Jasco junction

Steve Jasco dropped by our office to let us know his Jasco’s Plaza is done and tenants are already moving into the center at Highway 32 and Forest Avenue.

“The goal was to build a quality [shopping center], something that had places, I hate to say not corporate, but where people could run their own businesses.”

Azteca Grill, owned by Onesimo and Vanessa De La Torre, is open, and in fact I’ve already eaten there. Jasco’s Express will soon open, with take-and-bake pizza, pizza by the slice and sandwiches and salads. Jasco’s wife, Marilyn, and her sisters will also have a spot called Villa 32 featuring one-of-a-kind, imported items for home decorating. The folks from Pets Etc. will open Fish Etc., with higher-end, exotic fish like those housed in saltwater aquariums.

Great Harvest Bread is scheduled to open March 20, and it will be run by the same franchisees who have the bakery on Mangrove Avenue. Wade Overson, who owns the shops with his wife, Shelley, said there will be a couple of new twists at the Forest Avenue location, including more coffees featuring Seattle’s Best Coffee, real fruit smoothies, sandwiches and soups, and eight to 10 varieties of bread each day. It will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. “We just thought it was needed on that side of town,” Overson said of the addition.

Jasco said he is particularly excited because he’s managed to work his way back up since the San Diego transplant “lost everything” in his first development venture in Chico, the 125-house subdivision he built near Wal-Mart in 1990. His Jasco’s restaurant in downtown’s Phoenix Building, since sold, was so successful that he was able to acquire the capital that ultimately resulted in Jasco’s Plaza.

What Moxie

For a couple of weeks, we’ve been hearing a rumor that Moxie’s, the popular downtown café and gallery, was on its way out.

I talked with new co-owner Jan Bielfelt, who set the record straight. Indeed, Moxie’s owner Matt Melcom was feeling burned out and was considering leaving and making the space available to a Thai restaurant. When Bielfelt heard that, she said, “I went into him and said, ‘We need to save Moxie’s.'”

“It’s such a great community center, a great place for people to meet,” she said, adding, “I love the artwork on the walls.”

Now Bielfelt, who also works in electronics and volunteers with KZRF community radio, is confident Moxie’s is here to stay.

Enloe in our ear-hole

The old man and I were groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon and got a phone call from someone doing a survey for Enloe Medical Center.

She asked a bunch of questions, mainly about how we (the public) perceive the hospital and how it’s run. She asked our overall view of Enloe, and, in a follow-up question, how we think the hospital administration treats the nurses and the community. She also asked what we think of Enloe’s expansion plans into the neighborhood surrounding the hospital. Finally, the surveyor wanted to know if we thought Enloe should do more media ads.

This was all very interesting, Enloe curious about its own image, and I called its spokesperson, Ann Prater, about it. "We survey the community all the time, so this is just part of that process," she said. "It’s just to stay in touch and find out how we can better serve our community.