Everybody’s business

Where’s my Stash?
Stash Distributing Inc., which has been locally owned and operated for more than three decades, was purchased in a joint deal by Markstein Beverage Company out of Sacramento and Foothill Distributing in Redding.

Although neither party was very forthcoming, I did find out from a Stash executive who didn’t want to be named that the company is set to close escrow on Dec. 10 and that there will be some layoffs, although he didn’t specify how many.

The local alcoholic-beverage wholesale distributor has annual sales in the neighborhood of $20 million and employs around 34 people, according to goliath.ecnext.com, a Web site that provides company profiles.

Be a team player
Kenneth Ridino has found himself behind the eight-ball in his attempt to buy the old Team Players building.

As Ridino explains it, Chico Police Chief Bruce Hagerty is protesting his application for a liquor license because of the number of police calls to that particular stretch, the 300 block of Main Street, and the high concentration of licenses already issued there, including the Crazy Horse Saloon, Mr. Lucky and Duffy’s Tavern.

Ridino said he plans on expanding the menu to make it “a bona-fide eating place” and promote more pool leagues while maintaining the sports bar atmosphere, but that it wouldn’t make sense to proceed without being able to sell alcohol.

“It could be a really fun social spot,” Ridino said. “But without a liquor license it’s just not feasible.”

Ridino, who plans on sending Chief Hagerty a letter and a copy of his business plan, said he would like to have a New Year’s Eve grand opening, but that if he is denied a liquor license it’s likely he’ll back out of the deal.

Hagerty says Ridino is trying to open a pool hall under the guise of a restaurant and that Chico doesn’t need another bar in that area.

“We have plenty of establishments that cater to the 21-and-over crowd,” Hagerty said.

Ridino, an employee at Team Players for a year and a half, said he wants to provide about a dozen competition-grade pool tables and that he’d like to host national competitions. He said he wants to offer sandwiches and buffet-style lunches during the day and make it more of an upscale steakhouse at night.

Ridino added that the new establishment, tentatively called Chico Slims, would cater to the 35-50-year-old crowd and families, which he said would be a nice addition to downtown.

“I’ll be helping dilute the problem, not adding to it.”

Safety first
Project ChildSafe, the nation’s largest firearm safety education program, is distributing more than 850,000 free gunlocks throughout California as part of a national campaign to promote gun safety.

PCS made a stop in gun-loving Chico last week and dropped off hundreds of cable-style gunlocks at local agencies and gun shops, including the Chico Police Department, Safer Arms Indoor Shooting Range and Chico State University.

The campaign will distribute more than 12 million safety kits across the nation and is being funded by two grants from the U.S. Department of Justice for $30 million.