Readers’ picks: Goods & Services
Chicoans choose a few of their favorite things
1ST PLACE: Eighth & Main Antique Center745 Main St., 893-5534
If you’re looking for something old or collectible (or both), you need look no further than Eighth & Main Antique Center. Individual sellers fill the enormous two-story building—plus a warehouse out back—with just about everything imaginable. Fine furniture and nicknacks share space with vinyl records and bottle cap collections. No wonder it consistently wins Best Antiques Store.
2ND PLACE: Vintage Hen973 East Ave., Ste. J, 894-1311
3RD PLACE: Country Squyres’ Antiques164 E. Third St., 342-6764
Auto paint/body shop
1ST PLACE: Concours Elite2267 Esplanade, Ste. D, 891-0234
Chicoans have grown to trust Concours Elite with their repair and paint jobs over the shop’s 30 years in business, earning it the top spot in this category. The family-owned collision center boasts more than 17,000 square feet of space for repairs, and customers rave about the staff’s ability to relieve their stress and return their vehicles good as new.
2ND PLACE: Knockout Collision Repair3225 Esplanade, 899-9202
3RD PLACE: JP’s Paint & Body Works1840 Park Ave., 342-1328
Auto repair shop
1ST PLACE: Affordable Automotive2106 Park Ave., 892-1774
For four years running, Affordable Automotive has won Best Auto Repair Shop in Chico. The family-run business strives to help customers maintain safe, reliable vehicles, be they old, new, American or foreign, and their service certainly backs that up.
2ND PLACE: C & M Automotive Services1188 E. Lassen Ave., 343-5613
3RD PLACE: Boradori Automotive2303 Esplanade, Ste. 80, 345-5600
1ST PLACE: Apple Blossom Baby1372 Longfellow Ave., 345-1617
Apple Blossom Baby is one of those unique Chico stores that blends new, hard-to-find treasures and consignment. And let’s face it, when it comes to kids, sizes change so fast that finding a good deal on gently used items can make a huge difference. Locals clearly appreciate the model—and the super friendly staff who go out of their way to make parents and baby happy.
2ND PLACE: Kat’s Meow138 W. Third St., 899-8811
3RD PLACE: The Children’s Place1950 E. 20th St., 894-2589
1ST PLACE: Formal Education127 Main Street, 809-1839
This is the third consecutive year readers have named Formal Education their favorite source for menswear. Driven by the store’s continued popularity and in order to better serve the fashion needs of Chico dudes, the shop recently moved from its Broadway location to Main Street. The new location is twice the size and features a separate suit room and other amenities.
2ND PLACE: Men’s Wearhouse1950 E. 20th St., 342-1769
3RD PLACE: Trucker232 Broadway, 343-1073
1ST PLACE: For Elyse228 Broadway, 893-0106
For 17 years, the women behind For Elyse have been bringing fashion to downtown Chico. Customers keep going back because it’s more than just a store—it’s an experience from the moment you walk in the door and are greeted by personal stylists. Over the years, For Elyse’s success has allowed it to grow to two stores—one in Redding—and, more recently, a bustling online marketplace. No wonder it keeps winning Best Women’s Clothier.
2ND PLACE: 5th Street Clothing Co.328 Broadway, 345-5754
3RD PLACE: Anika Burke211 Main St., 918-8850
Vintage/ second-hand threads
1ST PLACE: Three Sixty Ecotique511 Main St., 342-8752
When Chicoans want to dress trendy but original, their first stop is Three Sixty Ecotique. The shop just south of the post office downtown has grown over the years, and continues to be the No. 1 place for vintage and second-hand threads in town. So, whether you’re attracted to locally made pieces or carefully selected hand-me-downs, Three Sixty is where you’ll find your style.
2ND PLACE: Bootleg126 W. Second St., 895-1426
3RD PLACE: Lovene’s Clothing & Collectables252 E. Ninth Ave., 343-7210
1ST PLACE: Heel & Sole Shoes708 Mangrove Ave., 899-0725
Year after year, Heel & Sole wins over Chico’s heart—and feet—and is dubbed Best Shoe Store. There’s good reason for that, too. Flip-flops alone cover several racks inside the spacious store, which also has a great selection of athletic shoes, boots and heels appropriate for every occasion.
2ND PLACE: Johnson’s Shoes801 East Ave., Ste. 145, 343-8923
3RD PLACE: Fleet Feet Sports241 Main St., 345-1000
1ST PLACE: Tri Counties Bankmultiple locations
Founded over 40 years ago right here in Chico, Tri Counties Bank has a long history of fulfilling local banking needs, from checking and savings accounts to home and business loans to investing. Customers have come to know Tri Counties by its core values of trust, respect, integrity, communication and opportunity (TRICO, get it?) that keep it at the top when it comes to handling money.
2ND PLACE: Wells Fargo Bankmultiple locations
3RD PLACE: Sierra Central Credit Union352 E. First St., (800) 222-7228
1ST PLACE: Christian & Johnson250 Vallombrosa Ave., Ste. 100, 891-1881
Christian & Johnson got its start as a nursery opened by Annie Bidwell’s gardener over a century ago, and it’s been beautifying Chicoans’ homes and special events ever since. Locals continuously trust the designers at C&J to create the most elegant arrangements for all occasions, from simple to elaborate.
2ND PLACE: Flowers by Rachelle2485 Notre Dame Blvd., Ste. 240, 345-2661
3RD PLACE: Chico Florist1600 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 145, 345-1855
1ST PLACE: Pullins Cyclery801 Main St., 342-1055
If decades’ worth of bicycle-repair knowledge is what you seek, Pullins Cyclery is your place. Seriously, the guys behind the counter—owner Steve O’Bryan and mechanics David Sykes and Dan Cernuda—will have your bike running smooth as silk, and the shop itself is timeless. Go ahead and ask them about the cool, antique rides and old-school cycling jerseys on the wall, but be prepared: They’re liable to chat you up.
2ND PLACE: Greenline Cycles515 Main St., 894-7885
3RD PLACE (TIE): Campus Bicycles330 Main St., 345-2081
3RD PLACE (TIE): North Rim Adventure Sports178 E. Second St., 345-2453
1ST PLACE: Liberty Cab898-1776
Uber may have popped into the top three when it comes to catching a ride in Chico, but no one can surpass Liberty Cab. The locally owned company became a Living Legend last year; and this year racks up up its sixth straight win in the Best Cab Company category. That’s because Chicoans know they can rely on fast, friendly service whether they call old-school-style or book a ride via the mobile app.
2ND PLACE: Uber
3RD PLACE: Ecocab591-3186
1ST PLACE: Chuck Patterson200 East Ave., 895-1771
Behind buying a house, buying a car is one of the biggest purchases folks make during their lifetimes. Locally, when it comes to shopping for cars—new and used—Chuck Patterson is the dealer of choice. This longtime business (50 years in Chico!) on East Avenue is our town’s No. 1 car emporium time and time again. That could be due to a variety of reasons: the courteous staff, the clean and modern showroom, and the wide selection of makes and models.
2ND PLACE: Courtesy Automotive Center2520 Cohasset Road, 345-9444
3RD PLACE: Wittmeier Auto Center2288 Forest Ave., 895-8181
1ST PLACE: Gearhead Barbershop221 Normal Ave., 894-2889
When it comes to updating the ’do, men don’t mess around—they go to Gearhead. Whether it’s a trim, a buzzcut, a dye job or a full-on styling session, the folks at Gearhead know best. Customers also rave about the hot towel and shave service, the perfect kind of primping every man craves.
2ND PLACE: Chico’s Barber Shop162 E. Third St., 487-7373
3RD PLACE: Barber John’s532 Nord Ave., 342-7342
1ST PLACE: The Hair Co.2760 Esplanade, 894-2002
Customers choose the Hair Co. for the talented stylists, friendly smiles, modern environment and variety of products available. The staff is always eager to send customers home with the perfect cut, color and style. And it doesn’t stop there: The Hair Co. also offers skin treatments, manicures and pedicures, waxing and massage. Talk about full-service!
2ND PLACE: Dimensions Salon810 Broadway, 894-2515
3RD PLACE: SeelaDavid Salon1209 Esplanade, Ste. 6, 343-3600
1ST PLACE: Sweetwater Day Spa40 Declaration Drive, 894-7722
Sweetwater Day Spa is at once elegant, rustic and homey, making it the perfect environment to kick back, relax and let someone else do the work for a change. Customers rave about the brow waxing and deep-tissue massages, saying they always go home with a smile, feeling perfectly pampered.
2ND PLACE: Urban Medspa3221 Cohasset Road, 891-8772
3RD PLACE: Renew Float Spa1030 Village Lane, 588-7378
Place for a mani/pedi
1ST PLACE: Tammy Nails1354 East Ave., 899-8912
Getting pampered doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. Tammy Nails sees to that. From the dozen-plus spa pedicure stations lining the wall to the friendly, talented staff, this nail salon on the north end of town draws customers back again and again. From simple polish to full sets, the nail techs at Tammy’s are top-notch and always up-to-date on the most current trends.
2ND PLACE: Bliss Nails & Spa2033 Forest Ave., Ste. 100, 891-3538
3RD PLACE: U.S. Nails & Spa726 Mangrove Ave., 345-2520
1ST PLACE: Eye of Jade319 Main St., Ste. 200, 345-5233
Tattoos are pieces of art permanently placed on one’s body. So, good, clean work—from the sterility of equipment to the steadiness of the artist’s hand—are paramount to a good tattoo shop. Eye of Jade has it all in spades. With a large staff of talented artists, Eye of Jade has made a name for itself as Chico’s (and Paradise’s) go-to tattoo parlor.
2ND PLACE: Red Room Tattoo231 Nord Ave., 342-1287
3RD PLACE: Victory Tattoo1818 Mangrove Ave., 896-1818
1ST PLACE: Chico Express Cleaners641 Walnut St., 343-6013; and 752 East Ave., 343-8844
Customers love dropping their dirty duds off at the 24-hour drop boxes, and having the clothes come back “sharp and clean.” With two locations, Chico Express Cleaners also offers free pick-up and delivery for suits, shirts and household items—for families as well as businesses. Earning a strong reputation for customer satisfaction has been the goal for more than 20 years at Chico Express Cleaners.
2ND PLACE: 3rd Generation Cleaners1354 East Ave., 899-0333
3RD PLACE: Esplanade Cleaners164 E. Second Ave., 342-4306
Feed store/farm supply
1ST PLACE: Northern Star Mills510 Esplanade, 342-7661
When it comes to feeding animals, be it household pets or pasture-dwelling livestock, Chicoans know they can turn to Northern Star Mills to fill their needs. One of Chico’s oldest businesses, Northern Star Mills has a large selection, including steroid-free, non-GMO and even locally sourced feed for all your chickens, goats, horses, cows, pigs and even wild birds. You name it, they can feed it.
2ND PLACE: Wilbur’s Feed & Seed139 Meyers St., 895-0569
3RD PLACE: C Bar D Feed3388 Highway 32, 342-5361
1ST PLACE: Hubbs & Co.956 Mangrove Ave., 892-4940
The newly rebranded Hubbs & Co. is Chico’s go-to shop when it comes to finding the perfect gift. Looking for cute home décor items for a housewarming present? Check out Hubbs. Does your best friend just love sweet-smelling lotions and oils? Hubbs has those, too. With such a wide inventory of fashionable, fun items, you might just walk out with a gift for yourself.
2ND PLACE: Little Red Hen Gift Shop897 E. 20th St., 897-0100
3RD PLACE: Made in Chico127 W. Third St., 894-7009
1ST PLACE: S&S Organic Produce & Natural Foods1924 Mangrove Ave., 343-4930
There’s a reason why locals love S&S. OK, there are many: the carefully selected organic fruits and veggies; the hormone-free, natural meats at the full-service Butcher Shop; the wide selection of vitamins and supplements; and the dedication to supporting local businesses. Did we mention the top-notch barbecue and deli on-site? There’s that, too.
2ND PLACE: Trader Joe’s801 East Ave., Ste. 110, 343-9920
3RD PLACE: Chico Natural Foods Co-op818 Main St., 891-1713
1ST PLACE: Collier Hardware105 Broadway, 342-0195
Collier Hardware has been located in the same spot since 1935, and the space it fills has been a hardware store since the building was erected in 1871. Walking through the store’s beautifully worn interior, it’s easy to imagine John Bidwell himself picking up supplies to knock a few items off Annie’s honey-do list. The store stocks all of the immediate needs for the modern do-it-yourselfer, as well as a wide selection of quality cookwear and other items to make your house a home.
2ND PLACE: Orchard Supply Hardware231 W. East Ave., 332-9226
3RD PLACE: Lowe’s2350 Forest Ave., 895-5130
1ST PLACE: Hotel Diamond220 W. Fourth St., 893-3100
The copper-topped cupola rising above the roof of downtown’s Hotel Diamond fittingly resembles a lighthouse, as it serves as a beacon to guide visitors and locals looking for a luxurious getaway to Chico’s poshest lodgings. Originally built in 1904, the building fell into disrepair in the latter 20th century, but was refurbished and reopened in 2005. In its current form, the hotel offers all of the modern comforts and conveniences inside of a historic and elegant setting.
2ND PLACE: Oxford Suites2035 Business Lane, 899-9090
3RD PLACE (TIE): Hotel James10 Lost Dutchman Drive, 894-5743
3RD PLACE (TIE): Ramada Plaza685 Manzanita Court, 345-2491
1ST PLACE: Kirk’s Jewelry246 W. Third St., 891-0880
Locally owned by Kirk Bengston, Kirk’s is regularly named Best Jeweler and it’s not hard to see why. Bengston has 40 years of experience custom-designing everything from engagement rings to pendants to hand-carved bracelets, ensuring each piece is unique. The personal service, the warm ambiance and the high quality of the jewelry produced all team up to make Kirk’s the best.
2ND PLACE: Olde Gold Estate Jewelry225 Main St., Ste. 3, 891-4610
3RD PLACE: Gabrielle Ferrar214 Main St., 345-1500
1ST PLACE: Spike’s Bottle Shop1270 E. First Ave., 893-8410
It’s no secret that, when it comes to craft beers in particular, nowhere has a better selection than Spike’s. What’s more, owner Kevin Jaradah and his friendly employees are always happy to make suggestions or even special order something if, on a rare occasion, what you’re looking for is not in stock. Couple that with a vast selection of liquors and wines and it’s no wonder Spike’s holds onto its title as Chico’s Best Liquor Store.
2ND PLACE: Star Liquors933 Nord Ave., 891-4842
3RD PLACE: Ray’s Liquor207 Walnut St., 343-3249
Local computer store
1ST PLACE: Chico Computer Clinic1304 Mangrove Ave., 636-1337
In today’s technology-driven world, a malfunctioning computer or cellphone can create serious problems in a person’s life. Chico Computer Clinic is in the business of ensuring Chicoans’ electronic devices are back in action before their users miss a single byte of important information, as the company’s Facebook page boasts that most repairs are done within 24 hours. They also provide data-recovery services and are a source for good deals on refurbished electronics.
2ND PLACE: PCI Business Services225 Main St., 924-4848
3RD PLACE: Computers Plus2477 Forest Ave., Ste. 150, 891-7587
Local pet store
1ST PLACE: Northern Star Mills510 Esplanade, 342-7661
2ND PLACE: Trailblazer Pet Supply752 Mangrove Ave., 892-1848
3RD PLACE: Pet Smart2019 Forest Ave., 961-9188
1ST PLACE: Magnolia Gift and Garden1367 East Ave., 894-5410
A stroll through the grounds of Magnolia Gift and Garden is a little adventure. Toward the front you’ll find pottery mixed in with an array of plants of all sorts—perennials, annuals, succulents—you name it. But the plant perusing doesn’t end there. Walk around toward the back—be sure to stop and check out the awesome chicken coop made from an old school bus—and there’s even more greenery, including shrubs and trees, to get your landscaping juices flowing. Be sure to check out the offerings in the gift shop on your way out.
2ND PLACE: The Plant Barn & Gift Shop406 Entler Ave., 345-3121
3RD PLACE: Little Red Hen Nursery189 E. Eighth St., 891-9100
Place to buy books
1ST PLACE: The Bookstore118 Main St., 345-7441
Chicoans love The Bookstore, as evidenced by their willingness to come to its rescue a few years back when it was in danger of closing up shop. Now, it’s going strong, offering a huge selection of new and used books for all the readers among us. In addition to selling the written word, The Bookstore has become a prime venue for book signings and poetry readings.
2ND PLACE: Barnes & Noble2031 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, 894-1494
3RD PLACE: ABC Books and More950 Mangrove Ave., 893-4342
Place to buy home furnishings
1ST PLACE: The Address2444 Cohasset Road, 898-9000
The Address’ motto is “Live with the things you love,” and anyone who has set foot in the large showroom at the corner of East Avenue and Cohasset Road knows it’s taken seriously. With a “whole room style” approach to home décor, The Address offers more than just furniture; it offers full-service home design. Customers love the attention to detail and the personal attention paid them by the entire staff.
2ND PLACE: Nantucket Home603 Broadway, 895-1038
3RD PLACE: Esplanade Furniture1750 Esplanade, 891-4788
Place to buy music gear
1ST PLACE: The Music Connection973 East Ave., Ste. V, 898-0110
The Music Connection is a favorite destination for local music-makers of all skill levels, from those just learning their first scales to seasoned professionals. The store has a full range of new, used and rental instruments, from Stratocasters to sousaphones, in stock or ready to order. It also offers lessons provided by some of Chico’s most accomplished musicians.
2ND PLACE: Herreid Music824 Oroville Ave., 894-7777
3RD PLACE: Guitar Center2027 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, 879-1731
Place to buy outdoor gear
1ST PLACE: Mountain Sports176 E. Third St., 345-5011
This longtime shop in downtown Chico serves as a little hub for mountaineers, campers, hikers and general outdoor enthusiasts. There are all sorts of clothing and outdoor gear, from sleeping bags to portable stoves and lightweight tents to heavy-duty backpacks. You might even pick up some advice from the savvy locals who work in the shop, like how to get to hidden spots throughout the area—but they might swear you to secrecy.
2ND PLACE: Chico Sports LTD698 Mangrove Ave., 894-1110
3RD PLACE: Sportsman’s Warehouse765 East Ave., Ste. 170, 897-0500
1ST PLACE: Dick’s Sporting Goods1922 E. 20th St., 343-3351
Whether it’s softball, soccer, tennis or water skiing, Chico and its environs offer tons of opportunities to get outside and be active. So, naturally, we need a store that offers all the clothing and specialty equipment for playing said sports. Dick’s Sporting Goods at the Chico Mall certainly fits that bill, with a huge variety of brands to make sure locals are ready to take the field.
2ND PLACE: Chico Sports LTD698 Mangrove Ave., 894-1110
3RD PLACE: Big 5 Sporting Goods1717 Mangrove Ave., 891-1545
1ST PLACE: The Arc Store2020 Park Ave., 343-3666
There are plenty of thrift stores in Chico, but the one locals keep coming back to is the Arc Store. Maybe it’s the care volunteers put into choosing only the best furniture, clothing and electronics to fill the shelves, or maybe it’s the store’s mission to help individuals with disabilities lead meaningful lives. Whatever the reason, the nonprofit makes it easy to donate used goods and offers a clean, organized shop for customers to find that new-to-them gem.
2ND PLACE: Thrifty Bargain2432 Esplanade, 774-2158
3RD PLACE: Goodwill765 East Ave., 893-8578
1ST PLACE: Michael M. RooneyRooney Law Firm, 1361 Esplanade, 343-5297
When faced with criminal charges or needing an attorney in a family law or personal injury case, Chicoans know whom to turn to: Michael M. Rooney. Clients appreciate his experience having worked as a probation officer and public defender, and they trust he’s on their side no matter what.
2ND PLACE: Nicole PlottelHarris & Plottel LLP, 3120 Cohasset Road, Ste. 10, 893-2882
3RD PLACE: Denver LatimerThe Law Office of Denver Latimer, 330 Wall St., 345-1396
1ST PLACE: Urban Design Solar2260 Park Ave., 809-1079
Happy customers rave about every aspect of working with Urban Design Solar—how smoothly it goes from calling for a bid, to installation, to follow-up. The team also gets marks for no high-pressure sales, and answering questions thoroughly. “Prompt, professional and courteous,” one customer says of how the staff “goes above and beyond.”
2ND PLACE (TIE): Alternative Energy Systems13620 Highway 99, 345-6980
2ND PLACE (TIE): Holt Construction Inc.37 Bellarmine Court, 899-1011
1ST PLACE: Joni Ginno (State Farm Insurance)1915 Esplanade, 891-5881
As one customer put it, “personable service and competitive rates” help make doing business with Joni Ginno a no-brainer. Others say they appreciate her fast, friendly and professional service, coupled with the multiple discounts State Farm offers policy-holders. A Chico State graduate who’s been with State Farm since 1998, Ginno has a particular passion for the safety of teen drivers, helping propel her to the top of the pack as Best Insurance Agent.
2ND PLACE: Gayle Aylward (State Farm Insurance)1277 East Ave., Ste 110, 895-1356
3RD PLACE: Brad Jacobson (Farmers Insurance)25 Jan Court, Ste. 120, 891-7900
1ST PLACE: Teresa RaczynskiPark Avenue Photography, 15010 Meridian Road, 521-4340
“Cute, cute, cute!” That’s what people say about the family and other portraits by Teresa Raczynski, owner of Park Avenue Photography. From her ranch in north Chico, Raczynski offers an array of backdrop options, both indoor and outdoor, and customers say they appreciate her patience, creativity and professionalism. One returning client says, “Teresa and her staff are completely amazing.”
2ND PLACE: Emily Hajec Photography(775) 686-9033
3RD PLACE: Mark Thau Photography5867 Cohasset Road, 864-6216
Real estate agent
1ST PLACE: Sabrina Derr (The Group)2580 Sierra Sunrise Terrace, Ste.110, 718-9115
Local realtor Sabrina Derr is well-liked and respected among her peers, who call her “bright, diligent and honest.” Clients appreciate how she listens to their needs and communicates with them throughout the buying or selling process. It can be a stressful time for people, but Derr moves with confidence the whole way.
2ND PLACE: John Barroso (Keller Williams Realty)261 E. Third St., 570-8489
3RD PLACE: Dustin Cheatham (Century 21 Jeffries Lydon)1101 El Monte Ave., 894-4523