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04.08.09

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Silicon Valley News Notes

Crazy Cool

The folks at Psycho Donuts in downtown Campbell have pretty good imaginations—their signature comestible is a donut topped with pretzels, chocolate, marshmallow and chili powder (tastes better than it sounds). But there's no way they could have dreamed this up. Some self-appointed mental-health advocates have launched a campaign against the shop, claiming that it's insensitive to the mentally ill. The donut shop does, in fact, make light of the whole idea of insanity. Its donuts have names like "Cereal Killer" (Froot Loops) and Split Personality (you guessed it); the shop has a padded-cell booth; and the waitresses wear sexy-nurse outfits. "Psycho Donuts has taken the neighborhood donut and put it on medication, and given it shock treatment," reads the mission statement. All of this is apparently driving some people crazy. (Oops.) "Imagine if a new restaurant was proposed in Campbell called the 'Coon Café,' and it featured cartoon Black people eating watermelon and tap dancing to banjo music," reads one letter. Other folks are demanding that owners Jordan Zweigoron and Kipp Berdianski take sensitivity training classes. They respond on the company blog: "If our donuts are crazy, does that make us insensitive to the mental health community? Is El Pollo Loco insensitive to Crazy Chickens? Is it insensitive to call a donut bipolar?" The blog also points out that Psycho Donuts donates to NARSAD, a charity committed to mental health research.

Drink Locally

Fly recently learned that the plight of downtown San Jose's legendary Faber's Cyclery has reached new dimensions of stagnation. Proprietor Alex LaRiviere has yet to find a white knight to sponsor his proposal for the place. "I want to build a bicycle museum/beer garden and it would have a facility that would basically be promoting bicycles, but kind of community center, but more for adults rather than kids," he explains. "I'm looking for a sponsor to help me fix the building." LaRiviere says he expects the upgrades to tip the scales around a million samolians, since the circa-1884 historic building needs a foundation and won't be insurable unless a steel cage is constructed inside the place to hold it up. That, along with the soil contamination plaguing the grounds means some serious dough is required. But LaRiviere is plodding along with his museum idea, which includes new awnings and artists' murals. "I have all the stuff to do it—as far the bicycles, the antiques and the know-how," he said. "I just don't have the funding to be able to repair the building." According to LaRiviere, a noted San Jose real estate broker offered $250,000 for the property 20 months ago, fully intending to fix the building, but could not hammer out a deal with the landlord.

   

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