Everybody’s business

Surf’s down
After 10 years in downtown Chico, Beach It is closing. Its owner is launching a new store in the same 236 Broadway location.

Owner Debbie LaPlant, a fixture in the Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Chico Business Association, said, “I love the store. I love Beach It,” she said. “And there’s so much energy happening downtown.”

But, prompted by “changing demographics,” LaPlant has decided to move away from the junior-high and high-school set and open a new store with a greater focus on a population that’s growing in Chico: 30-plus shoppers.

For years, the women’s resort wear section of Beach It has been a favorite, and after two expansions to accommodate growth in that area, LaPlant decided to keep those products, along with a wide selection of shoes and swimwear, and add some yet-to-be-revealed elements to create a “more sophisticated” retail shop, the name of which will be announced later.

A sale is in progress, with doors closing May 30 and reopening July 17—the day of Slice of Chico.

Cottage industry
From the interesting-lawsuit file, we have Ginger Drake suing Judy Katz for what on the surface appears to be a partnership gone bad.

The suit, filed March 15 in Butte County Superior Court, alleges that back in 1987 Drake’s developer husband, Dan, lent Katz $63,834 for her Italian Cottage restaurant in Redding. Dan Drake, who died in 2001, constructed the building and they formed a corporation, jointly owning the property. Ginger Drake is now the trustee of the Drake Revocable Trust, hence the power to sue.

The suit goes on to say that the business was “inadequately capitalized … thus rendering the corporation insolvent and unable to meet its obligations.”

The Redding Italian Cottage has closed, but the Chico locations remain popular.

Along with interest and damages, Drake is suing for the $36,890 she alleges was due on the debt when it matured last year, but the defendant apparently believed the $4,000-a-month rent on the building also covered that payment.

Katz’s attorneys haven’t filed an answer yet, but I gave her office a call. She didn’t call back by press time, but a case management conference is set for July 30 and more information will likely be forthcoming.

Pity the fools
I had a few calls last week about our April Fools’ issue. Problem is, not everyone could tell it was an April Fools’ issue. I guess the date, the jesters and the upside-down section headings didn’t offer enough clues.

It’s hard to write satire, but I’m told one of the keys is to initially sound somewhat plausible but then go so over-the-top that it’s clear you’re joking. Apparently, the idea of the old Chevy’s building renting to earlier tenant Bank of America for $250,000 a month didn’t sound that far out, because I got two calls demanding a correction. And I learned that certain people’s body art is apparently off limits.

Five people approached me to ask if the News & Review is really closing, as we joked on our cover. (“Editorial staff complains of writer’s block; sales staff tired of selling”—like we’d really admit it.) Uh, no, here I am plugging away again this week. But thanks for the concern. (Fooled you.)