Is a lumberjack statue OK in GV?

Yuba City


“I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK,” as the song goes.

But is it OK to have an 11-foot-tall lumberjack statue in front of the new Lumberjacks Restaurant in Grass Valley?

The city’s development review committee will tackle the issue on Tues., Jan. 25, at City Hall. “Development Review Application (11PLN-03) for Scott Bailey to post a Lumberjack statue located at 2075 Nevada City Highway (APN 35-600-08) in the C-2 (Central Business) Zoning District.” A staff report adds: “The applicant proposes to locate the statue near the southwest end of the building within a turf area.”

I’ve dabbled in Lumberjack’s cuisine, as I’ve written before. Though partial to Ike’s and South Pine, a chicken fried steak with the “boys” there is OK once in a while. I’ve seen some local GOP Central committee members eating there, among others.

The photo here is the lumberjack statue in front of a Lumberjack Restaurants in Yuba City and Sacramento. The video is Monte Python’s “I’m a lumberjack” song.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

35 thoughts on “Is a lumberjack statue OK in GV?”

  1. I would prefer to keep the Paul Bunyan statues in Brainerd,Mn., but it may fit in with the Union 76 Ball and the Kentucky Fried Chicken Bucket in the “basin.” BTW – being a former Lumberjack(Humboldt State version) – the best lumberjack chow in Calif. is at the Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka. A great place, and way too much food!

  2. My husband and I are HSU alumni as well.
    The Samoa Cookhouse was a huge favorite of my family.
    I will never get over La Fiesta’s chips and salsa (no tomatoes) and their divine Chicken Fiesta Enchilada.
    Don’t know from what region of Mexico their cuisine originates but the flavors were special.,

    1. I am enjoying the “triangulation” over food on this blog in recent days: the Anchor Bar in Buffalo for wings, Ike’s and now the Samoa Cookhouse.
      Is there recollection of Lazio’s in Eureka when it was a restaurant and the waterfront was booming in the ’60s and ’70s? Abalone was on the menu and it was affordable. Another place I remember is Neil De Vaughn’s on Canary Row in Monterey: cheese fondue for an appetizer and Sand Dabs or Petrale Sole for dinner. As a child, my uncle had a mining claim in Downieville and we ate lunch at St. Charles Place (and joked about the name).

  3. Oh, and I still think it’s too small.
    I am remembering the Paul Bunyan at the Trees of Mystery, and his big blue ox Babe.
    I have an old picture of my mom holding up his giant testicles.
    I think everybody did that.

    1. Trees of Mystery is a fond childhood memory. My father used to joke how they wired that bumper sticker on your car, even if you just stopped to check out the gift shop (or the statue). You’d drive along Hwy. 101 and see those “poor bastards” (his words, not mine) with the yellow and black bumper sticker. Most people didn’t carry a pair of wire cutters to remove it. We still never visited the exhibit but got “wired” once in our Dodge Coronet 440. LOL.

  4. Hey, Lumberjacks are people too:) I have a grandfather, T.R. Addison, that owned a chainsaw repairshop and introduced the first “snowmachines”,as Palin calls em, “Ski-doos” as they called em back then, to Plumas County and Northern California. T.R. helped erect the humungous logs that make up the entrance to the Plumas County fairgrounds…fairgrounds that are and have always been billed as “the cleanest and greenest” fairgrounds in the country. And they are. One of my brothers, (the veteran), is the beneficiary of the oldest saloon in town, The Capitol Club. In it sits the most beautiful back bar ever in creation (or one of them). It was brought around the horn of Africa and handcarted up to Plumas County in the 1800’s. Along with it at one time was a place called Bob’s Restaurant that served the best chicken fried steak ever. Don’t ask me how he did it, none of us had Bob’s touch. However, after much searching, there is one close appoximate: Its served at the Express Cafe, owned by Lucio who also makes something called chilequiles (amazing)for breakfast and his chile rellanos are heaven. Oh, and nobody calls em lumberjacks anymore. They’re loggers, timbermen…and damn proud of it. Kate Hancock

    1. We had a nice vacation with our grandkids about 10 years back at Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch south of Quincy. We still talk about it. I seem to recall my son in law and I dropping in on the Capitol Club (brick facade, across from the courthouse?) for a brew.

  5. Let’s see…grandkids, horses, Greenhorn Guest Ranch, cowboys and The Cap…that sounds about perfect, Dave:) Kate

  6. I see no problem what so ever with the lumberjack. Now if it were the size of the Paul Bunyun up in Big Trees then I might have a “size” issue. The restaurant isn’t in the “Historical District” and is no more intrusive than the “Golden Arches” I think we have more pressing developement issues to address than this.

  7. Bob’s Big Boy has reopened in a number of out-of-the-way places like Morro Bay, complete with a statue of “Bob” out front, just like the old days.

  8. Bob’s Big Boy has reopened in a number of out-of-the-way places like Morro Bay, complete with a statue of “Bob” out front, just like the old days!

  9. I wish this was a joke, but it’s not.

    It’s in direct violation of the Grass Valley sign regulations and Lumberjacks keeps violationing the GV sign regulations with their banner signs.

    Here’s th best part. Check out the place and look at the TWO large signs that they have. There should only be one sign on the corner.

    The big, tall highway frontage sign should never have been approved for a number of reasons. First they should only have one corner sign. Second highway frontage signs are prohibited by the GV sign regulations. Third, the tall highway sign had not been in usessince Lyon’s closed years ago and by code should have been removed years ago and not “reused” years later by Lumberjacks.

    The Grass Valley Planning Dept. needs to apply the rules, but they don’t a lot of the time. The list is long.

    No big lumberjack statue as it is their corporate trade logo and it’s a sign under the code.

    Exit question: will the GV Planning Dept. ever start working for the people and following the rules vs. working to get what the developers and businesses want regardless of the rules and best interests of the community?

  10. You know I kind of like the lumberjack, but everyone needs to follow the same rules, and seek permission not forgiveness.

    1. Change the sign rules. Brunswick Basin, at least on the northwest side, is a goner. KFC bucket, Golden Arches, 76 sign, 1970s style strip malls, it’s almost stylish in its antiquity. In fact, I would even go for an ox with big, umm..basketballs that tourists could pretend to hold up and take pictures for the folks back home. Let ‘er rip…

  11. I guess my point is that if you want to allow for variances in the law, by all means do so, and require people to request a variance. Or if the rules are too strict, go through the process to change the rules. But holding people to different standards due to selective enforcement of the law creates a competitive advantage for one business over another. Equal protection really does mean equal protection. Ask any business person, they will take an equal playing field and predictability over lax enforcement any day.

  12. No lumberjack statue. How tacky! It’s ugly enough there. Why make it worse? Wonder if that restaurant will last any longer than the others which have been at that location.

    1. I fully agree with Pat’s sentiment and would add that it’s a slippery slope if such tackiness is granted approval – if GV is just going to be a headquarters for tacky, then the IMM re-opening will be much closer to a reality.

      For any that say “who cares, it’s already bad in the Basin” – well that’s so profound . . . . and where, if ever, does it end?

      1. I agree that if an ox is against the rules, then the ox can only be installed if and after the rules have been changed.

        One of the reasons liberals get a bad rap is because they are fuss budgets and cranky pants on just about everything. Let’s take ATVs as an example. Some liberals dislike them so much they would like to see them banned. The compromise is that the really sensitive areas are closed to ATVs, but there are a handful of spots that have been designated for riders to go ahead and tear the crap out of the place.

        Some people like big buckets of chicken and golden arches. Not my cup of tea, but is banning them outright OK? What about freedom of expression?

        Stick the arches and the buckets and the oxen all in one place, and call it good. Just avoid Brunswick Basin if you don’t like how it looks.

  13. An American portrait by Remington its not…I think I read somewhere that that used to be an old Lyon’s restaurant? Is he or they all hooked up with that guy that got arrested for grand larceny? There was something about this guy in in the Sacramento Bee yesterday…they he said he was a Jack-In-the Box king who wasn’t paying his employees right and pocketing the change. I think that’s what it said. Anyway, this “lumberjack” isn’t even as fetching as Whistler’s Mother…but the “heart wants what it wants I guess”…Kate

  14. Toss the rules and common sense and what is next? If the City tosses the rules for Lumberjack’s then they will be accountable to do the same for all others. Then what?

    The Lumberjack is the trade ID for the Lumberjack chain. It’s a trade logo, not a piece of art.

    If the sign regulaitns are not followed and Lumberjack gets approved, what next? If the Lumberjack is approved than the following will also be required to be approved.

    Here are just a few expamples, there’s many more… How about a 12ft tall Colonel in front of at KFC, a 12ft “King” in front of Burger King, a 12ft “Jack” in front of Jack n’ the Box, a new 12ft set of Golden Arches in front of McD’s?

    Think… toss the rules for one, toss the rules for all.

  15. I wonder which community will be the first to try and regulate what beams out to cell phones in the vicinity?

    The younger generation does not both with looking for the signs anymore.

  16. During the 80’s I did freelance work for a Nevada City based newspaper called Out West. Publisher Chuck Woodbury spent many years RVing around the western states looking for odd bits of Americana. There were giant balls of string, jackalopes, and other roadside attractions that are slowly but surely disappearing from the landscape.

    Too bad, in my opinion. I’ve always had a soft spot for the weird little shops and tacky tourist traps that appeared out of nowhere on the lonely highways. These days, the politically correct asthetic and stricter zoning makes it impossible for these quirky entrepreneurs to stay in business.

    Now I know the lumberjack is the logo of a chain, but it still makes me long for those ‘good ol’ days’.

    By the way, Chuck lives up in Washington nowdays, and you can still find Out West online.

    1. Yep, a giant jack-in-the=box cell phone tower with a bagel in one hand and an ax in the other, hooked up to a bluetooth with a Elect Juvinal sign maybe located on its clown chest…between the pom poms of course…NEXT to the “lumberjack”…Gee, I dislike the term “lumberjack”…its just so so sissified…Kate

  17. Flyers gas station has a “jet” logo, Bubby’s Bagles has a “Bull Dog” head… how about a 12ft jet and a 12ft Bull Dog head too? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander or in KFC’s case…. chickens.

    Add the above examples to a 12ft tall Colonel in front of KFC, a 12ft “King” in front of Burger King, a 12ft “Jack” in front of Jack n’ the Box, a new 12ft set of Golden Arches in front of McD’s… just to name a few.

    When the new Taco Bell in the basin was reviewed and approved the City Planning Dept. calculated the “Bell’s” on the side of the building as signage, subject to the sign regulations.

    Exit quesiton: why is the GV Planning Dept. trying to apply diffent standards to Lumberjack vs. Taco Bell?

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