The hubbub over Peet’s

Reports of chain pulling out of downtown smell funny; Del Taco opens on 20th Street

When I saw last week in the daily and on TV news that Peet’s Coffee in downtown Chico would be closing, I was pretty surprised, to say the least. First of all, the cafe is always full. I mean, it’s located on a busy corner—Second and Main streets—which makes for prime people-watching while getting your caffeine on. Personally, while I do make a point to support my local coffeehouses, I also have a weakness for the chocolate-caramel-swirl Javiva. De-lish.

I reached out to corporate for an official statement on the closure, but hadn’t heard back as of press time. I did stop by for a Javiva/recon mission, however, and chatted it up with one of the friendly baristas, who informed me that the shop is scheduled to close in December.

What was particularly interesting was that both local reports quoted property owner David Halimi saying that the reason Peet’s isn’t renewing its downtown lease could be “ongoing problems with transients.” In both accounts, he pointed to the recently approved property-based improvement district as a possible savior for Peet’s. He said he’s hopeful that the PBID, which will pay for safety measures and enhanced cleaning downtown, will change the corporation’s mind. I’m not so sure. I’ve never noticed anything particularly bothersome related to homeless individuals at Peet’s, and the barista I spoke with concurred, saying the issue was negligible.

I’m hopeful for a callback from the coffee giant to clear up the issue once and for all.

Hola! If you can deal with a long line, Del Taco is finally open at East 20th Street and Forest Avenue. I fell in love with the chicken soft taco while in college in L.A. So, naturally, when the Del opened up last month, I had to go in and get one. It only took 25 minutes. But it was so worth it.

Adios! With no fanfare and no farewell, after 28 years—and several changes in ownership—Tortilla Flats shut its doors.

A reader recently alerted me to the closure of Coffee’s On in Paradise, which had inhabited its flagship spot on the Skyway for 15 years. The Ons, who also own Chico Dermatology, shut down the Ridge coffeehouse in May. Rumor has it a chain is moving in—I’ll keep you posted as I learn more.

Celebrate This year’s Blessing of the Grapes ceremony at New Clairvaux Winery promises more riches than usual. Next Saturday (July 22), head out to Vina for the ceremony in addition to a farmers’ market featuring food trucks, local vendors and some Cistersian monk-made foods, from cheese crisps to dried mushrooms.

Correction I made a mistake last week when I wrote about Fred Meyer Jewelers closing in the Chico Mall. I had been misinformed about how to get pieces that were bought there cleaned or repaired. Customers can call 1-800-DIAMOND or email for questions about inspection, maintenance or repairs. I apologize for the error, which has been fixed online.