"World's Oldest Neon" Found at Clifton's

The landmark restaurant makes a surprise find during renovations.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Adrian Scott Fine
    Workers at Clifton's Cafeteria discovered a neon light still aglow during renovations.

    Is there something magical about California and long-burning bulbs?

    Our state is famously home to "The World's Longest Burning Light Bulb" (you've likely seen the 111-year-old bulb on local travel shows; it is screwed in way up high and out of breaking danger inside a Livermore Fire Department station).

    Now a neon light has been discovered at Clifton's Cafeteria, which is undergoing massive renovations. Make that a still glowing neon light. The downtown landmark puts its age at over 70 years and thus has dubbed it "the World's Oldest Neon Light" (that would be neon light that has been constantly lit, that is).

    blogdowntown first reported the story; the Museum of Neon Art, of course, is all a-twitter. Or is "a-buzz" more apt here? Probably. Bet neon specialists'll be all over this one in the days ahead.

    The light, by the way, was found "behind a wall," if you were wondering why it went undiscovered for the better part of a century. Amazing, right? Do you live in an older home and apartment? Do you wonder what's in the attic or behind the walls? So many secrets, and many of them pretty good. (A cool neon find definitel goes in the "good" column, we think.)

    And Clifton's Cafeteria continues to live up to its rep as a place of delight and wonder. Remember the first time you visited when you said "wait -- there's a tiny chapel located inside this cafeteria? And there are classic wobbly red gelatin desserts, too? Can life get more interesting?")

    Well, clearly, it can, with the addition of the wondrous forever neon of Clifton's Cafeteria.

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