San Francisco is internationally recognized for its culinary scene and foodie community.  As a San Francisco Sign Company, we have been delighted to work with many talented and creative individuals who are at the cutting edge of this field – inspiring and pushing our own team to new creative lengths along the way.

Experienced restaurateurs and long-time clients, the Dal Bozzo family, run a total of eight San Francisco restaurants, the most recent addition being The Old Time Clam House.  Built in 1861 on San Francisco’s Bayshore Blvd., The Old Time Clam House is San Francisco’s oldest restaurant.  Even surviving the disastrous 1906 earthquake and fire, this space really is a piece of Bay Area History.  Our team was honored and excited to be part of such a significant San Francisco sign project.

The project began with an interesting twist, because of The Old Time Clam House’s historic landmark status the Dal Bozzo’s decided they wanted a new sign with a vintage feel.  “As though it’s always belonged here,” they told us. We began the detailed sign planning process with the Dal Bozzos and came up with a design strategy.  We would create a neon sign that was reminiscent of the mid 20century, a green cabinet, classic font, a radius corner and naturally, the classic martini glass.  We had a classic, retro San Francisco sign design that we could collectively be proud of.


We surveyed the area, pulled the permits and were ready to begin, although a few requirements needed to be met -the two most crucial being placement and weather resistance. The new sign had to be installed in the exact same position as the previous sign, which required just a simple update to wires and turnbuckles.  It was also being installed in the windy Bay area, so we had to meet the city engineer’s standards for high wind load.  Piece of cake!

The final product:

A 6 ft. 6 in. tall, 23 in. wide and 12ft long, neon sign with a steel angle frame covered with aluminum sheets is what came to be.  We built the custom frame to support five France ServiceMaster transformers which power the 240 ft. of neon illumination. For the “Clam House” text and the classic martini glass 12mm Voltarc tubing was installed to imitate the color illumination of a retro neon sign.  We added additional tubing colors, including clear blue for the martini glass, light green for the olive and red for pimiento. The sign’s body was painted with Sherwin-Williams 6447 Evergreen flat finish paint. We then dated the color with faux metal seams and used a sponge to add a faux rusty finish.

We continued the “aging” process with the Dal Bozzo’s consideration and input, to have the client as involved as possible we created a video that provided the Dal Bozzo’s with a walk around view of the sign’s progress.  As the final product started coming together, we decided to sheath the glass stands in silicone to minimize breakage and the sign was installed with a Skyhoist SR 77 hydraulic crane.

Our installation gained much attention from employees and public onlookers alike.  People were in awe of where they found “that cool old sign.”  Using new materials in unique, unexpected and creative ways we had successfully created a retro neon sign for a staple of the bay area The Old Time Clam House, a great ending to a fantastic project!