Mall musings

I haven’t felt much like shopping since the Camp Fire. I know I advocate in this space for supporting our local retailers, but I myself have struggled to find the motivation to go buy, for instance, new jeans or a new pair of shoes. But, last week, I mustered the energy and forced myself out of the house and over to the Chico Mall. If nothing else, it would give me a chance to see what’s going on there now that the disaster resource center has closed.

The cool news: Several new places are preparing to open in vacant storefronts. And three of those are Paradise businesses. The first that caught my eye was Dove’s Gypsy Heart Boutique, a popular Skyway women’s clothing/home décor store owned by its namesake, Dovie Detches. The Paradise shop didn’t burn, but Detches has been clearing out inventory the past few weeks in anticipation of moving to the Chico Mall. The new digs are across from American Eagle Outfitters.

Next door to Dove’s (and next to Rue Guy) is another Paradise transplant, Americana Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Opened by head instructor Andrew “Mu Shu” Osterlund in 2007, the martial arts studio offers memberships, classes for kids and adults, and private lessons.

The third Paradise transplant in the mall is Backyard Solutions, which is hard to miss with its large Jacuzzi in the front display window. The store specializes in outdoor appliances and décor, from barbecues to greenhouses, and is located next to Hot Topic.

Camping time The Oroville/Feather Falls Casino is Butte County’s only KOA campground, and I recently got word that it is changing its designation to a KOA Journey. What that basically means is it’s conveniently situated along “the highways and byways of North America” and it has long, pull-through parking spaces that make setup and tear-down particularly easy. The Feather Falls campground also has wifi, cable, a dog park and gift shop. Plus, it’s right by the casino! Adding to its allure, the Oroville/Feather Falls Casino KOA received the 2018 KOA Founder’s and President’s awards for world-class service and exceptional quality standards.

Growing business I was driving down Park Avenue a week or so ago and noticed the Taqueria Martinez sign outside the walk-up window at 1530 Park Ave. had been replaced by one advertising Taqueria Pinolera. (Martinez had been part of the Cocina Cortes family, whose patriarch passed away last year.)

I stopped to check it out. My first question: Are you related to the Tacos el Pinolero trucks? The answer: Yep! The on-site kitchen has allowed them to expand their menu options, but at the time of my visit they were still working on getting the menu printed. So, go see for yourself.