Everybody’s business

Wine’s divine
I checked out the recently opened Monk’s located next to The Naked Lounge on 2nd Street with some friends last week, and General Manager Dan Cranfill served us up a nice glass of Curtis heritage cuvée. The place looks great, and there were a decent number of purple-toothed patrons enjoying the vino.

Now it looks like another wine shop may be opening in the next few months. Steve and Liz Coon are looking to open Bacchus Wine Shop and Tasting Room on the corner of Seventh and Flume Streets where The Flower MKT. used to be. Steve, who’s worked at the butcher shop at S & S Produce for the past 11 years, said construction will begin in the next couple of weeks and that they hope to open by March or April.

He told me they will offer more than 300 varieties from Sonoma and Napa Valley as well as labels from South America and Spain. Imported chocolate and cheeses will also be available at the establishment, which Steve said would cater to the 35-and-over crowd.

Local guardians
A local business has weathered the competitive storm to become an important player in the growing managed-service-provider industry.

Celia Weaver, who was born and raised in Chico, and her husband, Charles, started the MSPAlliance five years ago, and Celia says the company has “come up against every heavy-hitting giant in the tech industry.”

Managed-service providers serve as watchdogs for large companies against viruses and network hacking. The company was just featured in a major tech mag called CRN Magazine, which named managed services one of the “top five trends in technology.”

Celia said they are able to manage and monitor networks for huge corporations like Hewlett-Packard and AT&T from their home. She said MSPAlliance was also instrumental in supporting California’s anti-spyware bill, which protects MSPs’ ability to continue monitoring networks.

Special delivery
For those who want to do their part to help those affected by the tsunami, Woodstock’s Pizza is making it easy.

During the entire month of January, Woodstock’s is giving away a free large, one-topping pizza for every $25 donated to assist the relief effort for the Asian countries affected by the tsunami.

Weekly donations will be sent to the local chapter of The Salvation Army’s tsunami relief effort. Woodstock’s locations in Chico, San Diego, Davis, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, are participating, and the free pizza certificates will be accepted through the end of 2005. So far, the Chico location has pulled in about $500 in donations.

Missing “link”
Bobolink Music, the production company that brought a slew of live shows to Chico in 2004, has been quiet since its home base at The Bean Scene closed its doors in early October.

Bobolink is still around, reports co-founder Larry Lemm. In fact, the company will be bringing the Hot Buttered Rum String Band to The Oasis on Feb. 4. But Lemm said the upcoming show will be only a one-time thing and that he and partner Azariah Reynolds are still looking for a large enough venue that caters to touring bands in the jazz and bluegrass ilk.

“When The Bean Scene closed, we lost our playground,” Lemm said.

He said they will likely pursue booking bands in venues in Sacramento and Tahoe.