, with much reminiscing. https://www.facebook.com/groups/5916137753/ It’s been nice to find other Long Beach folks!

  49. clyde marsh says:

    all your storys were great

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