Eclipse, chicks and poke time

Prepare your peepers; set up your coop; and Hawaiian food is coming to town.

Somehow, every year, summer comes and with it a long list of fun activities I’m going to do. Then, before I know it—and generally before I’m halfway through my list—it’s back-to-school time. Where did the summer go? And what the heck did I do these past few months? Other than sweat buckets, that is? I did manage to get out to the Sacramento River a few times. And barbecued some of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted. Went on a family vacation. Enjoyed the long evenings. Ah, I’m gonna miss you, Chico summer.

Eclipse-crazy I’m pretty stoked on the upcoming solar eclipse, despite how annoyed I am at the branding behind it—the Great American Eclipse? Really? Here in Chico, we’re not in the “path of totality,” but from about 8-10:40 a.m. on Monday (Aug. 21), the moon will make its way across the sun, blocking about 83 percent of it at its peak. Crazy!

One thing to think about if you plan on looking right at it, however, is protecting your eyes. SunPower by Alternative Energy Solutions (876 East Ave.) is giving away special eclipse-viewing glasses (max four per person, until they run out). According to NASA, these are essential—regular sunglasses will not protect your eyes. If you don’t snag a free pair, get online now and order some. I couldn’t find any other local retailers carrying them.

Chicks, man If I thought my beloved Boston terrier, Oliver, would be cool with it, I’d try to raise chickens. Because I do love eggs, particularly the farm-fresh variety. For anyone else out there thinking about raising your own chickens, though, now might just be the time to start, as Tractor Supply is in the midst of “Fall Chick Days.” Stop by the Chico or Oroville stores between now and Sept. 24 to check out the chicks on offer and chat up an associate if you have any questions.

Big-retail update In June, Gymboree filed for bankruptcy and last month it announced the impending closure of 350 stores, among them the Crazy 8 kids’ clothing shop in the Chico Mall. Also, in the land of mediocre chain restaurants, the parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP announced it will close up to 160 yet-to-be-named “under-performing” locations this year.

Hello, goodbye It seems like just yesterday I was welcoming Chrome Industries to town. Its bicycle apparel factory shop, Chico Factory Outlet, opened its doors at the end of March and last week announced it’s closed for good. Visit to keep up with the Bay Area-based brand. Rofu, the factory that manufactures for Chrome, Keen Footwear and other brands, is still up and running on Park Avenue.

Island flavors I’m excited to announce a new restaurant is set to open on the north end of town: Halo Hawaiian BBQ & Poke, in the Safeway shopping center on East Avenue. My taste buds are tingling. Let’s hope it doesn’t take as long as some other local teases (ahem, Cream, which finally has an opening date: Aug. 26!).