Big Hat Days celebrating 80 years of fun
This year, Clovis Big Hat Days is celebrating the big 8-0.
Started in 1938 as a celebration to honor hardworking Clovis cowboys and farmers, the hat-inspired event got its name from the hats that block the dirt and sun from their faces. To salute the blue collar workers, townspeople were invited to don their favorite hats.
Today, 80 years later, the Clovis Chamber event is now the Central Valley’s largest two-day festival, covering 15 blocks of shopping, food, and entertainment for the entire family. With carnivals in two locations, there are lots of games, rides and attractions for kids of all ages.
For those 21 and up, there’s the Michelob Ultra Beer Garden with entertainment served up by local bands. Saturday’s band schedule includes John Pemberton (10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.), Ron Rodgers & The Last Chance Saloon (1-3 p.m.), and Dakota Crossing (3:30-5:30 p.m.). Sunday’s schedule includes Aubrey Road Nashville Recording Artists (noon-2 p.m.), and The Only Cash Tribute Band (2:30-4:30 p.m.).
The festivities take place in Old Town Clovis on Pollasky Avenue, one block west of Clovis Avenue between Third and Ninth Streets, on April 7, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and April 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is free in the surrounding lots and at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds.
Peacock Market gets facelift
In the past year, Peacock Market in Clovis has undergone an ownership change followed by a phase of renovations.
“It was a little tired looking in here,” said new owner Ronald Meyers. “[My wife and I] knew we had to revamp the entire building, so we took that project on. We started renovating about 6-7 months ago and we have completely renovated the entire store.”
The improvements include a new hardwood floor, fresh interior paint, new LED lights, new produce racks, and a new counter for the new soda fountain and coffee maker.
Meyers, however, is not any ordinary entrepreneur that took over the business. He is the son-in-law of John Terzian, the original owner of Peacock Market from 1960-2000.
Terzian still owns the shopping center on Sunnyside Avenue and Tollhouse Road. He was notified that the previous owners were selling the business and relayed the news to his daughter and son-in-law.
After hearing the independent grocery store was going up for sale, Meyers and his wife Megan said “let’s do it.”
“It’s kind of ironic because it was his store at one point and now it’s his daughter and son-in-law’s store,” Meyers said.
In addition to its typical convenience store items and produce, the store offers two restaurant spaces in the back complete with seating. Both venues are leased to Phill’s Corner Grill, who moved over from Valero across the street. One of the spaces focuses on American classics while the other specializes in barbeque.
To celebrate the ownership change and improvements, Peacock Market is hosting a soft opening Saturday, April 28 with free food and entertainment.
“We would like to give to the community and what better way to give to the community than on rodeo weekend?,” Meyers said. “We’re going to caution off part of our parking lot. We’re going to have a dunk tank, a bounce house, face painting, music and just a bunch of activities for the community to enjoy.”
Triangle Drive In to open spot in Clovis
Fresno-based burger chain Triangle Drive In is opening a Clovis location in the former BJ’s Kountry Kitchen space on Shaw and Villa avenues.
So far, the sign is in place but with interior renovations in early stages, an opening date is unclear.
With three locations in Fresno, the retro style burger joint prides itself in serving “the best burger in Fresno.”
“The Triangle Drive-In ownership strongly believes in the values of the American family that existed in the 50’s and 60’s,” says its website. “The ideology of Triangle Drive-in is to encourage families to come and enjoy great food in a restaurant that is fun and brings back memories of a time when sharing a meal with family and friends was very important.”
Clovis PD competes in 120-mile race
Clovis Police Department joined hundreds of law enforcement agencies from all over the nation to compete in the 33rd annual Baker to Vegas run from March 17-18.
This year’s team of 23 placed 121st out of 270 (seventh in its division), completing the 120-mile run in 16 hours, 51 minutes and 54 seconds.
The race starts near Baker, California and ends near the Las Vegas strip over the course of less than a day. All teams battled the weather this year which consisted of heat on the desert floor, wind gusts, and a chilly 20 degrees in the mountains during the night.
This is the second year that Clovis PD has organized a team of 23 runners and 29 support personnel to run against 269 other teams through the desert in what has been deemed the “largest police foot pursuit in the world.”
Baker to Vegas was organized by the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club in 1985 to promote “teamwork, camaraderie, physical fitness and competition.”
The Bottleneck Bistro takes over prime location on Clovis Avenue
When Mark Kazanjian took over the former Forestiere’s Place on Clovis Avenue in Old Town, the idea was to open a place where people can come to relax and have a beer with appetizers.
His new bar and restaurant, The Bottleneck Bistro, offers just that.
“It’s just a casual scene,” said Kazanjian. “I have the games on but I typically won’t play the volume unless it’s a big game. I don’t want to be classified as a sports bar. To me, it’s more of a casual dining.”
Kazanjian says his appetizer menu – made up of items like wings, stuffed mushrooms and sliders – is the most popular, but the lunch and dinner menus of salads, sandwiches, burgers, etc. are pretty strong, too.
The Bottleneck Bistro also offers quality wines from up and down the state. Glasses start at $7 for house wines and go up from there.
“We’re not a wine bar per say but I’m trying to expand the option,” Kazanjian said. “I had to start to get the door open and people have been giving me suggestions. I’ll be venturing out into getting more wines. I try to focus on California wines, so I do not have a wine outside of California. They’re anywhere from the Central Coast down to Santa Barbara and up to Napa Valley.”
The Bottleneck Bistro and other Old Town restaurants/bars are expected to see a surge of activity with Big Hat Days and Clovis Rodeo around the corner.