Jay Gilstrap of San Diego enjoys the grand opening of Robert Carie’s Elephant Walk Home Store Saturday. Photo by Becky Clark

In Idyllwild, businesses come and go, but few return after an extended absence. Robert Carie’s The Elephant Walk Home Store held a grand “reopening” on Saturday, May 27 after an extended hiatus. Carie said the store, The Laughing Elephant, had previously closed in 2007 and that he was excited to have returned. On Memorial Day, his store of unique gifts, home décor, furniture and jewelry was busy with customers.

The Village Market continues to roll out new shopping opportunities as it ramps up to its Grand Opening, beginning Thursday, July 6. The new management tentatively plans four weekends of events, including entertainment, giveaways and vendor samples. On Monday, May 22, the market unveiled its full produce line. The meat section is now stocked with organic, as well as grass-fed, meats, according to management. The deli is up and running under the seasoned care of Gary Budnick, longtime owner of Gary’s Deli.

And  Jo’An’s Restaurant & Bar is on the market through Hughes Properties, commercial real estate broker for $2.2 million. According to the listing, the present owner of the 2,400-square-foot restaurant (30,384-square-foot lot) has “a complete set of conceptual plans drawn up for a 30 room luxury hotel with an additional 10,000 sq. foot for commercial use … Buyer could continue to operate the restaurant or pursue a redevelopment of property.”

The lot on which the restaurant sits was once the town square, Eleanor Park, and is also the site for Idyllwild’s sequoia Christmas tree. Locals have been trying to save the large tree that has been showing signs of drought damage and overall weakness.

The Town Crier will continue to report on business changes in Idyllwild as they occur.