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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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More art, wine and food headed downtown

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From page A6 | May 31, 2012 |

Here’s a wrap-up of recent Comings & Goings affecting downtown Davis.

Open Door Art Studios gave a preview at the Second Friday ArtAbout event on April 13. It’s at 231 G St., taking several spaces in the Court ‘N Cedar building.

According to Tom Sakash’s April 12 article, a group of artists banded together to rent a block of storefronts in the building to transform them into “open door” workspaces and art studios. There, the public can watch the artists in action, view their finished (and unfinished) work and even buy a piece or two.

It’s scheduled to open this summer.

Artists who are awarded the space will sign a one-year lease. The individual artist or artists sharing each space will pay the rent.

Two of the organizers are Nina Gatewood, co-director of the Davis Downtown Business Association, and Michael Bisch, DDBA president. Bisch’s commercial real estate brokerage, Davis Commercial Properties, manages the Court ‘N Cedar property. The studios fill several second-story spaces but will move downstairs if spots become available, Bisch told me.

Provisional board members are: Marike Deward and Nina Gatewood co-presidents; Jamie Anderson, secretary; Andrew Newman, treasurer; Bill Habicht; Steve Nowicki; Lauren Brandy; Brigitte Mayer; Thelma Weatherford; and Ben Tuason.

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After more than two years, Vini Wine Bar is still working on opening its doors, hopefully by mid-June.

Owner Jeff Day said last month, “I had my Health Department inspection and they issued my permit. The Fire Department completed their final inspection and I’m good there. The building/planning department has also completed their final inspection and signed off. … If approved (by the Planning Commission), the planning department will notify (Alcohol Beverage Control).”

He said it usually takes two to three weeks to issue the license once ABC receives confirmation of approval.

“If everything comes together, I’m thinking I’ll finally open by no later than mid-June.”

The wine bar is at 611 Second St., former home of Mengali’s Florist. It will feature self-serve wine vending machines, which pour tastings or glasses when a patron swipes a prepaid card.

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Two new Asian eateries arrived in Davis in March.

Open Rice Kitchen, an Asian fusion restaurant at 204 G St., served its first meal on March 19. It fills the space left by nestware when the housewares and gift store moved to E Street Plaza.

The menu features appetizers, dim sum, fried rice specials, stir-fry dishes, soups and noodle bowls. There are “signature entrees” with rice, where you choose the sauce. (I tried the Thai Basil with chicken and vegetables, which was perfectly cooked and full of flavor). There is a wide array of beverages, like hot or cold milk teas, and fruit-syrup flavored teas, slushes and “snows.”

Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Call (530) 757-2328 or visit http://openricekitchen.com.

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El Toro Bravo Mexican Kitchen should open this summer, hopefully by late July, a co-owner said. It replaces the closed Baja Fresh at 237 D St.

The food will be a Mexican fusion style, Derar Zawaydeh said. He defined that as various foods accented with Mexican flavors.

It will have the same “value-driven concept” he and his partner offer at nearby Burgers & Brew and Crepeville. Lunch patrons will order at the counter, while dinner guests can expect full service.

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Yolo Federal Credit Union opened its beautiful new building at Fifth and G streets on March 12. Its ribbon-cutting and open house were March 29. Its South Davis branch in the Oakshade Town Center has closed.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Call (530) 297-6700 or go to http://www.yolofcu.org.

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The Work Shop, a “co-working space” is open at 213 E St.

“Co-working means sharing a work space with creative and independent people who work for themselves or who need a work space for a short-term or long-term project,” a news release said.

The space has an open floor plan, with desks and tables, and has a daily drop-in option and weekly, monthly and “night owl” memberships. Visit http://daviscoworking.blogspot.com or email daviscoworking@gmail.com.

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Spa Central, 333 F St., moved into the former Just KIDding space a block away, at 213 F St., in April. The salon offers facials, waxing, threading, massages, body treatments and nail care.

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Smooth as Silk, the day spa at 305 D St., closed its doors in March. Owner Stella Swisher posted a thank-you note on her business’ Facebook page, notifying customers of the closure “after 26 years of serving this wonderful community of Davis.”

Swisher now offers skin care services out of the Institute for Restorative Health in South Davis.

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Meanwhile, girlgonegreen skincare, which operates inside Smooth as Silk, moved four doors down, to 331 D St., in early April.

Jennifer Wendt opened girlgonegreen in November. She uses organic skincare products and wax with an emphasis on local ingredients. Her phone is (530) 219-5822.

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Two other skin specialists from Smooth as Silk, Lisa Lais and Stacey Pereira, opened La Renew Skin Care, at 129 E St., Suite B3, in Orange Court. They offer spa facials, acne treatment, micro-dermabrasion and waxing. The website is www.larenewdayspa.com.

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With online music downloads dominating the music industry, it’s no shock that stores like Dimple Records are feeling the vibe. The Davis store, at 212 F St. next to Starbucks, announced recently that it’s closing in mid-June.

Dimple sells music, movies and games. According to an employee, the Davis outlet is closing so the chain can open another store in Sacramento, selling just books and vinyl.

Merchandise is available at a 30 percent discount until its closing date, when remaining inventory will be distributed to the other stores. It has stopped purchasing used merchandise.

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The opening date for Panera Bread in Davis has changed — again. Company officials signed the lease on May 1. The bakery cafe will fill the former Blockbuster site at Third and F streets.

Construction has begun, with an opening date in about three months, according to property owner Shel Givens. That puts an opening as early as August.

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Similar but different: The restaurant at 712 Second St. recently changed hands. What was once Bombay Dreams is now Preethi Indian Cuisine. Preethi features more traditional food from Southern India, where Bombay Dreams offered Nepalese and Northern Indian cuisine.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m., seven days a week. To see its menu, visit http://preethiindian.com/.

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Another new opening is Yeti Restaurant, formerly Thai Bistro, at 234 E St., in the E Street Plaza. It offers Nepali cuisine.

— 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 wendyedit@gmail.com.

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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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