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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Comings & Goings: Downtown adds Whole Foods and new fish store

WendyWeitzelW

By
From page C2 | October 26, 2012 |

Downtown Davis is bustling with businesses changes. Here’s an update from Comings & Goings columns that were published in September and October.

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Whole Foods Market opened Wednesday. The new natural foods store fills the former Borders space at 500 First St. in Davis Commons.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The 19,741-square-foot store is roughly half the size of the large grocery stores in town, but 7,000 square feet bigger than Trader Joe’s. The Davis Food Co-op, celebrating its 40th year, is 25,000 square feet.

Whole Foods caters to those with easy access to downtown who seek a quick, healthy meal. In-house chefs prepare a large selection of grab-and-go foods. Specialties include soups, a salad bar and a burrito bar as well as sandwiches, pizzas and prepared meats.

Don’t expect to find diet Coke, Cheetos or Twinkies. The store sells only minimally processed foods that are free of hydrogenated fats, artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners and preservatives. It offers a wide variety of local products, and identifies them on the shelves.

Worried about the parking? Company officials say employees are not allowed to park in the lot behind the center. They’re also counting on lots of foot and bike traffic from employees and students from downtown and UC Davis.

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Rivers to Reef, a full-service aquarium store, opened Friday, Oct. 19. Owners James Krause and Norm Ponferrada plan a formal grand opening event in November. The store is at 333 F St., Suite B – Spa Central’s home before it moved to the E Street Plaza.

It features a 600-gallon freshwater tank in the main area, and 100 fish tanks in five rooms. Saltwater aquariums, which will fill one room, will emerge in the weeks ahead.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

“Tuesdays we open a little later so that we can go to our wholesalers and hand-pick some of the fish we bring in to ensure quality,” Krause said.

Krause graduated in 2006 from UC Davis, where he earned a biology degree with a marine emphasis. His minor is in aquaculture. Ponferrada is a 2007 graduate in fish physiology.

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Davis’ Dairy Queen will serve its soft serve for a bit longer. The company gave the Davis store a six-month extension on more than $50,000 in cosmetic and accessibility improvements required for the site.

A manager confirmed this month that owner Shahid Iqbal is working with the landlord to try to meet the standards set by the Americans With Disabilities Act. Meanwhile, a for-lease sign is posted in the driveway of the restaurant at 909 Fifth St.

Iqbal has owned the store for 15 years but he said it’s been in Davis for 50 or 60 years, making it one of Davis’ oldest fast-food eateries.

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In Davis Commons, Pluto’s was closed Sept. 10-15 for remodeling. It reopened on Sept. 16.

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Graphic Gold, a longtime design and publishing business, closed its doors. Jeanne Pietrzak owned the business in the 400 block of F Street for 30 years. Pietrzak said she needs time to care for an ill family member. “We’ve loved being in the downtown all these years, and making the decision to close our doors was a tough one.”

She has seen a lot of changes in the downtown in those years, she said. She thanked her customers, and fellow business owners involved in Davis Chamber of Commerce and Davis Downtown committees.

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International Bistro opened on Oct. 15 at 213 E St., Suite A, where Luigi’s recently closed. It features cuisine from all over the world, owner Maya Sherpa said.

“We are committed to serve the community with many good flavors from the East,” Sherpa said Tuesday “We are offering soups, salads, sandwhiches (“nanwhiches”), and meals that have Eastern flavors — sauteed or fried. That means our foods have blends of ginger, garlic, onion and other Eastern spices.”

The basement floor will be available for private parties and entertainment, Sherpa said. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It may expand hours to include breakfast in the future.

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Taqueria El Burrito is still under construction in the former Great Wall of China II space at 223 F St., on the E Street Plaza.

The Mexican food restaurant is affiliated with two others in Natomas and Sacramento. The Davis store will be similar to the Natomas one, which features authentic Mexican food.

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El Toro Bravo Mexican Kitchen won’t be open this month, as anticipated. Work is still under way on the former Baja Fresh spot at 237 D St.

The food will be a Mexican fusion style and is under the same ownership as Burgers & Brew and Crepeville.

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Also under construction is University of Beer, a beer shop in the corner space next to Panera Bread at 615 Third St., at F Street.

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Western Feed and Pet Supply could open next month at 407 G St., next to Village Pizza & Grill. There are five such locations in Sacramento, selling products for small and large animals. Visit westernfeedonline.com for more information.

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Hallmark Inn’s remodeling of its ground floor is well under way. Managers report there is interest from Massage Envy to fill one of its retail spaces. They are hoping for a florist as well, which would make for an ideal spa/wedding destination. The hotel, at First and F streets downtown, plans to manage a public café as well.

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Halloween City is open in the former Dimple Records space at 212 F St. In previous years, a Halloween store has been in The Marketplace shopping center in North Davis. The seasonal stores usually close in early November.

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Bubble Belly, a new store featuring “designer maternity jeans, hip baby clothes and cool accessories” opened Sept. 12 at 340 G St.

It carries “a well-edited selection of hard-to-find designer maternity jeans for the stylish, expectant mommy, and hip, unique baby apparel for the best-dressed baby on the block.”

Silvie Truong is the owner. Her online store has been open for a while at https://shopbubblebelly.com/index.php.

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The Mustard Seed recently changed its hours to dinner only. The restaurant, at 222 D St., No. 11, opens at 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

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The business plan for Mosaic Coffee & Tea is moving along, according to its Facebook page. The nonprofit coffee shop would provide job training and placement for adults with disabilities and operate under a “gift economy,” where patrons pay what they can. The proposed location is the Davis Community Church Fellowship Hall, 421 D St.

Its business plan has a proposed schedule for when it will open, but is not releasing it yet. It has suppliers lined up for tea, coffee and baked goods. Its menu also will include fresh-fruit smoothies with no sugar added, gluten-free options, fruit and desserts. Organizers hope to have a full proposal ready by the end of November.

— Wendy Weitzel is a Davis resident. Her column runs occasionally on Sundays, but her Comings & Goings Facebook page has more frequent updates. If you know about a business coming or going in the area, contact Wendy 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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