Everybody’s business

plutos fresh food

plutos fresh food

Bike boogie
Perhaps phenomenon is not the right word, but whatever it is that’s boosting sales at downtown bicycle shops, their owners are noticing it and liking it.

Since Sports LTD moved to Mangrove Avenue in June after 18 years downtown, remaining downtown bike shops have seen a rise in business, from repairs to sales.

Budd Schwab, owner of Campus Bicycles on Fourth Street, was one who didn’t expect business to shoot up the way it did. “You never know how things like that work,” said Schwab, who would often refer customers to Sports LTD and vice-versa. “We’ve gotten very busy. I have an extra employee now as a result of it.”

Steve O’Bryan, owner of Pullins Cyclery at Eighth and Main, said some consumers are all about convenience and routine. If their usual shop is gone or closed, “they just look at the next shop over.”

John Alden, co-owner of North Rim Adventure Sports on Second Street, agrees. “If one player is not around, it goes to the others,” said Alden, who is staying put downtown. “We’ll really see what happens when the students get back.”

Meanwhile, Sports LTD immediately reported a boost in sales upon its move to the spot near Safeway, which has become a center more frequently eyed by retailers looking to escape the rising rents and parking problems—real or perceived—of the downtown.

Pluto’s landing
For those of you who have been salivating for the arrival of Pluto’s Fresh Food in downtown Chico (including Mayor Maureen Kirk, who personally sent the San Francisco-based company a hopeful letter), the deal is close to being done.

“Soon—any day now,” said co-owner Louis Kimball of the signing of papers to locate in the storefront at Second and Main streets owned by David Halimi of Diamond W fame.

And for those of you who asked for a more-detailed description of the Pluto’s dining experience, Kimball has obliged: “It’s fresh, simple and reasonably priced,” he said. Salads and sandwiches—featuring meats like steak and chicken cooked on the premises—are made to order right in front of you.

Kimball said the goal is to open by the end of this year, with the help of local contractors Sunseri Construction.

Parking it
It’s an event so special the last one on record on the city of Chico’s Web site took place in 2001. It’s the eagerly anticipated as-needed meeting of the city Parking Place Commission.

The commission was to meet July 16 to discuss such varied issues as diagonal parking, rules for double-parking delivery trucks and tiered parking ticket rates. That last one could have done in those of us at the News & Review with a distaste for walking three blocks and a poor short-term memory.

Neglecting to feed the meter can result in a $7 ticket, and that will continue to be the case no matter how many tickets we rack up. That’s in part because, as city staff found, the automatic ticket writers provided by Turbo Data have no way of knowing how many tickets you have—unless you have five or more unpaid, which means you can be towed.