Odds and ends

An opening; a closure tied to tragic circumstances; and imbibing for a cause

Island fever A few weeks ago, I drove through the intersection of Mangrove and Vallombrosa avenues and noticed that the window coverings were finally down and Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies had their open sign on, sparking an audible cheer.

I first met owners Jules Jackson and Dennis Lundy back in May when the Chico couple came before the Planning Commission requesting to operate a drive-through for the franchise smoothie and coffee business. As the chair of the commission, I have the chance to meet a lot of business owners and can play a role in seeing their plans come to life. I make decisions based on our city land-use regulations, but it’s always a joy when the commission’s decisions help out genuinely nice people. And Jackson and Lundy are just that.

There were some hiccups in the process, but ultimately Maui Wowi was able to move forward and in mid-January opened for business at 615 Mangrove Ave. Just a little heads up on getting there: If you’re driving south, you can turn right into their drive-through or turn but stay to the right and find a spot in the parking lot and walk in for a frozen espresso or smoothie. If you’re driving north on Cypress toward Mangrove, you’ll want to make sure to turn left onto Vallombrosa before you pass the business; then use the entrance off that street, just past Gen Kai restaurant.

Paradise lost Last month, the Canteena in Paradise closed, and owners Chris and Melanie Fierro have filed for bankruptcy. If you aren’t a regular but recognize the name of the business, it’s likely because the Canteena, a sports bar, was identified as the location that Andrew Thomas and his passenger Darien Ehorn left in late November before being pursued by Paradise Police Officer Patrick Feaster. The chase ended in a crash that killed Ehorn and Thomas was shot by Feaster and later died.

The Fierros told local television reporters that they were planning to file for bankruptcy before the incident, and though they don’t believe the Canteena is liable, have listed the estates of Thomas and Ehorn as potential creditors, should a claim be filed.

Giving back I’ve been crushing pretty hard on Rallo’s West since I first wrote about the downtown Chico restaurant a few weeks back and have made it a regular weekend stop. Now the eatery’s owners are making me feel even better about hitting them up on Saturdays—they launched Support Local Saturdays, donating 10 percent of all local beer and wine sales to a local nonprofit. I love chardonnay for a cause.