The former Big Yellow House restaurant on McHenry Avenue in Modesto long has been considered a tricky spot to get a business going.
Since it closed as its first incarnation, the building has housed a series of restaurants, most recently and successfully El Palomar. The Mexican restaurant closed in 2010 after a decade in business. It followed earlier efforts J.R. Maxwell's, Daily's Dining Emporium, Rock 'n' Roll Diner, Kodiak Inn, Charlie's and Sweetriver Saloon.
I got a tip from someone whose name no doubt will be familiar to readers of this column Mark Vasché, himself a longtime Modesto icon with far more success than the Big Yellow House whose name appeared in this paper for several decades before he retired as editor in the spring.
Mark mentioned that he has seen some remodeling work done at the site between Rumble Road and Standiford Avenue.
A check of property records and city building permits shows that the Big Yellow House is going in a new direction it's being developed into a medical office and surgery center. Blue Jay Construction is handling the work.
Elsewhere around the Business Beat:
Looks as though Turlock is getting a second Prime Shine carwash location. An item scheduled for the city's Planning Commission meeting in February calls for consideration of a Prime Shine in the 900 block of West Monte Vista Avenue. That's across from California State University, Stanislaus.
Turlock's other Prime Shine is at Golden State Boulevard and Canal Drive.
Columbia State Historic Park is seeing changes at some of its businesses. According to the state Department of Parks and Recreation, the candle and soap shop has moved and changed names it's now the Seven Sisters Soap and Candle Company, and it's at 22719 Broadway St. Glinda Wolverton is operating the store. She and her husband, Brian, come from longtime Columbia families. Call (209) 536-9047.
The former Bart's Black Skillet is now known as the Columbia House Restaurant. Steve and Doreen Kwasnicki, who run the Main Street restaurant, also own the Pioneer Emporium and the Jack Douglass Saloon. Call (209) 533-3983.
The holidays are a great time to visit the historic park, with its old-fashioned decorations and activities. For more information, go to www.columbiacalifornia.com or call (209) 588-9128.
Have an item for Business Beat? Contact Patty Guerra at The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; (209) 578-2343 or firstname.lastname@example.org.