North Chico eats

Caterers open eatery at the airport, and Quackers changes hands

One of the most controversial decisions I made when planning my wedding last year was foregoing cake. Any time I was asked about wedding plans, the topic of cake inevitably made its way into conversation. When I eventually would drop the news that cake wasn’t on the menu, friends and family would look utterly baffled. Some questioned the choice and championed for the traditional dessert. I even had one beloved guest threaten to bring a Costco sheet cake as a gift.

Thankfully, the day of the wedding, there were no complaints about dessert, in large part because our caterer, Chico Catering Co., had everyone’s sweet tooth covered with a gourmet s’mores bar. Owners Boyd and Vicki Atkin made lemon meringue, toasted coconut, chocolate mocha and other flavored marshmallows to roast and squeeze between chocolate and graham crackers. I probably ate half a dozen and even the guest who wanted to bring the contraband hit up the s’mores bar with frequency.

So when I heard that Boyd and Vicki were opening a restaurant, The Foodie Café, out at the Chico airport, I was excited, thinking a permanent s’mores bar might be part of the line-up. Sadly, it’s not, but their extensive menu, which includes desserts, has been a hit with customers since the restaurant opened on Marauder Street in February. Breakfast items include burritos, biscuits and gravy, French toast, and a bourbon maple donut breakfast sandwich that sounds mouthwatering. Burgers, sandwiches, salads, fish tacos and redneck nachos (fries, pulled pork, barbecue sauce and slaw) top the lunch menu.

The Foodie Café is open from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Boyd and Vicki will continue to cater weddings and events, using the restaurant kitchen. They rented the kitchen behind Quackers Lounge on East Avenue for a period of time, but their new location has given them the ability to design a place all their own. Boyd said they’ve used recycled and reclaimed materials in every piece of the décor, with the exception of the chairs. He even made a chandelier out of an old house door.

The café has the distinction of being the only restaurant with a permanent location at the airport park. Working nearby, I’ve ventured down when food trucks have come and parked in the area, but with businesses like Transfer Flow, Mooney Farms, Milestone and the Tri Counties Bank Operations Center out at the airport, I’m sure a consistent dining option within walking distance is a welcome addition.

Chico Catering Co.’s move isn’t the only change at Quackers. The bar is under new ownership. Ed and Rhonda Burns, who also own JB’s Beverage and Bar Service, sold the business to Robert Mowry at the beginning of the year. Mowry, owner of Panama Bar & Café, the Chico Event Center, The Beach and University Bar, has extensive experience in the bar industry and he’s already changing a few things, including the name. Patrons of Quackers Fire Grill & Bar can now order from a full menu of traditional pub fare. (Edwards regulars, do not fear—you still have your happy place, but now it offers food!)