Despite a sluggish local economy, Nevada City is undergoing a boomlet: Its new businesses in recent years include ol’ Republic Brewery, which is expanding again; Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co., Wheyward Girl Creamery, LeeAnn Brook Fine Art, Los Mineros, Mi Pueblo Taqueria, Goldtown Hideaway and the Golden Era.
Nevada City Winery also is under new management. Lefty’s is expanding, and The Stonehouse restaurant could wind up with a new exciting owner, as previously reported.
Residents, including our family, are thrilled. We remember when the Stonehouse (whose owners included the family of The Union columnist George Boardman), Broad Street Furniture and other business shut down.
The bad news is that some old-timers (AKA “we know better, and we were here first”) want to throw rocks at the economic development. Some examples:
•The owners who bought and refurbished Cirino’s and turned it into the Golden Era lounge are the latest example. The lounge is drawing hundreds of people on weekend nights and people from Sacramento and elsewhere, who spend money at a local restaurant or go shopping. A photo gallery is here.
Yet the business faces criticism from a cadre of vocal old-timers, because it has led to a temporary closing of Duffy’s Alley, a shortcut on the Golden Era’s property that also has become “sketch” at night, though it might have been “quaint” in the ’50s. The owners must assume liability for whatever happens in the alley.
Instead of rolling out the welcome mat, the “old guard” are circling the wagon, including a cartoon by RL Crabb (of Grass Valley). It’s small-town stuff.
•The owners of the Goldtown Hideaway are seeking to bring some needed lodging to town but are facing a court challenge by “Friends of Spring Street.” A Nevada County Superior Court judge affirmed the decision of the city council of Nevada City to allow the operation of Kendall House.
•Former Mayor Reinette Senum and acclaimed Bay Area chef Jason Moniz have opened Los Mineros. The traffic to the restaurant has been a catalyst to cleaning up the nuisances on Lower Commercial Street. The Union should do a report on this. Instead, Reinette continues to get slammed.
What’s the problem? People who resist change. People who see the little picture instead of the bigger one. It’s an epidemic in our western county. It’s hard to ignore too, because of the toxic personal attacks that are part and parcel of the discussion.
But for the vast majority of residents, the change is welcome. We are happy to roll out the welcome mat for them.
Nevada City’s recent successes are becoming a regional story too — like the success of Truckee (who’s pulled ahead of the “pack”), Loomis (an up-and comer with High Hand, an expanding Loomis Basin Brewing Co., and award-winning wines from Casque Wines), and Auburn (with award-winning Carpe Vino restaurant and a boutique hotel from the owners of the Gold Miners Inn in Grass Valley in the works).