Everybody’s business

Chevys Chapter 11
The Chevys Fresh Mex bankruptcy filing of Oct. 10 has left some laid-off Chico employees wondering when they will get their promised severance package.

This week, Chevys Marketing Director Darlene Hersh confirmed that the packages, the amounts of which depend on status and length of employment, normally would have been given out by now. “It’s in the court’s hands,” she said.

The corporation, which filed to reorganize under Chapter 11, blamed its 1999 acquisition of Rio Bravo restaurants in the Southeast for draining its assets. Also, the Texas company that agreed in June to purchase Chevys’ holdings backed out Sept. 26, blaming the political and business climate in California.

The Chico Chevys closed Sept. 30, with the downtown buzz being that the owners were paying a whopping $20,000-a-month rent plus around that amount in power bills for the 14,115-square-foot building at 201 Broadway. It now stands vacant five years after Chevys spent a reported $3 million to renovate it.

Hersh didn’t know what Chevys was paying to occupy the building, but, “The rent was the reason we had to close.” The company also said sales were never good at that location.

On the up side, several of the workers have already been hired at the new Baja Fresh and Chipotle restaurants.

Planet still aligning
The addition of Pluto’s Fresh Food to Second and Main streets will be later than expected due to construction delays, said Louis Kimball, co-owner of the San Francisco-based regional chain.

Pluto’s-watchers were a little worried when they saw the Alcoholic Beverage Control form disappear from the window and wondered if that meant the restaurant wasn’t coming after all.

“We’re as excited as ever,” Kimball said, but instead of the end of the year, the target date for opening is now early 2004.

A.S. techno gap
The Associated Students government at Chico State University is trying to decide if it’s worth it to hire an information technology (IT) employee to beef up the A.S. Web site and otherwise make sure computer-related things run smoothly.

A.S. President Michael Dailey brought up the issue at the Oct. 27 meeting of the Governmental Affairs Committee, setting the stage for a vote of the various boards later this year.

Improving the technological presence of the A.S. and its businesses such as the Bookstore (which has online purchasing but was “down” last time I checked) and food services is in the corporation’s Strategic Plan, Dailey said, but, “The feeling has been that we’re abandoning it. We need to put our money where our mouth is.”

But some GAC members worried that, with declining revenues projected, a full-time IT staffer would be a luxury, especially if programs had to be cut to pay for it.

Dailey said the cost would be shared among the student union, the Bookstore, food services and the A.S. government in proportion to how much they would benefit from the work.

Currently, the A.S. government Web site shows last year’s officers, meeting agendas from May and September and election results from spring 2001-2002. The lead picture (screenshot shown) seems to feature the 2001 officers, who have long since graduated.