See you at Two Twenty

A sneak peek at Hotel Diamond's new restaurant/bar, plus Liberty Cab's charity drive

Over the past year or so, I've had the chance to interview several Chico residents who have opened new eateries. When I've asked the customary question about how they ended up in the restaurant business, most have talked about their rich experience in the food and hospitality industry.

So when Greg Scott, the owner of the Hotel Diamond's new restaurant, Two Twenty, said he was a senior vice president for an oil and gas business, I thought I misheard him. Canola oil and glass, maybe? Or did he say boil and gas?

Nope, oil and gas it was. Scott's a veteran executive for Gulf Oil in Boston, though his wife is from Chico and they have homes both here and in Beantown.

Two Twenty is Scott's first foray into the restaurant business. He admits he has a unique background for a restaurateur, but like any good businessperson, Scott said he adheres to the belief that if you hire talented people, things will work out just fine. Based on his decision to hire Michael Iles, longtime Sierra Nevada Brewery & Taproom executive chef, to lead the Two Twenty kitchen, I'd say Scott knows what he's doing.

Two Twenty, which opened July 31, takes the place of Johnnie's Restaurant, which closed in January. Since then, Scott and his team have upgraded the space on the ground floor of the historic downtown Chico hotel for the new restaurant and bar, with the name for Two Twenty coming from its address at 220 W. Fourth St.

The bar will be open daily, beginning, of course, at 2:20 p.m. and in the restaurant, dinner will be served nightly. Breakfast will be served weekdays from 7 to 10 a.m., and Saturdays and Sundays will include brunch.

Scott said the restaurant's menu is reflective of classic California cuisine, with the dinner menu featuring pizzas, burgers and a chicken and waffles dish with the most interesting flavor combination I've heard of. The entrée is chicken on a pecan waffle, with corn relish, mushroom maple butter, hot sauce and jalapeño jelly.

Charity drive: Chico's Liberty Cab celebrated its 10-year anniversary in a really cool way this month. To mark the milestone, a group of Liberty's drivers drove at least one shift with all profits going toward a charity of their choosing. Liberty Cab owner Gianni Caponera even drove some of the fundraising shifts himself.

There were 10 entities that benefited from the proceeds, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Valley, Anita Ingrao (aka Chico Community) Observatory, Shalom Free Clinic, Butte Humane Society and Vectors of Chico.

Happy birthday, Liberty Cab, and kudos on the great idea to honor your decade in business.