Everybody’s business

100 club

100 club

Hasta la vista, pasta
It’s bye-bye noodles and hello steaks and booze, as husband-wife team Tyler and Lisa Cooke plan to open 33 Steaks, Booze and Jazz at 305 Main St., the former location of Gina Marie’s.

Tyler Cooke said the venture is a steakhouse and martini bar with “the classics done well—simplicity.

“It’s going to be something new and exciting for downtown Chico.”

The steaks, booze and jazz would seem to be self-explanatory. The “33,” Cooke said, “is short for 1933, the year prohibition ended.”

Accordingly, the joint will have a ’30s theme and take advantage of the existing Gina Marie’s bar, which Cooke called “the classiest bar in town,” due largely to its woodwork.

“We’ll have live jazz as often as we can,” he added.

“The 25-and-older crowd is going to be our main target,” Cooke said, acknowledging that college students who like the atmosphere will be welcome, too.

Cooke, who is 25, is a graduate of the Butte Culinary Academy and formerly was the head chef at Chameleon Café. He expects the new restaurant will be open by July.

More artsy, less fartsy
Chico is reaping the rewards of its mention in The 100 Best Art Towns in America by John Villani.

The book’s fourth edition was released in April, and it names Chico 10th in the United States when compared with cities of similar size. Now, articles and book reviews are popping up, including one with a prominent mention of Chico in the April 29 issue of USA Today.

The Chico Chamber of Commerce, with support from the city, has been pushing the town as an arts destination, and somewhere along the line Villani got some financial assistance in experiencing the area.

The chamber will join Friends of the Arts in marketing Chico at a festival May 21-22 in the Bay Area organized by Sunset magazine.

To the Victorianna go the spoils
Also recently mentioned in major media is the antique shop Victorianna, which has shops in both “uptown” (760 Mangrove) and downtown (325 Broadway) Chico.

The regional monthly Antique West decided to do a feature story on Victorianna after workers trying to sell the shop advertising space became impressed with the business, said owner Cindy Dawson. The article complimented Victorianna on its integration of antiques into home décor in its store displays.

Time to change your major
A few years ago, I attended an event with students in Chico State University’s Construction Management Department. Besides its being a really interesting field (the topic was the Shasta Dam), it stuck in my head that construction management graduates earn the highest starting salary of any major at Chico State. Now, the starting salary is around $50,000. That’s a figure that should have other majors choking on their Top Ramen.

In recognition of how sought-after these grads are, the state Contractors State License Board this week presented the department with a $67,000 grant.

Chico State, with the largest such department in the CSU at 520 majors, is the first school to receive a CSLB grant, and it was presented by the group’s chairman, Larry Booth, at a May 9 event.