The final cut

After 31 years in her Wall Street salon, the Hair ’Em, Mary Andrews is moving on.

Andrews, whose last day open was July 6, will focus on her real estate business and finishing up her master’s degree in public administration—or another major.

Andrews is also known as former City Councilmember and Mayor Mary Andrews, but before that she broke ground as treasurer of the Downtown Businessmen’s Association, as it was called in the early 1970s. She also pioneered the era of the cloth awning in downtown Chico.

“It’s amazing,” said Andrews, who loves the downtown. “We all sort of look out for one another and help one another.” She’s heard many secrets from behind the salon chairs, and most of all she’ll miss seeing all the people. “In this business, they turn out to be friends,” Andrews said. “I had one lady just screaming and yelling on the phone, ‘What am I going to do about my hair?’ Another said, ‘Who am I going to talk to?'”

More Michaels

And what will take the place of the Hair ’Em? Why, Christian Michaels Ristorante. The popular restaurant next door plans to expand, creating a new entrance along Wall Street that will open up into a lounge—1,250 square-feet of new space.

Owner Christian Steinbach said that the lounge would provide a place for people waiting for a table. He also expects the more casual, bar-like setting will draw back some of the customers, say Thursday Night Market-goers, who might not feel comfortable eating in the fancier dining room in their hot-weather duds. There will be an all-granite bar with “more upbeat music,” Steinbach said. “We’ll be staying open later to accommodate the late diners.”

An expanded appetizer menu will be unveiled when the lounge opens, which Steinbach hopes will be by December. “It’s just been a wonderful three years,” he said of the restaurant’s success.

End of an era

When Walton Powell died June 29 in Fall River Mills, a family lost its patriarch. But the public will most remember Powell as a standout in four generations of fly fishing rod makers. The Powell Rod Co. was known for crafting the finest bamboo and graphite rods on the market, making each one lovingly by hand in a Chico shop.Then, the Powell family met the Charles Schwab family, of stockbrokerage fame, and therein lies a lawsuit that the Powells’ attorney promises will survive Walt Powell.

John McGuinn, of San Francisco, said that even as Powell was weakened by prostate cancer, the 85-year-old’s deposition was taken over 12 days in recent months and “the jury will get to see him” at the Sacramento trial.

“They were all forced out of this company [by Schwab],” McGuinn said. “It rendered this man destitute.” (The Schwabs and their Powell & Co. Inc. retort that it was Powell who walked out of his consulting job, and that they never promised to keep the company in Chico.)

Powell felt tremendously betrayed by the younger Schwab, who he said had been a fishing buddy. The suit, McGuinn said, is "the thing that kept him going. He wanted to be vindicated more than anything else."