Downtown pizzeria plans expansion

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Sweet Basil Pizzeria is rolling out plans for an expansion.

The owners of the downtown Walla Walla pizzeria, 5 S. First Ave., plan to open the wall between its existing location and the vacant space next door where Community Bank formerly operated.

Co-owner Stephenie Bowen said the change is intended to offer more seating for guests. The expansion will provide space to accommodate large groups down to single patrons.

The expansion is just beginning, she said. Sweet Basil started serving its New York-style pizzas when it opened downtown in late 2005.

The family-owned and operated business features oven-fresh slices and 18-inch pies on fresh hand-tossed dough, as well as calzones, stromboli and salads.

Hours of operation are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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Marcus Whitman Hotel Conference Center employees buried their goal of "50 Dresses in 5 Days."

Hotel employees hoped to gather that many dresses last week for Cinderella's Closet, a program that provides formal wear for girls throughout the Walla Walla Valley who could not otherwise afford to attend their proms.

Instead of 50 dresses, the hotel collected 63, said Shanna Hatfield, director of marketing for the historic hotel, 6 W. Rose St. The amount surprised even employees who had organized the dress drive through the hotel's Fun Committee.

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Walla Walla's Harvest Foods is hatching Easter celebration events this weekend.

The Southgate grocery store, 905 S. Second Ave., will have an indoor Easter egg and candy hunt Saturday at 8 a.m. The event will be held for three age groups: 3 and younger; 4-5-year-olds; and 6-8-year-olds.

Live bunnies, courtesy of Dry Creek 4-H, will be on display for viewing in the store's lobby area from noon to 4 p.m. The winning entries from the store's Easter egg coloring contest, which will be judged Friday, will also be on display.

There's still time, too, to enter that coloring contest. Categories from the young and not-so-young make it an all-inclusive activity. All entries will receive a consolation prize. The deadline is Thursday. Entry forms can be picked up at the store. Hours of operation are 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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