V-day, cider and pickin’ time

Eat up this Valentine’s Day; drink cider for a cause; juice co. expands; plus, American Pickers coming to town

This will be my first truly solo Valentine’s Day in over a decade, though I can’t say I’m too bothered by it. While interviewing the guys at The Exchange and perusing the photos and stories of other local restaurants creating sexy, delicious dishes (see “In the mood for food,” page 16), I thought back to last V-Day, when I took myself out for shrimp and grits at Bill’s Towne Lounge because my boyfriend had to work. It was delicious. That’s all to say, don’t let being single keep you from eating out, on this most commercial of all holidays or any day.

Speaking of Mountain Mike’s Pizza is offering a Valentine’s themed pie—in the shape of a heart—throughout the month of February. So, if pizza is your thing, go ahead and order a one-topping large heart-shaped pizza for the same price as a regular round one.

Noble cause I mentioned recently that Ben Nielsen, who owns Lassen Traditional Cider, had once again received accolades for his locally produced beverages. Well, he reached out to me this week for some more news out of the barrel room. He’s releasing a new product, dubbed Paradise Strong Cider, using all Winesap apples from Paradise’s Noble Orchards. It’ll be available in his tasting room (26 Bellarmine Court) and 10 percent of proceeds will benefit the orchard, which is entering its 100th year growing apples. An extra cool bonus: The logo was created by the folks at 12 Volt Tattoo, who designed the Paradise Strong logo seen all over town—a pine tree atop a map of California.

Expansion time It seems every time I turn around I’m hearing about a new place opening up in the Meriam Park neighborhood. The most recent is a well-known local business that’s expanding into a second location. The lovely ladies over at Live Life Juice Co. announced the expansion last week and thanked their loyal customers for their support. I personally love their juices and need to get over there to try some of their other offerings. Apparently local muralist Roy Steves (the bike on Fire Station No. 1, Live Life Juice’s carrots) will be creating a new piece for the Meriam Park spot. No opening date yet, so stay tuned.

Off to market With our annual faux spring comes actual spring preparations. That means getting ready for Chico’s Thursday Night Market. The Downtown Chico Business Association, which hosts the event, is taking applications now for everything from vendor spaces to sponsorships to performer spots. For more info, call 345-6500 or go to downtownchico.com.

Time to pick Attention all hoarders, now could be your time to shine. The History Channel’s American Pickers show is coming through Northern California and is looking for people with cool, unusual items for its stars, Mike and Frank, to wade through. They’re particularly interested in large collections. So, if you think you’ve got what they’re looking for (and you’re willing to part with a piece or two), contact the show at americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST.