Envisioning what could be

A wish list of new businesses for Chico

First, I’ll get the obligatory “Happy New Year” out of my system. There, I feel better already. Of course, I’d rather ring in the new year with sunny skies predicting a stormless 365 days ahead, but instead 2017 ushered in rain clouds mixed with a bit of gloom and freezing cold wind. Blah.

But do you know what pairs perfectly with wet weather? A warm blanket, some hot cocoa (which I’ve been making a lot lately) and a few whimsical daydreams. A funny-faced, snuggly puppy helps, too. But that’s always the case, so I digress.

In keeping with the spirit of predicting futures and thinking of things yet to come, I’d like to dedicate this week’s column to the Chico that could be. (I’d love to hear your wish list, too—email it to me!)

Here’s what I’d include in my Dream Chico, and some wish-list items from some of my CN&R colleagues as well:

• A legit cheese shop. We have some great cheese counters here in Chico, but there was a full-on shop where I lived in Longmont, Colo., that came complete with jackets for the cold room, which offered literally hundreds of cheeses and meats. You can call it a fromagerie; I call it heaven.

• An adult Chuck E. Cheese’s, à la Dave & Buster’s. You know, where you can channel your inner kid. (We could see this soon, if Galaxies ever opens in the North Valley Plaza. Construction appears to be underway.)

• More docs! I’m envisioning a Chico with enough primary care physicians and pediatricians to ensure everyone can be seen when they’re sick (or well!).

• An Ethiopian restaurant and a Macy’s. These come courtesy of Melissa Daugherty, and while I think I may have eaten Ethiopian food once—I remember a spongy bread—I’m totally with her on the Macy’s. We definitely could use a true department store in this town.

• A craft brewery downtown. This is Jason Cassidy’s idea and it sounds very cool. Hey, if Crepeville never materializes, I can recommend a great corner location. Cassidy echoed some of our other ideas: a charcuterie and Macy’s. And he suggested Gap (we lost our mall location a few years ago), a vintage arcade and a Brazilian churrascaria. That last one sounds delicious!

• Finally, Daniel Taylor’s wish list includes a Waffle House and Philz Coffee. Not familiar with the latter—Google tells me it’s a Bay Area-based chain specializing in drip coffees. Interesting. I also love the rest of his list; he’d like to see Chico get “a non-drive-thru coffee shop that stays open late downtown” and “someplace that sells strawberry It’s-Its.”