City Editor Gregg, here. Who else remembers Fry’s Electronics, fondly? It used to be one of the most prominent superstores in the South Bay.
The first location opened its doors in Sunnyvale in 1985, and for the next 30 years, would cement itself as one of the most unique businesses you’d find anywhere in the US.
You see, unlike many big-box stores, every single Fry’s had a specific theme. I have such fond memories of visiting these stores — I thought it would be fun to take look at the three South Bay locations, and some memories I have there.
🔌 550 E. Brokaw Rd., San Jose
Modeled after weathered grey-limestone temples from South America, the location wanted to pay tribute to “the first astronomers, the Mayans, with settings from Chichenitza.”
I remember listening to the hidden speakers piping in the sounds of wind and rain with subtle squawks and trills of tropical birds.
Currently, the building is being used as a warehouse space for San Jose tech company Supermicro. City Council approved plans to turn the space into a multi-building office complex, though developers are considering the potential of residential units.
🔌 600 E. Hamilton Ave., Campbell
I remember the dark atmosphere punctuated by electric orange sconces. The walls were lined with hieroglyphics and large, stone scarabs.
Today, the building is home to the Bay Area’s first-ever indoor pickleball club.
🔌 1077 E. Arques Ave., Sunnyvale
This high-tech-inspired location’s massive, fenced-in parking lot continues to grow weeds, while its formerly bright-green waveform sign hangs bleach-white on the building.
I remember the inside of this location being exceptionally bright. Colorful, David Hockney-styled squiggly rugs weaving in and around aisles and aisles of gadgets in between faux marble floors.
Semiconductor equipment manufacturer Applied Materials purchased the site in September 2023, though their plans for the building are currently unknown.