Shannon Cannon told me she's being pilloried on Facebook for removing the Townhouse Lounge sign and for changing the business's name, though she had no choice.
She and her business partner, Delta King co-owner Charlie Coyne, couldn't reach an agreement with the party who owns the rights to the name. They haven't decided what to do with the old sign.
Cannon and Coyne hope to open their bar and restaurant, The Starlite, by the end of this month at 1517 21st St. in midtown Sacramento.
The partners have known each other for 20 years. Cannon's aunt, the bar manager at the Delta King, hired her as a busgirl when she was 15. At intervals, Cannon has worked for the Coyne family at the Delta King, for Benny Vilaikeo at Benny's on Q Street and for the Wong family at The Park, MIX Downtown and the Firestone Public House.
"I mentioned to Charlie that my husband and I were looking to buy a bar," Cannon told me. "He said, 'Well, I'm looking to buy one, too, if you'd ever be interested in going in together.' I was like, 'Sure.' "
Cannon joined with Coyne and three other investors to buy that building, a nearby apartment complex and a parking lot. She and Coyne are funding The Starlite venture alone, she said, and it's taken a lot of work to restore and clean the building.
The bar will celebrate Cannon's love for the 1950s and early 1960s, she said, but she owes a lot to her husband, metalsmith Phillip Cannon.
The owner of Loose Cannon Fabrication created a robot and other metalwork for the bar. Cannon won best of show at Sacramento's 2013 Easyriders Bike Show with his custom Harley-Davidson.
"We're going to have a photo booth and a 7-foot-tall Robby the Robot and a giant gumball machine and a '37 Flathead Harley hanging from the ceiling," she said. "And then, of course, to go along with the name Starlite, we have a lot of starburst-looking things incorporated in the décor."
Funding American dreams
In an old warehouse in North Sacramento, Ukrainian immigrant Artur Ryabtsev and his six-man crew are turning out cabinets that look as though they belong in the pages of a custom manufacturer's look-book.
"When I came here in 2004, I started working on cabinets in the garage at my house," said Ryabtsev, speaking through a translator. "I was just making specific parts for the cabinets, not the cabinets. I didn't have any vacation, any weekends. I worked seven days a week, at least 12 hours a day."
Ryabtsev went from his garage, then to a 1,300-square-foot shop in 2010 and now to nearly 7,000 feet in a warehouse. His business, Art WoodWorks, now supplies mostly home remodelers in the Bay Area.
Ryabtsev said he couldn't have made the transition without microlender Opening Doors Inc. The Sacramento-based nonprofit helped him get three loans totaling nearly $35,000 through funding from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, and Ryabtsev continues to work with Opening Doors as he considers further expansion.
"Small businesses make up 85 percent of our economy and account for most of new job growth, yet financing options for their startup and expansion are virtually nonexistent," Opening Doors CEO Debra DeBondt told me.
A boutique bucket list
After more than 10 years working to place senior citizens in appropriate elder care, Kristin Jordan began to think a lot about her bucket list.
Three months ago, she crossed off the item at the top of her list when she opened Kristin Jordan Boutique, Consignment, & More at 36570 Riverview Drive in Clarksburg.
"People will still call me and ask me questions and get directions on where to go" for elder-care concerns, the 45-year-old Jordan said, "but on a day-to-day basis, that is absolutely not what I want to do with my life anymore. I love to shop. I'm a bargain hunter myself. I just asked myself, 'Why not?'"
As the name implies, Jordan's store is filled with more than apparel.
The inventory also includes furniture, stuffed animals, bird feeders and artwork. There's clothing for men, women, babies and toddlers.
Jordan worked with landlord Thomas A. Roth to restore a building that had stood vacant for about 20 years.
"So many people come in and go, 'Oh, my God, this used to be the Gloria's Hof Brau,' " she said. "They still remember it and they're telling me where the bar was and where the hood range was."