Wine Time!

The Secret is out!   There is a very cool new place to nosh and natter after work, and–lucky me–it is JUST UP THE ROAD from our W. M. Campbell Real Estate office!  Wine Time made it to Henri Bourride‘s restaurant review column in today’s Chico News & Review, where it earned a four-star rating. (Based on my several recent visits, I’d give it a FIVE, but hey, I’m pretty easy to please.)

This gem is hard to find but worth the search.  Located in a big, ancient refurbished barn at 26 Lost Dutchman Drive (behind Roots Catering at 3221 Esplanade, across the street from Philadelphia Square), it truly is a tucked-away Shangri-La.  Owners Gay and Bob James (whom I know from my previous life as a Butte Creek Canyonite) have created a little oasis where art meets gastronomical delight; more Napa-like than your typical Chico eatery, in my opinion.

How great to have another venue for patio dining, complete with pond/stream and colorful umbrellas.  The artsy barn interior features Gay’s amazing mosaic and stained glass art, painted concrete flooring, and original hand-hewn beams dating back to the structure’s hog barn days. (During our first visit, I dubbed it “Swine Time,” in honor of its beginnings…don’t think the “pet” name will catch on, though.)

Thus far I have sampled several very nice wines as well as two “small plates”: a mushroom appetizer that was pretty much to die for, and the Greek antipasto plate with a delightful array of olives and cheeses and a generous helping of “ahmonds” with undetermined-but-tasty coating.  Apparently the menu is ever changing, with many ingredients from local sources (which is always a big plus in my book!).


During a recent visit, I noticed work being done to the adjacent building and inquired about it.  Apparently an art gallery of sorts will be housed there, for local artists to display their work.  Looking forward to the opening!

Wine Time is open 3 – 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.  “Like” the Wine Time page on Facebook for fun updates.

Chico Artist – From Homeless to Revered

Lee Wright now has a home…literally and figuratively.  The Chico art community has welcomed him with open arms, thanks to his talent being discovered by volunteer Laurie Maloney during his visit to the Jesus Center shelter.

I’ve been hearing about Mr. Wright for several months now and was amazed and delighted with his rendition of our lovely One Mile picnic area.

One Mile Bridge, Chico, CA


A recent Chico News & Review article provided more information about the creator of this and other wonderful works of art.

How fortunate we are to be the recipients of this unique artist’s perspective of our cherished Chico landmarks.

Prints of Mr. Wright’s paintings are available for purchase at Art Etc. in downtown Chico and at the Jesus Center, and are on display at the Gypsy Rose Salon downtown.  At just $80 for an 11 x 14 and $100 for a 16 x 20, they are still quite affordable for fine works to grace a home or office.  His original works  will be a part of the Chico Museum‘s upcoming I Love Chico exhibit (opening Sept. 8).

To view more photos, please “like” his Facebook page:

Kudos to you, Lee Wright, and WELCOME to Chico!

Mr. Lee Wright at his easel

Bidwell Presbyterian Church

MonCA’s first “Pop-Up” Exhibit!

I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of MonCA‘s first “Pop-Up*” art exhibit on April 6th at 325 Broadway  (one of those cool old brick storefronts that is just “so Chico”). 

Waif Mullins (right) poses with his painting, “The Collector (Portrait of Reed Applegate),” and its subject.


If the works of art on exhibit (just a fraction of the collection) are any indication of the quality of art that has been purchased for decades by local collector Reed Applegate, Chico is in for a real treat as these “pop-ups” continue.  (Mr. Applegate has generously donated his collection so that the public may enjoy the fruits of years spent investing in Northern California art.)  Click here to view some of the wonderful works.

My friend Trudy Duisenberg (along with the other MonCA Board members and volunteers) has put in countless hours working to bring this collection out into the open for all to enjoy.

Trudy Duisenberg at the Soroptimist of Chico Home, Garden & Leisure Show, 3/12

MonCA is currently working to raise funds to purchase a van (Mobile Museum) to share the art with  schools, retirement communities and other local organizations.  Donations can be made here.  (Ultimately they hope to find a permanent location for the collection.)


(*Pop-Up museums are temporary art installations in nontraditional settings.  The Pop-Up at 325 Broadway continues through the month of April, Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (open till 8 p.m. April 12, 13, 19, 26).   Where will the next one be?  Stay tuned…)

2012 Home, Garden & Leisure Show!

Rain or shine, the 2012 Home, Garden & Leisure Show is HAPPENING this weekend, March 17 & 18, at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds!  Over 300 exhibitors, and 100% of the proceeds from this show benefit LOCAL causes.  This is THE major fundraiser for Soroptimist International of Chico, so please come out and support the show and your community! (Admission:  $5 adults, kids 12 and under free.  $2 parking)

Cheerful Soroptimist volunteers - "All About Food"

Unique creations for sale!

Whimsical displays in the Horticulture Center

Wonderful antiques for sale

What’s A Chico Soroptimist? from Jeanne Rawlings on Vimeo.

Arts for All

Last week a group of us attended the 2nd Annual Performing and Fine Arts Gala at the new CUSD Center for the Arts here in Chico.

Chico Unified School District (CUSD) Center for the Arts

Wow, were we impressed (with both the new facility and the performances)!  Located  at the Pleasant Valley High School campus at  1475 East Avenue, the facility seats 484 people and is available to citizens and community groups for meetings and public activities.

It was great to see Chico area students (elementary through high school) engaged in all sorts of creative activities, including singing, musical instruments, drama, and different forms of dance.  Prior to the live show, we were treated to some delectable treats made by the PV High Culinary Class and a slideshow of students’ art (painting, ceramics, mosaic art, etc.).

Arts for All (check out their Facebook page here) is a component fund of North Valley Community Foundation.  Donations are tax deductible.

Kudos to the students, teachers, administrators, parents, and the Chico arts community for working together to keep the arts alive for our youngest citizens!

CUSD Center for the Arts - interior


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