Nothing stays the same

So long, Pluto’s; till we see you on wheels, Uncle Skinny’s; and feliz aniversário, La Hacienda

When I first moved to Chico and got settled into the CN&R offices downtown, one of my go-to lunch spots was Pluto’s. I’m a picky salad eater, so I enjoyed the choose-your-toppings-style menu.

Admittedly, I haven’t eaten there for some time—years, probably. I did pop in recently, though, to try one of their daily specials advertised on the board out front. A sandwich with mac and cheese on it? I was intrigued. But they were out of that key ingredient. So I ventured elsewhere.

Then earlier this week, a big sign went up in the window announcing Pluto’s impending closure after 15 years at the corner of Second and Main streets. It’s a great spot—I look forward to seeing what it turns into.

More goodbyes As quickly as Uncle Skinny’s BBQ went into the Phoenix Building, it went right out. On Oct. 20, they posted a message bidding farewell to 300 Broadway. It was a little cryptic, so I had a hunch they weren’t closed for good—just closed for there. I was right! They’re going mobile—so look for Uncle Skinny’s on wheels.

Platinum anniversary Next month marks 70 years in business for La Hacienda. The restaurant will be celebrating Nov. 5-11, with something different planned for each day (I bet more than a few margaritas will be had!). To get in the mood, here’s a little “La Hac” trivia for ya: When original owners Nat and Tonasa Ybanez opened up shop back in 1948, they did so on Nord Avenue, in the building now occupied by Thai Express. (It’s now at 2635 Esplanade.) Tonasa’s original “secret sauce” is still served by the current owners—and it’s bottled, so you can take it with you.

Taproom in the works Last week Kevin Jaradah, owner of The Lab Bar & Grill and co-founder of Chico Beer Enthusiasts, announced he’s planning to open a taproom. He’s received most of the permits needed, he said, and the matter will be taken up by the Chico City Council on Tuesday (Nov. 6). Jaradah tells me he’s dubbed his newest venture The Brew Kettle and plans to locate it across Nord Avenue from Safeway, where The Hookah Spot once was. In addition to beer, there’ll be kombucha, coffee and real root beer on tap, plus small bites.

Move over The Chico Chamber of Commerce, which will be saying goodbye to longtime Executive Director Katie Simmons Friday (Nov. 2), is moving. The office, which is combined with the Chico visitor center, will close Thursday-Friday (Nov. 1-2) while staff relocates to 180 E. Fourth St., Ste. 120. Best of luck on the transition.

Art for animals Last week, I got word that A Seekers Boutique & Art Studio in Paradise, owned by Desiree Johnson, donated nearly $4,500 to Paradise Animal Shelter Helpers. It was all part of her Chairs for Charity event, in which participants painted chairs and other small items and put them up for silent auction. Find the boutique at 6424 Skyway.

Giving thanks To the reader who dropped off the cute-as-can-be Boston terrier mug for me, thank you! You made my day!