Water 2 Wine cleared for new Clovis location

July 21, 2011 

A speed bump in Water 2 Wine's plans to take over the former Giovanni's Caffe Italiano in Clovis has been resolved.

The storefront winery where customers can make small batches of their own wine and custom labels is planning to move from its Shaw Avenue location in the Sierra Pavilions Shopping Center to the Giovanni's space on Pollasky Avenue near Bullard Avenue.

The restaurant closed months ago.

But the move appeared to be in jeopardy when "winemaker" didn't fit the list of uses the area is zoned for. But since Water 2 Wine plans to serve food prepared off site, the business was put into the restaurant category, says city of Clovis associate planner Bryan Araki.

Water 2 Wine plans to open in the new space in late summer or early fall, says Sean Dunn, who owns the business with his wife, Donna.

Also...

The dust is settling from changes at Sonic Drive-Ins in Clovis.

The three Clovis restaurants were once owned by the same couple, Juan and Anna Ortega. But there have been some changes.

The restaurant on Shaw Avenue is fenced off and up for lease, and the one at Herndon and Fowler avenues has been sold. The Willow and Nees Sonic is open. The couple did not return messages seeking comment.

The Herndon and Fowler Sonic, which closed in November, reopened in April after it was sold to Scott and Tani McMillan. The McMillans live in Bakersfield and own many Sonics in Fresno and Tulare counties. The Clovis location is their 21st.

"The prior owner ran into some financial troubles with the economy," Scott McMillan says. "We think it's a phenomenal location, from a business perspective."

The McMillans refreshed the business by painting, replacing menu boards and adding new tables.

The couple also is planning to build another Sonic in Fresno, on West Shaw Avenue across the street from Costco. They plan to break ground in December and open in March.

The reporter can be reached at bclough@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6431.

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