It seems just about everything these days revolves around the Camp Fire and recovery efforts. It is exciting to see progress being made, however slowly. This past week, I had a chance to talk with Lok Keobouahom, who owns Sophia’s Authentic Thai Cuisine in Paradise. He was so cheerful, even when talking about the hardships involved with reopening (see “Troubled water,” page 18).
Not many other restaurants are ready to take that step. Jaki Snead, owner of Jaki’s Hilltop Cafe, which survived the fire in Magalia, announced recently via Facebook that she is selling the business. She’d reopened the popular restaurant in October after closing due to a kitchen fire over a year earlier. She lost her home, she wrote, and it’s time to move on to something else.
She is selling the business to the owner of the Cozy Diner in Paradise, which she said experienced damage that will take time to repair. Stay tuned for more on a name change and other updates as they become available. Best of luck to Jaki.
Back in business Many businesses have reopened since being displaced by the Camp Fire. The Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce has launched a database to track them—and keep customers up to date—at paradisechamber.com/updated-business-status.
Some have returned to their original locations (Theatre on the Ridge and Lisa Family Pharmacy in Paradise, and Beary Sudsy Soap Co. and Ampla Health in Magalia, to name a few). But others have relocated—several to Chico (Paradise Drug, Paradise Medical Group), and Oroville (Gloss Nail Salon, Rose Chapel Mortuary and Crematory). I assume some of those who’ve stayed close will return to the Ridge, though many may not.
Still others have moved farther away (Moll’s Legal Doc Prep has moved to Vista, Gary Bess Associates to Rocklin). And a Facebook post this week revealed Ikkyu Japanese Restaurant has been spied in Red Bluff applying for a beer and wine license.
Closing time Not all businesses affected by the Camp Fire were on the Ridge. Of course, we’ve all been affected some way or another. Rouse & Revolt is no different. The downtown Chico store announced earlier this week that the popular consignment shop would be closing Jan. 31. I reached out and was told by an employee that all of the management had lost their homes in the fire. In addition, slow sales in November and December, typically the most important for retailers, affected the store significantly. Sadly, I don’t think they’ll be the last.
Taquito time I found myself in Oroville earlier this week around lunch time and, as I made my way from county center to Oro Dam Boulevard in search of a quick meal, I came upon Bulldog Express Drive-Thru at the Washington Avenue and Montgomery Street roundabout. The new spot, which opened a few months ago, is a vast improvement over the run-down, abandoned gas station that occupied the space before. I’ve missed Bulldog’s taquitos, so I had to get one. Delicious as always!