The past year was a big one for local business
I don’t know about you, but I’m about ready to kick 2016 to the curb and usher in a brand new year. In preparation of what’s to come, I sat down recently with Chico Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Katie Simmons.
Our conversation echoed bits of my column over the past year. Simmons pointed to downtown’s shift to more outdoor dining as a positive change to the atmosphere downtown.
She also said she’s seen a lot of growth near the airport, and Chico’s having hired a new airport manager, Sherry Miller, is a big plus. There seems to be forward momentum out at the Chico Municipal Airport, both with fixing the tarmac and attracting businesses—mostly tech-related—to the complex. I’m sure there will be more changes there in 2017.
We said hello and goodbye to a slew of businesses this past year. I can’t possibly name them all, so here’s a sampling of those I wrote about in 2016:
Hello, there New Earth Market opened its second locally owned store in north Chico (its original location is in Yuba City); Rouse & Revolt consignment shop opened in the Garden Walk Mall; H.A. Indian Grocery popped up on Nord Avenue; Quackers opened a game room, complete with five pool tables; Almendra Winery & Distillery opened in Durham, while sister winery Long Creek in Oroville underwent a major renovation in its barrel and tasting rooms; boutique, family-run Nesseré Vineyards opened in Durham; Ulta Beauty opened up shop in the Costco parking lot; two of my favorite lunch spots—Inday’s Filipino Food and B Street Public House—opened for breakfast; Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Co. and MOD Pizza started slingin’ pies; Christian Steinbach opened up Hudson’s Gastropub on the north end of town; Torrid opened in the Chico Mall; Paradise Jewelers moved to downtown Chico; Powell’s Sweet Shoppe became Sweet Chico Confections; Hooker Oak Distillery began selling locally produced rums; and Dutch Bros. opened downtown.
A lot seemed to be happening in Oroville this past year. Namely, the Oroville Inn opened to much fanfare in late November; Miner’s Alley Brewing Co. expanded with an outdoor beer garden; Butte County Wine Co. opened in the nearby Prospector’s Alley mini mall; Purple Line Urban Winery began work on a major expansion; and longtime Chico kitchen store The Galley opened a second shop in downtown O-Town.
In and out Sadly, we said hello and goodbye to a few local gems: Hashi, my go-to spot for wor wonton soup and pork belly sliders; and Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies (though the owners will still bring their mobile cart to local events!).
Bon voyage And a fond farewell to: The Broken Plate, my favorite Oroville eatery (thankfully they still run The Lamb & the Wolf food truck); Bulldog Taqueria’s downtown Chico shop; House of Bamboo, Konjo and MCM Vintage, also downtown; Hometown Buffet, which shut without so much as a whisper, even to its own employees; Chico All Fired Up; Great State Coffee Co.; Mary’s Gone Crackers, which relocated its HQ to Reno from Gridley; and the Phoenix Building Gift Shop.
Cheers to a new year!