Fresh faces downtown

Rouse & Revolt, Urban Fresh Fuel and Sweet Chico Confections

Walking around downtown Chico, it’s apparent that some big changes are afoot. Sure, some restaurants have been teasing us with their “opening soon” signs for many months. But there are other exciting new businesses popping up as well.

One example is Rouse & Revolt, which opened a couple of weeks ago inside the Garden Walk Mall. I’m always looking for cool used clothing stores, and I’m very much in need of some new winter duds, so I decided to check it out.

The store, which advertises clothing to buy, sell and trade, feels like a funky little slice of San Francisco. The clothing and accessories are good quality and stylish, and the graffiti art (by local artist Daniel Beebe) is simultaneously urban and inviting. It turns out owners Christina and Nicholle Haber were going for the Bay Area ambiance. “We modeled it off of stores like Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads [Trading Co.],” Christina told me.

The story behind Rouse & Revolt is one of those meant-to-be things. After getting married over the summer, the Habers started looking at all of their clothes, which are mostly good brands, stuff that’s in style and meant to last. “We joked that we could open a store with all the clothes we weren’t wearing,” said Christina, a hip-hop dancer and style aficionado. “And a couple weeks later, we paid the first month’s rent on the store.”

Rouse & Revolt is more than just a used clothing store, though. Activist Nicholle said part of the shop’s mission is to give back to the community. So, each month, 5 percent of sales will be donated to a different charity. This month, it’s Catalyst Domestic Violence Services. On top of that, they donate unsellable clothing to local groups in need, helping fulfill their parallel mission of sustainability. I wish them well.

Speaking of the city A few blocks down Main Street, another new business is in the works. Urban Fresh Fuel, whose tagline is “Handcrafted burritos & brews,” is displaying its logo at 301 Main St., in the old Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack. Despite its name sounding strikingly familiar to that of its neighbor on Broadway, the restaurant shows promise of providing something new downtown.

Posted on the window outside are Yelp reviews from sister restaurant Planet Fresh Gourmet Burritos in Santa Cruz. The menu looks unique—burritos range from traditional to barbecue-style to “ragin-Cajun.” It’s nice to see a new restaurant taking over that prime downtown corner. With the Chico Children’s Museum under construction a few doors down, that block is getting a much-needed makeover.

Candyland Powell’s Sweet Shop on Third Street is no more. But do not fear—you’ll still be able to pop into the old-timey candy store for all your favorite chocolates, gelatos and candy bars. Owners Hal and Nancy Carlson, who opened the store nine years ago, simply decided not to renew their franchise agreement, according to a press release. The new name: Sweet Chico Confections.

VOTE WITH YOUR $$ Check out these and other local businesses—and get a jump on holiday shopping—Nov. 18-20 during the Downtown Chico Early Bird Weekend.