Back to normal

With school in session, business picks up

Welcome back, students! You’ve been back a week and already the town is bustling again. Not that I’m itching to say goodbye to lazy summer days, but it does feel like life is back to normal when class is in session.

Each new school year comes with news of businesses opening their doors, and this one is no exception. I’m told Hobby Lobby held a massive number of job interviews over the weekend and hired at least 30 people to staff its new shop in the old Toys ‘R’ Us building on East 20th Street. While I don’t support the business’ stances on birth control, I do support employment opportunities. So, there’s a bright spot there (just expect to pay for your own pills, ladies).

Over off of Floral Avenue, United Way of Northern California just held its ribbon cutting. The nonprofit, based in Redding, serves nine counties, including Butte, and with a Chico office I think we’ll begin to see more action locally. Its mission is straightforward: “to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community.” Right on.

After doing pop-up events for just the past couple months, the plant-based Pizza Riot is going brick-and-mortar. It’s taking over the spot vacated by Refuel Nutrition at the corner of Second and Walnut streets. (Fans of Refuel’s protein shakes and other drinks can still find them, just at JumpStart Nutrition, at 167 E. Third Ave.)

Casa de Paradiso opened to the public last weekend in the old Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse spot on Carmichael Drive. What a great location for the former Paradise hotspot, just down the hill. Its grand opening and ribbon cutting will be Wednesday (Sept. 4), 5:30-9 p.m. Stop by for a free buffet and booze for purchase.

The Allies Pub opened to the public on Tuesday (Aug. 27) next door to Bank of America downtown. More on that in the coming weeks. And just up the street, The Rawbar Restaurant and Sushi reopened Monday (Aug. 26) after being closed for two months.

Moving up Gojo Market on Nord Avenue, owned by Addis Desalegne, is now offering U-Haul services. There’ll be trucks, trailers, hauling equipment, moving supplies and boxes on-site. What’s even cooler: You can arrange a rental online and pick it up any time, 24/7.

So long Not all news is good news, of course. With zero warning, Cold Stone Creamery downtown closed its doors. The sign on the door says it had been open for 20 years. Best of luck to the family. (And bummer for downtown. The last thing we need is another corner spot left vacant!)

Win a car! Raffle tickets for the annual cross-town rivalry Almond Bowl are always a hot commodity, and they’re already on sale this year. The prize? Your choice between a 2019 Nissan Kicks or a 2019 Hyundai Kona, courtesy of Chico Nissan Hyundai. Tickets are $20 each, feature Round Table Pizza coupons, and can be purchased at Chico High, Pleasant Valley High or Chico Nissan or Hyundai.