Able-Bodied? Looking for Work? Join the Laborers’ Union!

The LIUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) is advertising in the Times-Standard that “Laborers’ Union Local 324 is looking for for journeyman laborers.” Not an apprentice program, you have to have some experience.  The ad continues, “Contact Larry Proctor at (916) 710-5195 to meet and discuss your skills and experience. Find out how to get started!  Cost for a qualified journeyman to join is $826.  Interviews will be held by scheduled appointment at the Eureka Labor Temple, 840 E street, Ste 15, Eureka”. 

The fee is probably a dues/initiation fee and a wise investment for anyone who wants a good Union job. These opportunities don’t come around often so go for it. Good luck!

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EATING OUT: Brick, AA and Jack’s Revisited

One of the pleasures of having out-of -town guests is that you can get feedback on restaurants from people who haven’t been been there a thousand times.  We visited Brick & Fire on the Fourth of July and discovered you CAN get a seat without a reservation if you’re wiling to come in at an odd time, like 530. I had the Italian Mac’n’cheese, ended up taking most of it home. The chopped Caesar with fried egg couldn’t have been better. My friend had oysters and the duck confit. Another great meal at the Brick.

We also visited the AA Bar & Grill for the second time since they’re changed hands.  We are very protective of the AA and vigilant against any type of change. Last time everything was identical to the time -honored AA dinner. This time there were CHANGES!!  The salad was about half the size it used to be and the “house dressing’, a blend of ranch and blue cheese that tastes a lot better than it sounds, is no more.  Mr  Munson, the owner, has apparently  made these cutbacks- let’s hope he doesn’t have any more in mind.            

Mr Munson, you have a treasure here!  No more changes!!!

Finally , we had lunch at Jack’s Seafood  on July 2.   You recall all the fuss when Jack’s opened last August. If not, read about it HERE.  The space at the Fisherman’s Building had lain fallow for months.  Every local entrepreneur who expressed an interest in doing business in the space was deemed unqualified. Isn’t that interesting?  That left the field open for half -Councilman Chet Albin to plug his crony,  Jack Wu, into the process with lots of goodies from the City to help him get started. 

Anyway, Mr Wu’s subsidy (forgiveness of $4500 monthly rent) ran out recently and we were  curious to see what,  if any,  changes would be evident at Jack’s given the new necessity to pay rent. The only change obvious to the the public was that they took down their website for a few days but and, yes, some of the prices have increased, mostly for the higher ticket items.  The fried ‘shrooms went from $8 to $10.  Linguine with clams went from $18 to $20, saute´ed halibut from $20 to $24 and they’e added crab cakes for $14 as a regular item.  The whole menu is HERE.

Okay, here’s the good news:  The clam chowder has improved!  It’s not great, but it’s acceptable and not the weird thin effort that it was before. I could actually see getting a bowl of it for a relaxing lunch.  Not as good as Gill’s, not as good as the Waterfront’s but acceptable,  and you’ll be distracted by the setting anyway.

The bad news: the crab sandwich was meh.  There was an acceptable amount of crab, good crab,  but served on a roll of what tasted like a sweet form of ciabatta. It would have been SO much better on sourdough.  Jack’s has a problem with bread.  I was curioius to see if they’re still serving their fish sandwiches on toast , the kind of lapse we have come to expect from Jack’s, but they have now discovered grilled sourdough so that’s progress.

I’ll try them again- hate to give up on that location but next time may be the last. Think I’ll try the tacos.

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Will Someone Please Buy The Eureka Inn?

You don’t hear much about the Eureka Inn these days. When the current owner took over, the whole town turned out to welcome him but since then things have been pretty quiet.  There hasn’t been much promotion, the service clubs that used to meet there have gone elsewhere and only the occasional music performances seem to be bringing people in.

I had a friend stay there over the Fourth .  Her room was fine, the cold breakfast was acceptable but check this out:  there is NO TELEPHONE ACCESS to the Inn from 8am until around 930!!!!  I was calling to reach my friend and kept getting transferred to another number that no one ever answered.  I finally reached her on her cell but by that time I wondered what would people do in an emergency.  I called back about 930 and the woman who answered told me nonchalantly that, yes, there was no telephone response during  breakfast hours because they don’t have enough staff to answer the phone and serve coffee, rolls and hard boiled eggs at the same time.

So this is where they’re at after several years.  The owner’s lack of ambition and , apparently, money, have left us with exactly  the kind of operation we dreaded upon hearing that his background consisted of owning a Day’s Inn, I think it was in Monterey.

I’m sure they are nice people but PLEASE GOD LET SOMEONE BUY THE EUREKA INN who knows how to run a fine establishment. It can limp along forever but what a damn shame.  This is the place where Shirley Temple and Cornelius Vanderbilt stayed (not together).  If only someone with smarts and money would take over this wonderful place, which used to be the heart and soul of the community.  Light a candle.

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Southside Mike Against the Machine!!

Our favorite barbecue master has been put out of business by the County!!!

Mike posted the following on his Facebook page over the weekend

“Letter for Johns
June 24, 2016
To Southside Mike’s Friends and Patrons:
Over the past year we have enjoyed sharing our BBQ with Myrtletown and the Eureka area. Unfortunately today, we have some disappointing news to share with you.
You may or may not be aware that we have been struggling to gain a permit with the Humboldt County Division of Environmental Health (AKA the Health Department). While these folks agree that we do an excellent job following all regulations for a food booth, they maintain that there is no permit available for a BBQ trailer and a tent (unless we are at a festival.) Therefore today we have been asked to stop BBQing at John’s in Myrtletown.
On the bright side, we will still be at the 4th of July celebration in Old Town Eureka, in our usual spot in front of Roy’s. We will also be available for catering. We will continue our plan to build and open a local food truck ASAP.
Thank you for your patronage and support. Our sauce is still at the local grocery stores.”

This is a call to arms!  Check in with Mike on Monday in front of Roy’s and join those of us who appreciate low, slow cooking.  I’m distressed about having to do without that smoked mac’n’cheese and confounded that the talented folks in the County government have some dildo in the (old) Planning Department who couldn’t come up with a creative solution  short of punishing a growing business. The politicians talk so much about encouraging business. Where are they here?  Mark Lovelace is the Supervisor for Myrtletown. I’m letting him know about this and you should  too.

 I’m probably more upset than Mike is.  And waiting eagerly for his next venture/location.
 
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Classy Digs in Old Town- Meet Firework!

Are you looking for a workspace? A meeting place? Tired of trying to run your business from the dining room table? Welcome to Firework!

Firework is a collection of offices, workspaces, and meeting spaces located atop the Healy Building, home to the Siren’s Song in Old Town.  Go around to the left of the building to access the entrance. There is an ELEVATOR, relatively rare in Old Town, and the views from Firework are spectacular. If I were to rent there I would have to arrange my furniture so that I couldn’t see out the window because just in the short time I was there I got very involved  in watching the birds on the roof of the building opposite.

The space is simply beautiful- lots of light and polished floors.  There is a group workspace where several people can work independently at the same time, with headphones. There are cleverly designed  “phone booths”  where you can have a private conversation and there are two kitchens. They offer different levels of membership to suit your needs.  There is 24-hour access and if there’s a better location in Eureka, I haven’t seen it. 

Like many good ideas, Firework was born of necessity. Mark Sullivan, who owns Firework with his wife, Kiva, is a telecommuter who does marketing for a firm in Atlanta. Check out their gorgeous website and get ready to move, but hurry. Their spaces are about half occupied already.  Here’s a link to the Times-Standard coverage of their recent ribbon-cutting.

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Shopping for Tires

My tenant borrowed my car.   When he brought it back he said someone should look at the tires. So I took it to Gosselin’s.

A nice young guy there looked at them  and pronounced that I didn’t need tires, at least not till late in the year. What I needed if anything, he said, was an alignment. Okay.

It was late on a Friday so I didn’t pursue it right then.  The next week I took the car into Old Town Brake.  Old Town is a very different experience now that Wally has retired. The staff were unfamiliar to me although I’ve been going there for 15 years.  No, they said, an alignment wouldn’t do.  I needed new tires and would surely die before sundown without them.  They wanted $650.  I thought  that was way too high and told them I’d think it over.

I went online and found a set on the COSTCO website. $375 and change. Now, that’s more like it.  (I drive a 2007 PT Cruiser which is why I don’t like to spend much on car stuff.)

Then I Googled some more and found reviews that said you couldn’t make an appointment for tires at COSTCO.  You may end up waiting a long  time. I like to get in and out of COSTCO  real fast, so I demurred.

Finally I went back to Gosselin’s and spoke with Tim.  He inspected the tires and said I should come back around September.  Their price: $384.68 for Doral radials.

Guess where I’m buying my tires In September? Take a wild guess!  What a pleasure when supporting local business turns out to be the smart thing to do! God bless Gosselin’s. They’ve made a customer for life.

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EATING OUT-Brick & Fire- for the FRIES!

Our regular readers know how partial I am to Eureka’s culinary oasis on “F” Street, the Brick & Fire. I thought I was pretty familiar with their menu but had fallen into the trap of having the Wild Mushroom Cobbler, ($9) every time I went there.  I tend to go for salads over fries, therefore I had never had the Brick’s fries ($3.50).  They were a revelation.

The fries are steak fries and appear to be grilled rather than deep-fried.  I was trying to figure out how to duplicate them at home and concluded you would need a LARGE grill  to accommodate those tasty taters side-by-side.  They are loaded with chopped garlic and altogether wonderful.  I have a new favorite.

My friend had the Caprese BLT ($11) which she liked a lot and I had the panzanella salad ($11) which was seriously delicious, featuring nuggets of organic chicken that couldn’t have been better.  If you haven’t already memorized their menu, you can check it out HERE.

We are lucky to have a restaurant of this caliber here. Support your local Brick!  No, I do not own stock in them nor am I a friend of the owner.

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Our Own Sara Bareilles On Broadway!

Eureka native Sara Bareilles, already famous for Little Voice and other albums, has composed the music and lyrics for a Broadway musical,  now in previews, based on the movie Waitress. Remember that one?  With Keri Russell? The  New Yorker describes it as “based on the 2007 film about a small-town waitress who enters a baking contest.”  Maybe our other local luminary, Guy Fieri, should be involved.  Tix are available tomorrow HERE and start at $150.

Let’s wish Sara a good long run. You go, girl!

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Sticker Shock at Loleta Cheese, Good Eats at Greene Lily, Southside Mike has a home on Myrtle Avenue

I visited Loleta Cheese over the weekend to buy a box of cheese which would have to be shipped. I’ve done this several times in the past and I guess I got spoiled by their generous free-shipping policy. Well, NO MORE!  To mail six cheeses, total value $33, I paid a $12.95 mailing charge PLUS $5 for “handling”.  I understand that they had to raise prices in view of their bankruptcy but how about phasing it in?  Or something.  Anyway,  35% is too much to pay for shipping in my book so I will be looking for other Humboldt-made  products to mail in the future. Jellies are too heavy and breakable, chocolate melts.  Ideas, anyone?

The Greene Lily at 307 2nd Street in Old Town has been garnering enthusiastic reviews since it opened last Fall and I feared it would be too crowded on opening day of the RCMF.  We found plenty of seating in the cheerful space and our breakfasts were excellent.  The chicken-fried steak ($12.95) is the star of the  show but the lady at the next table was enjoying their Cobb Salad, (also $12.95) which looked good. The biscuits are excellent and we shall be returning.  Nice place.

Finally, Southside Mike’s has found a home!!  After being available -sporadically- at the Myrtle Avenue center (think Myrtlewood Liquors and John’s Fine Cigars),  Mike Ross is now going to be grilling there EVERY THURSDAY, FRIDAY and SATURDAY from 10 to 5 but if you wait until after 4pm they run our of things. His awesome tri-tip san ($10) is huge and melts in your mouth.   They were out of the Smoked Mac’n’Cheese ($5) but I shall  return.   ‘Way to go, Mike!  The new website is under construction.

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Sports Authority Store Closings List

Sports Authority is closing 140  stores, 19 of which are in California.  The closures do not include the Eureka store,  according to this list.  Nearby SA stores that will be closing include those in Redding, Corte Madera and Stockton and, in Oregon, those in Roseburg, Klamath Falls, Salem and Hillsboro. 

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