Wine, beer and Bible hobbies

Soon-to-open Allies Pub joins forces with Roney Wines; food goes mobile on the Ridge; Hobby Lobby thumps toward Chico

We’re still in the midst of Butte County Wine Week and I stumbled upon another tidbit of wine-related news, so here goes.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of The Allies Pub in downtown Chico by the folks behind Bulldog Brewery. The photos on Facebook look really cool—tile ceiling with orbital chandeliers; ornate wood paneling lining the walls; hand pulls imported from historic English pubs. They’re putting the finishing touches on the place and hope to be open in the next few weeks.

But wait, there’s wine news here! They recently announced a partnership with Chico’s Roney Wines, whereby they’ll pour four of the winery’s vintages—two zins, two cabs—by the flight, glass and bottle. Pretty cool! For more on Wine Week, see page 25.

Reopened/newly opened More and more businesses continue to open or reopen in the Camp Fire area, which is healing for the community even if the rebuilding of homes hasn’t caught up just yet.

The trend when it comes to food establishments clearly is leaning toward the mobile model—which makes sense, since potable water is not yet available to Paradise Irrigation District customers. But food is necessary—look at all of the cleanup crews hard at work removing debris and preparing for rebuilding.

What’s neat is that I haven’t even heard of half of the trucks currently on the Ridge. Two that stood out: Bootleg BBQ (parked at 7515 Skyway) and Char-broil Burgers (by US Bank on Skyway). Keep it up!

After years of refurbishing, the Lovelock Inn reopened a few months ago and will be celebrating its grand reopening this Saturday (June 15) with a show by Soul Posse. The place looks pretty spiffy. Head on over around 7 p.m. and support the “longest serving and surviving restaurant in Magalia.”

A strange one When news hit this past week that arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby would be taking over the lease of the old Toys ‘R’ Us building on East 20th Street in Chico, I wasn’t sure what to think. I mean, Hobby Lobby does sell cool stuff for DIY-ers. But then there’s the weird Bible stuff. I’ll explain.

First, I have nothing against religious folks. If religion guides you to be a better person, or helps you to get through tough times, more power to ya. What I don’t like is overbearance. Hobby Lobby comes close on that point. The company sued the federal government—based on religious objections—to not have to provide morning-after-pill health coverage to employees. It won.

Another sketchy thing: It owns the Museum of the Bible, which opened in 2017 in Washington, D.C. That same year, the Hobby Lobby folks were ordered to return a bunch of Mesopotamian artifacts found to have been illegally taken from Iraq—and pay a $3 million fine because of it. In 2018, the museum’s lauded Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered to be forgeries. None of the above speaks to the company being a good employer or steward of our planet.