Who do you have to kill to get in this column?
Sometimes I wish I could visit every new business in town, give the owners props and write up a little blurb for this column. Unfortunately, time, and the fact that I’d never have room for breaking business news, forbid that. However, this week I did manage to check out one new shop and also sent our intern, Kanji Aiso, to check out the 10th anniversary of BaT Comics.
Please let me know about new businesses in town, and forgive me if I don’t end up writing about them. To boost your chances of getting a few lines of type in my prestigious column, here are some tips: 1) Have a news angle or try to open a weird or exciting business, perhaps something involving monkeys or spying. 2) If I hear about your business, through county license filings, rumor or whatever, please don’t tell me to hold off on it. I like to break news, not rewrite press releases. 3) The exception to the preceding two points is what in the industry is known as a “slow news week.” Try to sense when I have little to write about and open your business that week.
Rosada Koshak, one of the owners of the Wedding Gown Rentals & Sales Etc., called me and invited me to check out their new digs next to the old Wherehouse space on Mangrove. She was nice, and the concept sounded different, so I headed down there. (Turns out she called the daily paper, too, but you can’t fault someone for covering her bases.)
At any rate, Koshak and her partner, Sandra Calkins, gained a lot of space in moving their store from its prior Esplanade location. Not only do they have room for more bridal wear (from size 4 to 30), they’ve invited a bunch of local vendors to set up displays there. There’s a photography studio, a caterer, a florist, a cake person—even a bartender.
“We really wanted to be a place where they could come in and find everything they need,” Koshak said.
Here, the news angle is that the shop is a little controversial, because it rents bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses. The wedding industry would rather you drop several grand on a dress you’ll wear only once (maybe twice if you divorce and aren’t superstitious) than spend $250 to rent one. When I was getting married, I read that the bridal magazines wouldn’t even allow ads from gown rental joints. Then again, I got married in a $120 prom dress from Macy’s, so what do I know?
Visitors will have chances to win Japanese animation and comics, X-Men comics, or card games at the 10th anniversary of BaT Comics, located at 127 Main St. in downtown Chico, May 18 through June 6. The shop adds a bit of pop culture to downtown, said Trent Walsh, its owner and former Chico State business major.
Eighteen- to 26-year-olds are the shop’s primary customers. Spider-Man and X-Men are always the best sellers, but comics and card games from Japan can’t be dismissed. Card games Yu-Gi-Oh, Dragonball Z and Transformer are popular among younger generation.
Walsh said he’s surprised he’s still in the game 10 years later.
As part of the celebration, BaT Comics is partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Chico. The shop encourages visitors to donate comics and games to the organization by bringing them by the shop, which will then match the donation.
Also, free food will be offered to all visitors.