This Christmas, keep it local

Shopping at small businesses; Shubert’s in the mall; the Beatles are immortal; and free downtown parking

I hate the cold, but I love the holidays. All of the lights downtown, in shops and on houses just bring a feeling of warmth to the oncoming winter. As this past weekend was filled with leftover Thanksgiving merriment and a belly full of goodness, it’s now officially time to set our sights on Christmas. What fun!

I didn’t make it out for the Black Friday madness or, sadly, even Small Business Saturday as I found myself stricken with the flu. No matter. I did make a small venture out to the grocery store for some much-needed chicken soup and Nyquil and took the opportunity to drive through downtown. Restaurants were bustling, shoppers were about. Let’s keep this up throughout the season, people—local businesses need our support now more than ever.

More mall updates I wrote last week about some unconventional new tenants at the Chico Mall. Then, after deadline, I got word that Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy would be opening up shop there, too, starting on Black Friday. The mall location will be temporary, so take advantage of an extra dose of handmade fudge, candies and signature mints. Yum!

Bouncy bouncy The folks over at Rare Air Trampoline Park have been working hard to put the finishing touches on the new facility, which took over the spot left vacant by Off the Wall Soccer (1090 E. 20th St.). I stopped in last week and ran into the owner, Terry Smith, paintbrush in hand. He gave props to the city of Chico, which he said was easy to work with compared with Redding. That’s good to hear! The business opened the day after Thanksgiving and from the look of the place, with what Smith accurately described as “wall-to-wall trampolines,” it’ll be packed in no time. Who wants to start a dodgeball team?

Movin’ on up The community clamored when news spread of the impending demolition of the Beatles mural outside what used to be Lyon Books on Main Street. Well, a few locals listened and decided to do something about it: Aveed Khaki, owner of Formal Education just one door over, partnered with Grant Stephens and Tim Buckner, owners of Old Chico Iron, to construct a metal rendition of the beloved mural, which is scheduled for removal to make way for a new bar/eatery from Will Brady, who’s brought us The Banshee and B Street Public House.

Get yourself downtown If you needed a little extra incentive to shop downtown this winter season, here’s one: Free parking on Fridays! In an effort to lure potential shoppers downtown, the city of Chico once again is waiving parking fees one day a week leading up to Christmas. So, no more excuses!