The former Victoria Rose restaurant spot on Pollasky Avenue in Clovis has new life from some familiar faces.
Hearts Delight, a longtime shop that's an Old Town Clovis favorite, has moved into the historic building. Cora and Bill Shipley -- themselves Old Town favorites -- also are opening a restaurant in the back of the old hotel.
The three-story building was most recently home to Victoria Rose Restaurant, which closed in late December.
Cora Shipley was inspired by her days antiquing in Louisiana, her home state. Antique shops often had 10 to 12 tables, where customers tired from a day of shopping could take a break and get a bite to eat. The couple also love to frequent Cracker Barrel restaurants when they're out of state and wanted to bring that chain's mix of retail and down-home cooking to Clovis.
"I've always loved this building," she says. "I knew it would be a perfect fit."
Now the business is called The Old Hotel Bistro & Hearts Delight. The name honors the history of the building, which was built in the late 1890s as a hotel and still has its original floors and tin ceilings.
To get to the dining room, customers walk through the two front rooms full of the same jewelry, purses and little ceramic birds sold at Hearts Delight.
The dining room is half the size it used to be. For now, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., serving lunchtime food seven days a week. Last Friday marked the first dinner, and the business will continue to host more dinners as time goes on.
The coffee bar will stay, and visitors still can come for tea, bridal showers and baby showers.
And the food? There will be hofbrau-style sandwiches, such beef au jus, along with chicken and dumplings, black-eyed peas and corn bread, and potato and macaroni salad. There will be vegan and gluten-free options, too.
The Shipleys also own Scoops, Soups & More and some of the special dinners there have developed a following, says Debbie Zulim, who works in the Hearts Delight part of the business.
"Her meat loaf sandwiches are to die for," she says.
There's a lot of excitement surrounding this business (and I'm not just saying that because when I took a picture of the building a woman stopped her car in the middle of the street to ask if I was the new owner).
People are attached to the old hotel, and having Cora involved matters, says Carole Lester, executive director of Business Organization of Old Town, or BOOT.
"Most people think that if Cora thinks that it will work, then it will work, because she really is a good businesswoman," she says.
More details are available on Facebook by searching The Old Hotel Bistro & Hearts Delight.
-- Clovis is about to get its second Indian restaurant.
Indian Heritage Restaurant, Bar & Grill will open in a few weeks in the former QN4U restaurant space at 1414 Clovis Ave.
The restaurant will feature traditional Indian food.
Owner Amrik Sandhu says his food is different from what is served at North India Bar & Grill on Shaw Avenue, and that the city can support both restaurants.
Erna's Elderberry House in Oakhurst has once again earned a five-diamond award from AAA of Northern California.
The restaurant is one of five in Northern California to win the award, alongside Gary Danko restaurant in San Francisco and The French Laundry in Napa Valley.
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