Everybody’s business

Not this guy

Not this guy

But where’s Bananas Gorilla?
When I first heard that Mr. Pickles was coming to town my mind went to a character in Richard Scarry’s Busytown, but I was thinking of Mr. Frumble, who drives a pickle car.

Turns out that Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop is a quite-popular, 11-year-old, San Mateo-based deli franchise with about 20 locations. Its Web site says the Chico shop will open in May, but it looks further along than that. It serves the “fast casual” market with a focus on San Francisco-style bread and “quality” ingredients. Fans online rave about the pesto spread and garlic sauce, and the sandwiches have fun names like Reggie-Reggie, Fast Eddie and Italian Stallion. (That last one sounds a little racy.) I think I’ll try the Hang Loose, with hot pastrami, bacon, cream cheese and avocado.

The 215 West First St. space behind Tres Hombres was most recently occupied by First Street Deli, and before that it was Togo’s.

Albertsons out?
Chico’s only remaining Albertsons supermarket, on East Avenue, is in danger of closing in a few months, as new owners sort out profitable stores from ones that are less so.

Last month, the Boise-based supermarket chain was bought out by a complicated consortium of investors and corporations including: Supervalu Inc., CVS Corporation (they have Rite Aid) and Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus ended up with the Northern California stores and has been determining which ones to keep open. The transaction still has to be approved by shareholders and government regulators, which should happen by mid-year.

The Albertsons on Pillsbury Road, which used to be a Lucky’s, closed in May 2003.

Praise be
Finally, the blue laws have been repealed. Thanks to popular demand, Jedidiah’s Neighborhood Grill is now open on Sundays.

Owners Jon and Karen Meyer said customers were “borderline begging” for the addition.

I can attest that it was a bummer to be in the mood for a tasty Jedidiah’s cinnamon roll or sausage patty only to remember it’s Sunday.

Give me gas
So I get my PG&E bill and it’s $189. This is for a 900-square-foot, two-bedroom house that has already been seen and insulated by the energy-efficiency people. When I was in college, I remember budgeting $20 a month for PG&E. As they say online, WTF?

We’re not growing pot in the basement, we don’t have a hot tub, deep freeze, central heating or any of that stuff. In fact, we’ve done so well at conserving energy that our gas usage has decreased 38 percent from last year at this time, and the electricity use is also down by 3.3 kilowatt hours per day. We should qualify for that 10-percent discount they keep sending me press releases about.

We called PG&E to see if there was some mistake, but no, the only mistake is them being a virtual monopoly and our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels. (I said that, not PG&E. they blame the hurricanes.)

I felt better after griping to my friends. Most of them have larger houses and they’re seeing bills of $400 and even $700 a month. My grandma just wears her winter coat and sits in front the oven. At least this is California, not Chicago.