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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Pinkberry, Baja Fresh, wine bar are on the way

By
February 5, 2010 | Leave Comment

Special to The Enterprise

For a moment, I thought he was pulling my leg.

In a 9:30 p.m. e-mail last week, Deputy City Manager Ken Hiatt casually mentioned that Pinkberry frozen yogurt was going into Davis Commons.

How can this be, you ask?

Davis already has five dedicated frozen yogurt shops: Yogurt Shack, Cultive, YoloBerry, Tutti Frutti and SugarPlum. All of those are self-serve. Three other stores offer self-serve froyo machines: Cold Stone Creamery, Quickly and Barista Brew. Oh, and they sell frozen yogurt at the UC Davis Coffeehouse and serve it in the dining halls. And thatÕs not even counting ice cream and gelato vendors.

Seriously, Davis must have the most frozen yogurt stores per capita than any city on the planet.

Dave Francis, who opened the first one among the recent trend Ñ Yogurt Shack Ñ in 2007, joked, ÒMore yogurt stores than Starbucks is an accomplishment!Ó His store at 113 E St. is a half-block from Davis Commons.

CultiveÕs owner Ross Hanstad, who had to change his storeÕs name Swirl because of a threatened lawsuit by Pinkberry, emphasized that the large Southern California tart yogurt chainÕs prices are higher than local shops. It also will have a higher overhead, because itÕs not self-serve, he noted.

ÒIÕll just drop my prices,Ó he said with a smile.

Pinkberry takes the spot left vacant by the stationery store Papyrus, which closed Jan. 25.

ÑÑÑ

A Baja Fresh Mexican Grill is planned at 237 D St., next to the downtown Post Office. The Third and D streets site was last occupied by the Davis Holistic Health Center.

The Mexican food chain offers burritos, tacos, fajitas, salads, soups, nachos, quesadillas and a kidsÕ menu. For more information, including nutritional stats, go to http://www.bajafresh.com.

I e-mailed the Baja Fresh marketing manager to ask about an opening date but she hasnÕt responded.

ÑÑÑ

ThatÕs a Burger King under construction on the west side of Highway 113 off the Covell Boulevard exit. ItÕs a new, stand-alone building going in between Starbucks and Subway on Lyndell Terrace.

ÑÑÑ

London Fish ÔN Chips in Orange Court has changed its name to The Dumpling House. Its grand

re-opening was Sunday, Jan. 31, with a fundraiser for Haiti disaster relief.

The E Street restaurant is under the same ownership as Davis Noodle City, also in Orange Court, and Red Orchid Restaurant, which is in Davis Manor Shopping Center on Eighth Street.

The Dumpling House still offers the best fish and chips in Davis, but expanded its menu to serve hand-wrapped dumplings, potstickers and a few chef special stir-fry dishes, among other items.

ÑÑÑ

Hometown Chinese will open a full-service restaurant in Mansion SquareÕs second floor on Monday, owner Jean Lee said. She and her husband, Steve, recently closed their take-out location inside the South Davis Chevron, at 1601 Research Park Drive.

Before it was at the gas station, Hometown Chinese had a restaurant on Lake Boulevard.

Hours will be Mondays through Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The phone is (530) 758-6188.

ÑÑÑ

Also in Mansion Square, but on the third floor, Cobalt Salon & Gallery opened Monday.

Martin is the former owner of All That Jazz hair salon in South Davis, also a gallery and often featuring MartinÕs own work. Most recently he and his co-workers, Sharon Jackson, Tenaya Freitas and Cecilia Scott, were at Salon at Maple Court on H Street.

ÑÑÑ

Alphabet Moon Toys & Treasures will soon move into The NaturalistÕs old spot.

The current store at 235 F St. will be closed Feb. 22-24 for moving, then reopen Friday, Feb. 26, in its new location. Meanwhile, some minor remodeling.

The new store is about 400 square feet smaller than the toy storeÕs current 2,800-square-foot place.

ÒWe decided with the economy, we needed to downsize a little bit and we liked the idea of moving onto a street with a lot of retail,Ó Hildebrand told The EnterpriseÕs Sharon Stello. ÒWeÕre looking forward to being right across the street from MishkaÕs once they open that building.Ó

Hildebrand plans to reduce some of the office space in the back of the Second Street shop to open up more room for merchandise. She doesnÕt plan to cut back on the amount of stock much, if at all.

A grand reopening celebration is tentatively planned for the first weekend of March.

ÑÑÑ

Hey, Davis has lots of self-serve yogurt, why not self-serve wine?

A few doors down from the new Alphabet Moon, there are plans for a new wine bar: Vini, in the space formerly occupied by MengaliÕs Florist at 611 Second St.

1977 Davis High School alumnus Jeff Day told Stello about the unusual concept. It incorporates an Enomatic self-serve wine dispensing machine from Italy. The equipment utilizes smart card technology, allowing customers to load money onto a card and then swipe it through the machine to buy samples of wines from around the globe.

Day said he realizes there may be some traditionalists who turn up their noses at a wine dispensing machine, but he said the idea is to create a fun place where people are encouraged to explore wines from many parts of the world, at a reasonable price. A similar machine is offered at a wine bar called Clo in the Time Warner Building in New York, he said. To watch a video of the machine in action, go to http://tv.winelibrary.com/2009/07/02/wine-tasting-at-clo-wine-bar-in-nyc-episode-699.

Day said his machine will serve 64 to 96 wines at a time. After a sample, customers will have the option of buying a bottle to drink there, or take it home. Other wines will be available by the glass at the bar.

Day is working with a designer to remodel the space and intends to incorporate the cold box left behind by MengaliÕs. He doesnÕt yet have a timeline for opening.

Day plans to work with the UC Davis viticulture and enology department in developing the wine bar and he hopes to hire students from the department, who are knowledgeable about wine.

ÑÑÑ

The Davis Chamber of Commerce will move to Third and E streets late next month.

Its office for the last 12 years has been at 130 G St., Suite B, near TucoÕs Wine Market and CafŽ.

The new office is at 604 Third St., which formerly housed Countrywide Mortgage.

CEO Christi Skibbins said, ÒThe ChamberÕs leadership has been looking to find a more centralized, professional and visible location for some time, and we believe we have found that in our new location.Ó

A little remodeling is under way this month. Skibbins said the community will be invited to an open house once the office is settled.

ÑÑÑ

Yolo Federal Credit Union is in escrow to purchase the former Hoffmann 76 site at 501 G St. The sellers are Jeff Hoffmann of Hoffmann Automotive and Ian Cook, announced Michael Bisch of Davis Commercial Properties on Friday.

Yolo Federal recently closed its branch at the Davis Food Co-op.

Ñ Wendy Weitzel is a Davis resident. Her column runs occasionally on Sundays, but her Comings & Goings blog at www.davisenterprise.com has more frequent updates. ItÕs also on Facebook. If you know about a business coming or going in the area, contact her at wendyedit@gmail.com

Wendy Weitzel

Wendy Weitzel

Wendy Weitzel is a longtime journalist and Davis resident. She is a former managing editor of The Davis Enterprise, working there from 1998-2008. She has written her Comings & Goings business column since 2001. Today, she does freelance writing, editing, marketing and design.
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