Catch a wave

New Surf Thru wash throws in little extras; Hometown Buffet spot seemingly spoken for; outdoor seminars at Sportsman’s Warehouse

I was picking up dinner at Teriyaki House on Notre Dame Boulevard the other night when I noticed a big sign by the relatively new Surf Thru Express Car Wash, basically next door (2470 Forest Ave.). It got me at “free car wash.” I texted the word “Chico” to the number specified and, within a minute or so, received a coupon code good for 10 days. Believe me, my car needed a rinse.

The line was minimal, so I went on through. And the experience was really nice. I pulled up to the cashier and gave her my code. She offered me an air freshener and a little trash baggie with a dashboard wipe. Handy! There was another lane next to me for “members” (you can buy monthly or annual memberships, starting at $19.99/month or $190/year), something I’ve never heard of in a car wash. Single washes start at $7.99.

I pulled around to the actual wash and, even though there were cars ahead of me, the wait was short. I put my old Toyota into neutral and whipped out the dash wipe, then threw it and the other trash within reach into the baggie. If I’d had the time, I would have taken advantage of the free vacuums. I did notice that my car was not only clean, but also clear of streaks—normally the worst part of a drive-through wash, am I right?

An added bonus at Surf Thru is the energy savings: Its website ( boasts that the Chico location (the 11th—another is planned to open in Yuba City soon) is solar-powered and uses less water to wash one car than you’d use to wash a load of laundry in a standard machine. Neat!

Buffet-style According to the website for Kimco Realty, which manages the Chico Crossroads center at East 20th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, there soon could be a new restaurant taking over the spot left vacant by Hometown Buffet last year. The new tenant? Fuji Buffet. I couldn’t find out much about the place, however, other than its name. I did call up Kimco Realty and was told the owners are in Southern California but that details have yet to be finalized. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.

Young entrepreneurs This Saturday (July 29), head over to the Chico Mall for some much-needed respite from the heat (it’s supposed to reach 104) and check out what the young winners of the Biz Kids contest have concocted. They were tasked with creating a business idea, the theme of which is “recycling in the world today.” Winners get to set up shop noon-4 p.m.

Get outdoors I had no idea until recently that Sportsman’s Warehouse holds regular events teaching attendees how to master certain skills or about new products. In fact, this Saturday, there will be two events. At noon, the staff will offer a demo of new range-finding binoculars. Then, at 1 p.m., local fishing guide Adam Andreini will discuss salmon and how to catch them. Sportsman’s Warehouse is at 765 East Ave., Ste. 170; find it on Facebook and click on “events” to learn more.