Familiar faces, celebrating vets

Former Ridge businesses relocate beyond Butte County, plus openings, closures and a Veterans Day perk

I got a sweet note the other day from a reader who shared a story of her recent visit to Red Bluff with great excitement. She was pleasantly surprised, she said, to see Ikkyu Japanese Restaurant had opened up there. “My husband and I were thrilled to find Ikkyu—our favorite Paradise restaurant—and enjoy their delicious Japanese food,” Rae Lee writes. “The owners and staff are familiar faces, wearing impressive Paradise Camp Fire Strong T-shirts.”

According to Ikkyu’s Facebook page, the restaurant celebrated its seventh anniversary last month and the owners, Momo and Shige Kojima, seem to be doing pretty well after losing their business and two homes to the Camp Fire. They hope to someday rebuild in Paradise, but until then, visit them in Red Bluff at 645 Antelope Blvd., Ste. 4.

Wait, there’s more I got word last week that Mamma Celeste’s Gastropub & Pizzeria, which also lost its home on the Skyway last November, just signed a 20-year lease on a spot in Sparks, Nev. I (sadly) never made it to the Paradise location, but it was my go-to pizza joint in Chico while it was here. I’m sorry to see it go so far away—planned opening is next May—but hey, we can all still enjoy some great, familiar food and faces when we travel now. So, there is a silver lining. As owner Jim Flanagan says on Facebook, “On Nov 8th, 2018, [our] dream was interrupted, but not destroyed.” Amen.

Open on the Ridge It’s not all news of businesses leaving town around here. No, I heard recently that Izzy’s Burgers & BBQ reopened at 13915 S. Park Drive in Magalia earlier this month. Also, Mountain Mike’s is back in biz in the Kmart shopping center in Paradise. And a new eatery, Nic’s, recently opened up shop in the former Wine Room space on the Skyway. The photos and early reviews seem promising—the place was even open during the blackout last week, offering $1 coffees and ports for plugging in electronics. Right on!

Lie back, relax In honor of Veterans Day Nov. 11, True Rest Float Spa is offering free floats for vets and active-duty military (in fact, the veteran-owned business does so on the 11th of every month). I haven’t tried it yet, but a friend of mine who served in Afghanistan swears by this place—both the deprivation tanks and the service. Bonus for civilians: For every float you buy between Monday (Oct. 21) and Nov. 11, a vet will get one free.

Now in Chico Ace Hardware announced last week that it’s holding its grand opening on Saturday (Oct. 18), from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at its new home on East Avenue (next to Raley’s in the old Orchard Supply Hardware space). I want to be excited, but here’s the thing: It’s an out-of-state company that opened up a hardware store literally across the street from recently opened, locally owned True Value Hardware. Naturally, Ace will employ local folks, which is good, but it just kind of stinks to do so in such close proximity to a local business. As always, shop local, people!