Antonio and Theresa Vasconi, natives of Varano Barghi in northern Italy, arrived in California in the early 1900’s. They settled initially in Pleasant Hill where Antonio worked on farms and with the Italian Wine Association on Hooksion Road. By 1908 The Vasconi’s had moved into a home at Sunset and Grant Street, and opened a Galindo Street Grocery. As Concord grew, Vasconi prospered. In 1915, Antonio purchased the original Lambert Building – re-faced downstairs as The Buffalo.
Located facing east on the old Pacheco Road [Concord Avenue] at the northeast corner with Salvio Street, the original two- story, wood-frame building had included a bakery/grocery store, a dining room, and a boarding house. Presently, the New Font Room Restaurant in the relocated Perry Landmark House occupies this site. During the early 1920’s, the the Vasconis purchased a new home, built by L.V.Perry, on Galindo and Concord Blvd. Antonio also owned the Fun Saloon, located on the present site of the Salvio Street parking lot of the Sun and Moon Restaurant.
In 1927, he built the Plaza Hotel , with its imposing dining room, on the northwest corner of Salvio Street positions. Over the years, Becarro’s Grocery and the Plaza Liquor Store have occupied Salvio Street positions on the building. Present ground-level occupants of the three story Salvio Pacheco Square building on the site include Pacific Cafe, Baskin and Robbins, J. Wentlings, Jewelers and Goldsmiths and the Concord Convention Center and Visitors Bureau.
Antonio retired 1942, he and Theresa died in 1950 and 1970 respectively. They had three children, Theodore (Ted) Amadeo Vasconi had been born in Italy: he and his wive Georgette had one son, Vince.
A daughter Rose (Vasconi) Belka was born in Pleasant Hill. Now deceased, her son, James Belka, still resides in the area. Antonio and Theresa’s second son, Aldo Dominic Vasconi, was born in Concord in 1910. Aldo attended Concord Elementary and Mt. Diablo High School, graduating from the U.C. College of Pharmacy. He and his wife Sylvia (peterson) Vasconi of Oakland, returned to Concord where Aldo became a partner in the Concord Drugstore.
It ultimately was moved along Salvio Street to a site between the Bank of Italy/ Bank of America and Keller’s Hardware Store. Aldo finally purchased the business in 1930. He then expanded the business, finally displacing the Bank when it was moved to a Willow Pass Road facility. He also began his extensive Valco/Rexall chain of Pharmacies. Aldo felt strongly about his roots in downtown Concord. He was active in the local Elks Club, the Downtown Property Owners Association and several national and state professional pharmacists groups. He served the City as an early member of the Redevelopment Advisory Committee and led the effort to restore the landmark Foskett and Elworthy Building. Aldo D. Vasconi died in 1980, Sylvia Vasconi still resides in Concord. Their son, Peter Vasconi, has continued his father’s profession, strong commitment to quality service, and genuine attachment to the downtown. Educated at Queen of All Saints Elementary School, Mt. Diablo High School, U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Pharmacy School in San Francisco. Peter took over the Concord Drug Store in 1978. Also active in Civic, alumni and professional associations, Peter and his wife, Judy (Skinner) Vasconi, reside in Concord and are life members of the Concord Historical Society.