Biz Beat

New locations for Modesto guitar studio, antiques store

Guitar instructor Tim Janis works with Analisa Figueroa, 17, in Modesto on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015.
Guitar instructor Tim Janis works with Analisa Figueroa, 17, in Modesto on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015.

I’ve mentioned before how much I love it when readers send me tips. And I got one a bit ago from Leonard Jalli, who works at Merrill Lynch in downtown Modesto. He let me know that Tim Janis, a longtime guitar instructor, had moved his studio from north Modesto.

“For someone who has thought about playing the guitar, now is time and Tim is the guy!” Jalli said in an email.

That’s a pretty good recommendation. I spoke with Janis this week. He said he moved from out on Bangs Avenue to his new location at Needham and K streets a few weeks ago, and he loves it.

He also said he’s been teaching guitar for 25 years. I imagine much has changed in music in that time, and asked him if that’s the case.

He said the Internet has been good and bad for would-be guitar players. There are a lot of online lessons out there, but there’s no replacement for one-on-one interaction.

“I meet a lot of people who are trying to play stuff that’s way over their head,” Janis said. In other words, just watching someone strum “Stairway to Heaven” in a video online doesn’t mean you’ll be able to play it.

That said, Internet videos are making musical instruments more accessible to people. “If anything, kids kind of get into it and decide they want to play,” Janis said.

While electronics have changed how people try to learn and listen to music – “People are making music on their cellphones.” Janis said – he’s not threatened.

“I’ve been doing it long enough I know what I’m doing,” Janis said, estimating that 99.9 percent of the folks who go to him end up learning how to play an instrument.

Janis is at 1517 K St. Call 209-543-4879.

ELSEWHERE AROUND THE BUSINESS BEAT: Some good news for antiques fans. Marcia Tobin and Deborah Mattos have opened Laura Bell and Co. in Roseburg Square.

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Tobin operated Laura Bell in downtown Modesto for several years starting in 2001. “Then I started having grandkids,” Tobin said with a smile.

She and Mattos, though, kept booths at the Antiques Emporium on J Street. Upon learning that the store would be closing in the upcoming months, they decided to give it a go on their own.

Laura Bell is named for Tobin’s mother. “I think of her every day, and say her name every day,” Tobin said. Isn’t that a lovely idea?

The store features an array of antiques and upcycled items, all of them touched in some way by the proprietors – refinished, refurbished or rehabilitated into something completely new. It’s a very homey vibe, accented the day I visited by Bobby Darin music playing in the background.

Laura Bell and Co. is open Wednesday through Saturday, though if the door is open, the store is, too. On a recent Tuesday, Mattos said, she was doing some work at the store and opened up shop. “It was our busiest day so far.”

Call 209-522-2355.

▪ If you are looking for a seasonal job, this is the time to do it. I have seen notices from Amazon, See’s Candy and Target that they are accepting applications for holiday employment.

This is a great way to make a little extra cash, or if you are looking for something full time, to get your foot in the door.

Coincidentally, I got a news release this week from Domino’s Pizza saying the company also is adding 300 jobs to the greater Sacramento area, which includes Modesto, Turlock and Manteca. Positions range from delivery drivers to assistant managers and general managers.

For more information, go to