Thursday, October 12, 2017

5 Things to Do in Downtown San Ramon, California

5 Things to do in San Ramon, CA

Whether you are local to San Ramon or just in town for a visit, there’s much to explore in the city. While we know and love signs, we also love sharing all that our community has to offer. Here are a few of our favorite things to do within San Ramon.

Explore the History

San Ramon is full of history, and luckily, much of it has been preserved to explore and learn about firsthand. You can check out Forest Homes Farms Historic Park, which details the founding of San Ramon in a completely immersive way that is fun for the whole family.

A 16-acre farm with the complete Forest estate and the Glass family Victorian home are both open for exploring Tuesdays through Saturdays, with free family activities on Saturdays from 11am-2pm. We love that the history of the park honors the founding men and women of the city. Bring your family and inspire them to be the trailblazers for the next generation in San Ramon.

The Golden Skate

On just about every list of things to do in San Ramon is a visit to the Golden Skate. With daily open skate times, this roller rink is a throwback to the heyday of roller rinks that kids of all ages can truly enjoy.

The Golden Skate also offers roller skating lessons, a hockey team, and is available for parties and events. Attend one of the daily open skate sessions with your whole family, or attend an adult open skate session for a rolling good time.

De-Stress and Pamper Yourself

Want to cut stress and treat yourself? Healing Hands Spa has a host of services, from a full menu of massages, including reflexology, hot stone massages, and even a full body polish, along with facials,  and new age offerings like reiki treatments, and aura readings and cleansings to take care of you both physically and spiritually.

Looking to pamper yourself in a whole new way? Check out Enlighten Float for an entirely new, tranquil experience, unlike any other. In a small, sensory deprivation tank filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts dissolved in water, your body floats atop the water to alleviate pressure to your joints and your entire body. Essentially, there is no gravity, no touch, no sound, and no sight, allowing you to completely relax during your 60-90 minute session. Those who have tried float sessions rave about the stress relief and physical benefits they receive from the experience. Don’t miss out on this totally new, refreshing experience.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

One of the things that make San Ramon so unique is the gorgeous landscape that just begs to be explored. Not too far from downtown is the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park. With over 5,000 acres to traverse, hikers and horseback riders love the trails and the remote feeling just outside downtown.

Bring a picnic and go for a hike, scale the 2,024-foot summit on Rocky Ridge check out the stables and take a horseback riding lesson, or even reserve a campsite to fully immerse yourself in the beauty Las Trampas has to offer. Don’t forget your hiking permit. Tip: Bring lots of water for you, your pets, and your horse— water isn’t always readily available at all locations within the park.

Check Out 18 (or 9) Holes and a Beverage

Can’t decide between a trip to a local brewery or a game of golf? No need to worry. Canyon Lakes Golf Course and Brewery has the best of both worlds available in one stop. With a brand new microbrewery now in full production offering a host of different kinds of brews, even those who don’t enjoy golf will enjoy a stop at Canyon Lakes.

The brewery also offers a full restaurant menu so you won’t go hungry after a long day of golf. Play 18 holes on the beautiful public course, and refresh yourself afterward with an ice cold brew and delicious meal. Canyon Lakes also has seasonal events throughout the year, so be sure to check out the offerings for fall, including their Halloween edition of their monthly Night Golf event.

At Sequoia Signs, we are proud to be part of the thriving community of San Ramon and to serve the businesses and people of the greater Bay Area region. Let us help you take your business to the next level and request a quote today.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Top 10 Recommended Restaurants in Concord, CA

Best restaurants in Concord, California

Coming to Concord for work or a visit? Just in a restaurant rut and looking for a new food adventure? Sure, we know and love signs, but we also know and love a good restaurant just as much. Here are our picks for the top ten restaurants to check out in Concord, California:

Pick #1: Eureka!

If we are talking about top recommended restaurants in Concord, you will be sure to find Eureka! on just about any list. With a fresh take on modern American fare and a happy hour that can’t be beat, there’s something to surprise and delight everyone. Your mouth will water just thinking about the truffle cheese fries, topped with green onion and a white truffle cheese sauce, and we can’t get enough of their awesome burger selection. (PS: You will have a very hard time picking from their brunch menu, too. You may need to make several trips!)

Pick #2: Fiore

Fiore is an intimate, authentic Italian restaurant with food offerings that extend well beyond the traditional choices of many other Italian restaurants. Their menu is packed with fun, delectable options that are surprising and traditional at the same time. Fiore not only brings the ambiance and old world charm of Italy to Concord, making it perfect for a date night or quiet dinner, but it also brings the flavor in full force. Fiore is known for their beet salad and the Pescatore complete with lobster tomato sauce. There is something to delight every lover of Italian cuisine, from the traditional to the more adventurous

Pick #3: Digger’s Diner

True Concordians know that the best local spot in town for any kind of comfort food is Digger’s Diner. You won’t want to miss out on the breakfast sandwich first thing in the morning, and there is a reason the menu lists the burgers as “famous.” The Coffin Burger is renown for satisfying even the most voracious of appetites. There’s nothing fancy about the place: Digger’s has the comfortable feeling of a greasy spoon or a hole-in-the-wall diner—a name they claim with pride—but the food here is top-notch.

Pick #4: La Sen Bistro

Looking for something a little fancier than a diner? La Sen Bistro is a delightful French restaurant that will transport you from Concord to France with your first sip of wine. La Sen truly does all of the French classics incredibly well and their kitchen isn’t one to shy away from using real butter or rich flavors to bring you the real tastes of France. The lamb chops and duck breast are out of this world and you can’t beat their incredibly flavorful French onion soup. With a small, lush dining area and authentic flavors, you will think you’re on vacation from the first sip to the last bite.

Pick #5: Plate & Vine

Not sure what you’re in the mood for? You can find a wide array of both new American dishes and pizzas at Plate & Vine, and as the name would imply, you won’t be wanting for lack of wines from which to choose. As many ingredients as possible are locally and sustainably sourced thanks to our long growing season, and the sleek atmosphere matches the complex yet delightful flavors that Plate & Vine has to offer. Also, if you give it a taste, you will surely be dreaming about the lobster mac and cheese for days.

Pick #6: Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

It’s worth checking out Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar multiple times a year thanks to their exciting seasonal menu, but there is also truly something to please everyone at Lazy Dog, home to traditional-yet-exciting American fare. Plus, you can enjoy the fire pit on the patio with your four-legged canine friends, which we love. You can even order off a special menu for your pups, but for you, we recommend the mahi-mahi tacos or the brussel sprouts. Check out the weekend brunch for a delicious start to your day as well.

Pick #7: Naan n Curry

There is frequently a short wait at this little restaurant for some of the best butter chicken and other Indian cuisines that Concord has to offer, and we can see why. Have patience and know that you will soon be rewarded with fresh baked, tasty naan bread and stellar chicken tikki masala. Naan n Curry is also very vegetarian-friendly, but there is surely something on the menu to amuse everyone’s palates too. Watch your meal being prepared right in front of your eyes with Naan n Curry’s open kitchen, and then enjoy delicious, authentic Indian food in the heart of Concord.

Pick #8: DJ’s Bistro

If you’re in the mood for German or Eastern European fare, look no farther than DJ’s Bistro. With excellent goulash, sauerbraten, schnitzel, and dumplings served fresh daily, you can enjoy all the tastes of Europe right here in Concord. You will be greeted warmly in this small but mighty restaurant, and with ice cold German beers on tap, you will soon feel like part of the family too. Don’t miss the true European delights that DJ’s has to offer, and come back again and again for the friendly, family-like atmosphere.

Pick #9: Hunan Restaurant

Hunan Restaurant has been a staple of traditional Chinese restaurants in Concord for decades, and because you can order many dishes to be served family style, you can try a variety in just one visit. The Chinese dumplings, filled with both pork and Chinese cabbage, served with perfectly paired sauces will be enough to bring you back time after time, but we know you will want to give the whole menu a try.

Pick #10: Steamboat

Steamboat is an Asian-fusion restaurant where you can find killer sushi and Chinese cuisine all in one spot. Steamboat is also known for its offering of hot pots, or pots where you cook an assortment of foods (usually with meat) in a heated broth right at your table. This fun atmosphere is perfect to share with a party for a delicious and unforgettable dining experience filled with both camaraderie and delicious entrées. You also won’t want to leave without sampling the macaron ice cream sandwiches that are offered in a variety of exotic flavors and can definitely satisfy even the most extreme sweet tooth.

At Sequoia Signs, we’re proud to serve businesses including restaurants, manufacturers, and more in the Concord, California area. Click here to request a quote today!

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Did You Know This About San Ramon, California?

Trivia and facts about San Ramon, California

California is full of history and interesting facts, and San Ramon is no exception. Even if you’ve lived in the Bay area for years, there are always things to learn right in your own backyard. We’ve got a few suggestions of places to explore and learn just a little bit more about San Ramon, we’ve even thrown some trivia in the mix!

A Muse for Playwrights

Famed playwright, Eugene O’Neill lived in San Ramon for a short period of time, and it was here that he wrote his best known work, The Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which went on to win a Pulitzer Prize, and is considered one of the best plays written in the 20th century. There’s even an Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site located here, just outside of Danville, where you can tour his home and learn about his prolific works. O’Neill  was drawn to the privacy of the valley and the seclusion that he couldn’t find in bigger cities. Perhaps the gorgeous landscape was the inspiration O’Neill needed to clear his head and create his masterpiece!

A Home to Football Stars (and other sports too!)

Did you know there are five current and former professional NFL football players who have lived in, or are from San Ramon? That’s a pretty high turnout for a city this size! Marv Hubbard played for both the Oakland Raiders and the Detroit Lions, and lived his later years in San Ramon. Tony Stewart of the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders has lived in San Ramon, and Austin Hooper currently of the Atlanta Falcons, James Jones, formerly of the Green Bay Packers, and Khalil Mack of the Oakland Raiders have all lived, are from, or currently live in the San Ramon region.

Also from San Ramon? Professional soccer players David Bingham, Andrew Wiedeman, and Olympic gold medal soccer player Tiffany Roberts, as well as NHL hockey player Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Talk about goals!

A Town Rich in History

Before it was settled during colonization, and then later during the Gold Rush, the San Ramon area was home to the Ohlone Native Americans for centuries due to its rich abundance of all sorts of food sources and fresh water, and also because of its geography; Mount Diablo was a sacred space for the Native Americans of the valley, but it was Spanish colonizers who gave the mount its current name. Did you know Mount Diablo can actually be seen from nearly every point in San Ramon?

San Ramon later became grazing lands for the Mission San José during Spanish colonization in the late 1700s due to the level, farmable land, creeks, and the abundance of trees. The area was given the name of San Ramon in honor of Saint Raymond of Penyafort.

After the Gold Rush, the town of San Ramon as we know it today began to develop, led by several influential families. Until very recently, this spot was marked by a row of very old eucalyptus trees.  Forest Homes Farms is a volunteer organization and historic museum run by the city dedicated to preserving the history and homes of these first founding families, allowing visitors to experience life in San Ramon as it was in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a 16-acre farm that has preserved homesteads built by both the Boone and Glass families, who were influential in the development of San Ramon. You can check out the farms and even tour the homes on a weekly basis!

(Cool fact: The farm was given to the city by Ruth Quayle Boone to honor and commemorate her husband’s efforts to develop the city, but after her death, the city expanded the memorial to recognize the contributions she and many other women made for the agriculture of San Ramon. Go Ruth!)

This year, 2017, is actually the sesquicentennial celebration of the founding of San Ramon (that’s 150 years!), marked by the founding of a school for the local children. At the time, the school was thought to be “among the neatest and best arranged schoolhouses in the county,” boasting two rooms divided by a partition, a bell tower, and 13-foot ceilings (how impressive!).

The Bartlett Pear

At one point, San Ramon was home to the world’s largest Bartlett pear orchard. Originally owned by Thomas Bishop, the Bishop Brothers Ranch grew to 2000 acres after his death, becoming, for a time, the largest Bartlett pear orchard. What is really cool about this is that what’s left of the orchard (about 9 acres) is harvested during an annual festival and donated to charity. The Moraga Pear Harvest, held in early August each year invites volunteers to come venture the grounds and pick pears to donate to local charities. Each year, the park donates over 10,000 pounds of pears to the less fortunate through the Food Bank at Contra Costa and Solano. That’s a cause we can stand behind! (PS: They also have a summer concert series on the park grounds you won’t want to miss!).

Sequoia Signs is proud to serve the community of San Ramon and the surrounding areas. We provide quality signs, regardless of type or size. Interested in learning what Sequoia Signs can do for you? Click here to request a quote today.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

5 Things About Concord, CA You Might Not Know

5 Things You Should Know About Concord, CA

While not exactly the biggest of the cities located in the Bay Area, Concord, California has plenty of stories and facts that aren’t always well-known. Here are 5 things you might not know about Concord:

An Early Name Change

You may be familiar with the Todos Santos Plaza, but do you know the significance of “Todos Santos”? Concord was once known, if only briefly, as Todos Santos. In 1868 cattle ranchers Don Salvio Pacheco and his son Fernando Pacheco created a new town after the earthquake of 1868, flooding, and fires befell their town carrying their name, Pacheco. It’s name? Todos Santos. In 1869, they offered the town for free to the people of their fallen city, Pacheco. The townspeople, however, had different ideas for the community name. In April of 1869, the Contra Costa Gazette announced the new town under the name Concord – which means “harmony”.

Notable Natives

Northern California as a whole is a hotbed for science, technology and the arts, and our city is no exception. Concord is home to some big names from the arts world – most notably, Tom, Dave and Frank.

Tom Hanks, the academy award winning actor and director who you may know from “Big”, “Castaway”, “The Green Mile”, “Forest Gump”, “Apollo 13”, or a handful of other major motion pictures, was born in Concord in 1956.

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck, one of the best known “cool jazz” musicians was born in Concord in 1920. He co-founded the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951. Dave was known for his experimentation with time signature; recording songs in 7/4, 13/4, and 9/8 time. Some of his more popular work includes “In Your Own Sweet Way”, “The Duke” and possibly most notably, “Take Five” which alongside Paul Desmond (saxophonist, composer, and Brubeck’s longtime partner in jazz) went on to b the first jazz instrumental to sell more than a million copies.

Frank O. Gehry may not have been born in Concord, but he has left a lasting impression on our area. With the 1975 design of the Concord Pavillion. He went on to design the Guggenhiem Museum in Bilibao, Spain; the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Olympic Fish for the Barcelona Olympics, and even the Facebook West Campus in Menlo Park, CA; hailed as a garden roofed fantasyland by Wired Magazine.

Home to Marching Champions

Concord is home to the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, a world class musical marching ensemble that consists of brass and percussion instruments and a color guard. Holding a record 18 Drum Corps International World Championship titles, the Drum and Bugle Corps, whose name gives a nod to their origins – blue for the VFW and devils referring to the Mount Diablo area, holds a record high score with DCI – 99.650. They have finished in the top 5 for the past 40 years.

A Japanese Sister City

Concord became a sister city with Kitikami, Japan in 1974. The Concord Civic Center features a small Japanese garden and sculpture commemorating the relationship. The sculpture, The Communion Bridge, is a two-part piece, with one half in Concord, the other in Kitikami. The cities continue to develop this relationship with exchange students, visits, and tours.

History of Agriculture All Around

While Concord today is more suburban, the area all around was historically agricultural. Grapes, walnuts, almonds, wheat, and hay filled the fields around Concord. During Prohibition, walnut orchards took favor as vineyards were removed. Today, the concord Naval Weapons Station takes the place of what once was miles of wheat, and Napa Valley wine country is a quick drive away, making it an easy day trip for Concord residents and visitors.

Sequoia Signs is proud to be a part of the Concord community. We pride ourselves in bringing cost-effective and attractive signs, vinyl vehicle graphics, advertising and marketing products to the East Bay area. Request a free quote today to bring your business to life with custom signs and graphics!

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Monday, September 18, 2017

One pan chicken with asparagus

Here’s a little gem from Jamie Oliver.  In fact, I’m just going to provide the link.  http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/quick-crispy-chicken-with-tomatoes-asparagus/

The first time I made this, we were guests at my sisters house and I needed something quick but special- this fit the bill perfectly.  I’ve made it several times since- I love to bump up the olive ratio but do what you like.  Unfortunately I was so hungry, I forgot to take a “plated” photo.  You get the picture.

enjoy!

Tom

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How Channel Letter Signs Put You Ahead of the Competition.docx

How Channel Letter Signs Help Your Business Stand Out

It’s important that your business makes a statement. A great way to achieve that is with a channel letter sign. Your sign is the first thing people will see when they enter your workplace, and it can be all the difference you need to help stand out in a field of similar businesses.

24-Hour Visibility 

As the weather turns colder, and days grow shorter, we are left with less and less daylight, yet you still need to keep your company visible and appealing year-round. Bold, illuminated signs or backlit letters allow you to advertise your company and its branding no matter the time of day. Just think: On a dreary day, a gleaming, lighted sign surrounded by a glowing halo may be enough to convince someone passing to enter your pizza parlor for an easy dinner at the end of a long workday. And with that, you have a new faithful customer. Success, thanks to your beautiful new, reverse halo channel letters!

Advocating for Your Brand

What the world sees on the exterior of your workspace ends up being the face of your company. People are more likely to see your sign than they are to stumble across your website or find a business card. With halo lit letters, face lit letters, translucent lighting, and additional customization with the kind of lighting, lettering, and graphics you use, your channel sign can match the attitude of your brand and match the professionalism you already bring to the table. It shows the everyone what kind of work you put out into the world. That kind of unified presentation can set you apart from the rest.

Here is an example of how we helped one company update their channel letter signs to match their brand and their updated logo, advocating for their company and presenting a new face for their business. Now, their business seems modern and forward-thinking due to their sleek new design, and because their signage matches their new logo, they are presenting a streamlined, unified vision of their brand that starts outside and follows the customer inside. That kind of coordination will give you the professional edge over competitors.

Design Versatility

There are countless options in creating your own custom lit letters that will allow you to best represent your company, from lighting to lettering, and even how your sign is mounted. A custom sign feels personal and professional, shows you pay attention to details, and is eye-catching. It’s constant advertising for your business. What more could you want to set you apart from your competition?

From the design to the mounting of the sign, to dealing with the electrical elements, we are there every step of the way to ensure the best possible outcome. We use LED channel letters when creating your signs, meaning, they are not only energy efficient and long-lasting, but our signs are also brighter than older styles of channel letters, helping you shine that much more than the rest. We can work with you to create matching pylon signs as well to coordinate with your beautiful new channel letters. The possibilities and benefits are endless!

Unsure of the options available to you and what they all mean? Here’s a quick rundown of the different kinds of channel letter signs and how they can work for you. Still have more questions about channel letter signs?

Contact us here to get started today! Ready to give your business the splash it needs to take you to the next level? What a bright idea! Request a quote and we can get the ball rolling.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Why Does Your Business Need ADA Compliant Office Signs?

Why You Need ADA Compliant Signs

Whatever your business may be, it’s important to create a space in which both your employees and visitors feel welcome and safe in your office. Including visible, accessible signage not only keeps you compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, it’s also a great opportunity for you to incorporate office signs that both enhance your brand and make your space a more inclusive one, too. At Sequoia Signs, we are more than happy to work with you to create office signs that follow the requirements of the ADA and also blends seamlessly with your company’s aesthetic and unique brand.

It Will Create a Safe, Accepting Environment

Why do you need ADA compliant office signs? Well, for starters, it’s the law. Many Americans rely on wayfinding signs to navigate through the world on a daily basis. It allows them the freedom and ability to have access to buildings and businesses as safely and effortlessly as possible.

Displaying ADA signage in your office isn’t just important for legal reasons though, and the need for these signs doesn’t stop once you are indoors. The use of accessible plaques and directory signs in your reception or lobby sets the stage for visitors and employees alike to know that your office is a welcoming space where they can feel at ease.

Many Americans with disabilities will choose to work with a business or not based on how easy or difficult it can be for them to access. Using elements like braille outside restroom or office doors, or displaying information about accessible entrances will ensure that people can enter and travel through your building safely. It says that your doors are open to all and that you value all people.

Your Signs Can Match (and Even Enhance) Your Company’s Aesthetic

Office and door signs don’t have to be boring, and we believe that signs that meet ADA regulations don’t have to be boring either. Sure, there are requirements as far as readability, and the kind and color of lettering you use for wayfinding and other accommodations, but these can be incorporated into designs that perfectly match your company’s brand. If your conference room signage is creative, ADA compliant and coordinates beautifully with your logo, you’re presenting a strong, unified brand that’s also inclusive and accessible. How efficient!

We love working with your existing graphic design, and even your logo to keep your office ADA compliant while also maintaining your individual flair. With countless materials like brushed metal and engraved acrylic, and even options like backlighting, your lobby and directional postings, ADA Braille signs, nameplates, sliding and room signs can all be functional, coordinated, and attractive at the same time. ADA signage can even be incorporated into the overall design of your space with the inclusion of surrounding graphic wall decals. And we can even make desk signs to match!

Partnering with Sequoia

The ADA was created in 1990 to allow all people with disabilities the same access to buildings and services that come naturally to those without disabilities. Because of this, there are many regulations in place for ADA signs, which can be a lot to keep track of on your own. Braille must be hung at a certain height. Type styles used may not include serifs. Bathroom signs must be posted on a specific side of the door. The list goes on. These specifications can seem overwhelming to someone unfamiliar with the regulations. We at Sequoia Signs know these requirements, and can effortlessly and artfully implement them in your office so that you don’t have to worry about it. Contact us today to learn more!

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