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Community mourns impending loss of toy store

By From page A7 | January 08, 2012

After 18 years, Alphabet Moon Toys & Treasures will close its doors at the end of the month. Christine Hildebrand, owner of the beloved toy store, announced the decision Wednesday in a letter to her customers.

“We have loved every minute of it,” Hildebrand wrote. “We are proud to have provided a warm, friendly place for you and your family to shop, stocked with unique, quality toys.

“We want to thank our loyal customers who have continued to support us in these tough times, and encourage all of you to support the remaining independent businesses in our downtown.”

Hildebrand purchased the store about 10 years ago, and moved it last year from its F Street spot to its current location at 605 Second St. to save money on rent. In a story Thursday in The Enterprise, Hildebrand attributed the three-year sales slope to the economy, Target and increasing Internet sales.

Davis Parent Cindy Dolan summed it up well when she told reporter Anne Ternus-Bellamy: “I think we take small businesses for granted sometimes.”

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Although the A-frame signs in E Street Plaza say “Store Closing Sale,” the owner of the women’s clothing store Lily’s Boutique is still weighing her options. Dina Furman said she is talking with the landlord about reducing the space at 218 E St., and speaking with commercial real estate agents to look at new, less expensive sites.

Next door, Teach Your Children owner Loren Skinner wants the community to know his education supply store is doing fine, and hoping to take on some new inventory when Alphabet Moon closes. He said Lily’s vague store-closing sign was misleading some.

With the new focus, Teach Your Children will have a “grand reopening” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28. Its address is 232 E St.

He plans to add more blocks, games, workbooks, putties … not to mention telescopes. I will be carrying more items for ‘early childhood,’ “ he told The Enterprise.

“We’ve always had an education-oriented focus, but we know that play is part of a child’s education.”

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Rocknasium recently moved its indoor rock-climbing gym a couple of doors down from its original location. Its new address is 720 Olive Drive, Suite S. Owner Carter Schmeck plans a Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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Davisites Ryan Brand and Lee Pflugrath of YoloBerry Yogurt opened Woodland’s newest coffeehouse early last month. Yolo Coffee Co. at 421 Pioneer Ave., near Big 5. A website is started at http://www.yolocoffeecompany.com. Its phone is (530) 406-1400.

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Lowenthal Law Office is moving Feb. 1 to 510 Fourth St., Davis. Its current location is 712 Second St. Call (530) 231-4949 or visit http://www.lowenthallawoffice.com.

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All Things Right & Relevant backers hope to move the consignment store it to its new building at Spafford Street and Peña Drive in Mace Ranch in early spring, according to Jeff Hudson’s story last month in The Enterprise. The store, which benefits local mental health nonprofits, is at 1640 E. Eighth St. next to Symposium.

The new store will be twice the size of the current 5,000-square-foot facility.

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Sweet Briar Books’ last day was Christmas Eve. The used bookstore was near the Davis Food Co-op at 654 G St. The end of the shopping center past Ken’s Bike & Ski is looking pretty bare.

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Open Rice Kitchen, an Asian fusion restaurant going in at 204 G St., posted its liquor license — required for at least 30 days — on Dec. 15. Construction still has a ways to go.

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Meanwhile, Zindagi Indian Bistro, the restaurant going in at 213 E St., Suite C, (formerly Queen of Sheeba) hopes to open by the middle of the month, depending on city inspections.

One of the restaurant’s designers, Sharlene Lee, said Wednesday that the eatery will offer traditional Indian food with a modern twist, adding some “unique ingredients” that will set it apart.

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The owner of the Blockbuster building at Third and F streets is still in lease negotiations with a bakery-cafe chain that’s looking to come to Davis. I’ll keep you posted when I can report more.

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If you missed it in Thursday’s Enterprise, there was an update on the Hallmark Inn remodel that includes plans to add retail space to its ground floor. Owner Reed Youmans told reporter Tom Sakash he’d like to see a flower shop and a women’s fashion store, among other potential businesses, open in the available spaces.

The story said the hotel potentially could accommodate up to three separate businesses. The Youmans family plans to renovate the hotel breakfast area, which now accommodates only hotel guests, into a sandwich shop and deli that would be open to the public. (The family also owns the neighboring Seasons property).

“We’re going to have the best paninis, sandwiches and soups in town,” Youmans said. “We’re going to have great grilled cheese, salads; it’s going to be fast and good.”

— 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. Comings & Goings is also on Facebook. If you know about a business coming or going in the area, contact Wendy at [email protected].

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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