Twenty 88 Food & Drink is a new restaurant located at 2088 Ventura Blvd. in Old Town Camarillo, specializing in tapas, affordable wine and unique deserts. … Gracie Morumbi, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu gym directed by Fabio Leopoldo, world champion martial artist, is opening a new facility at 722 Arneill Road at Ponderosa Road in Camarillo. … Top Hat Restaurant will reopen at 2050 E. Main Street at the former It’s in the Sauce barbecue location. For 63 years, Top Hat has been famous for its hot dogs and hamburgers. … Lingerie at Kama Sutra Closet is a new, high-end luxury lingerie retail store in the El Jardin Courtyard in downtown Ventura. … Fashion Forms retail store will be opening at 540 E. Main St. in Ventura in early December. It will feature specialty bras and accessories. … Whirly Cups is now open in downtown Ventura, 377 E. Main St., to serve cupcakes, frozen yogurt and coffee. The interior looks like the kitchen from The Jetsons..

Moving up:

Nancy Conk was named as the new CEO of the Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation located in Ventura. Conk comes with 15 years of experience as executive director of the Santa Barbara Community Housing Corporation and the Community Housing Opportunities Corporation in Davis, Calif. She will succeed Rodney Fernandez in January.

And the award goes to:

Ventura Limoncello, a family-owned and -operated liqueur company in Ventura, won a gold medal in the inaugural MicroLiquor Spirit Awards. This competition focuses solely on craft distillers and artisanal products. Husband-and-wife team James Carling and Manuela Zaretti-Carling combine Manuela’s generations-old Italian family recipes with citrus varietals grown in Ventura County. Dr. William Gregory Sawyer (pictured), vice president for student affairs at California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI), accepted the 2011 Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Performance as a Dean/Vice President last month from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. The award is presented to someone who excels in meeting student needs, developing staff members and making significant contributions to the campus, community leadership and university affairs.


The Ventura County Medical Center received verification last month as meeting established standards in the provision of trauma care by the Verification Review Committee, an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons. This achievement recognizes the trauma center’s dedication to acute trauma care, pre-hospital care and trauma prevention in the community.

In the name of charity:

Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks management presented a $15,000 check last month to the Conejo Recreation and Park District (CRPD). The North Moorpark Road shopping center raised the money at the Janss Marketplace annual Reign of Terror Haunted House.  


Janet LeCroy, a fourth-grade teacher at Blanche Reynolds Elementary School in Ventura, was named Teacher of the Month for November by the Ventura Commerce and Education Foundation (VCEF). VCEF, along with the Ventura Chamber of Commerce, elected representatives and members of the business community for this honor. … CSUCI art majors Shannon Scobey and Ryan Hunnewell won the Rosebud award at the 2011 CSU Media Arts Festival last month for their video game “Storybook Adventure.” The annual event allows CSU students to present their film, video and interactive media work.

All about agriculture:

Segue Career Mentors received $15,000 last month from the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company. The money will be used to highlight role models from the local agricultural industry and expose students to career options available in the agriculture field. .. The Ventura County Fair is building a new Livestock Center, to be available for the 2012 Fair. The Livestock Center will serve the community as a venue for year-round livestock shows and competitions and will be used during the annual Ventura County Fair.

Making changes:

A Secret Place Salon and Day Spa is relocating from its downtown Ventura location to Midtown Ventura at 1890 Main St. It will have a parking lot, ground-level entry, relaxing garden/sitting area and a great new salon/spa layout. … Andy Kong Esq. has taken over the Pierpont Inn as part of a reorganization plan. “Operations will continue, and all weddings and other scheduled events will be held,” Kong said. “The service will be even better. The reason new managers have been brought in is to maintain integrity of the Inn, make upgrades and do a better job.” … The German Deli and Market on 325 Borchard Drive in Ventura is under new ownership with Susie and Vivian Skillstad. Their specialties are authentic bratwurst, homemade potato salad and sauerkraut.


Malinowski & Todd, Midtown Ventura’s purveyors of fine home furnishings, is closing its doors after seven years. Co-owner Dave Malinowski said it’s been a great run but changes in the market and the loss of some of his favorite suppliers led to the decision. 

Biz Buzz appears the first Thursday of each month. Send news of openings, changes and other things of interest to by the 20th of the prior month to be considered.