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Mike Irwin’s Everyday Biz: Signs of progress

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Some signs around Wenatchee that show business is moving ahead in the new year:The Wenatchee

Shari’s Restaurant wasn’t closed a week before workers stripped away everything — signs and decorative facing — that marked it for two decades as one of the city’s most popular restaurants. It shut down Jan. 2.

The grill had hardly cooled before a canvas banner for Ay Caramba!, a new Mexican restaurant, appeared last week above the building’s front entrance. A local company called Cerro Verde will operate the new restaurant. No opening date was posted on the front door, but the company has applied for a liquor license.

Last week, Andrew’s Sew and Vac unplugged from its old location at 136 N. Chelan Ave. to reopen Saturday in spankin’ new digs about six blocks up the street. The new store at 731

N. Chelan Ave. is across from the Wenatchee Valley Medical Center, so you can get your bobbins and hoses tweaked in more ways than one.

Six weeks into new management, The Windmill continues to get rave online reviews for its signature entrees — steaks, prime rib and desserts. Owner Kevin Smith has also stepped up

the game by offering a slew of new cocktails, including fresh pomegranate martinis. And don’t fret … the restaurant is still cooking in its landmark windmill-styled building at 1501 N. Wenatchee Ave.

Bellevue Healthcare has served the Wenatchee Valley medical community for over three years, but you might not have heard of it unless you needed health aids like wheelchairs, lift chairs, scooters, home care beds, respiratory equipment or a bunch of other medical stuff.

Now the 12-store company has opened its first storefront here. Nice space, too. It’s at 223 S. Wenatchee Ave. and has a sort of upscale warehouse look. Lots of space to test drive those scooters.

Have you heard … ?

Those Stay & Play Hotel Packages ($169 and up) are still offered by eight area hotels in partnership with Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort. (Lots of snow up there.) The package provides lodging for two, a shuttle to the ski hill and lift tickets. Participating hotels include the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Cedars Inn, Holiday Inn Express, La Quinta, Red Lion and Springhill Suites. For info, call 800-572-7753 or visit

The state’s cherry and stone fruit growers voted last month to double their per-ton assessments to help fund hort research at Washington State University, according to, an online newsletter for the fruit industry. Cherry growers will be assessed $4 a ton and stone fruit growers $1 a ton under a proposal developed by the Wenatchee-based Tree Fruit Research Commission. Food safety and fruit pathology will be among the likely top research topics.

Leavenworth’s Northwest Mountain School, a ski and climbing guide service, has moved to new offices at 940 Highway 2, right behind the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce headquarters. The move was needed, say owners Olivia and John Race, because of the school’s rapid growth over the last few years. NMS trains skiers and climbers and organizes expeditions to locations around the world. For info, call 548-5823 or visit

This weekly column is compiled from “Everyday Business,” a blog by World reporter Mike Irwin. You can reach him at 665-1179 or

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business. follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.